Wolves vs. Bison: On Location | Hostile Planet


The stars of “Hostile Planet”
are obviously the animals. But the unsung heroes
are the crew that work so hard to bring you that footage. [wolves howling] PETE MCGOWAN: So my
name’s Pete McGowan. I’m here in the Canadian
Arctic trying to film wolves hunting bison. And hopefully in a minute
through the scrub over there, there might be a
herd of bison being followed by a pack of 23 wolves,
hopefully not straight at me. When we went to film
the wolves and the bison, our aim was to film a hunt. My job was to go up every
morning first thing, look for the wolves,
and every day we’d find the bison but no wolves. It was a two-week shoot,
and we spent seven days. And we didn’t see a wolf, and no
one knew where the wolves were. And you know it’s make or break. And we’re just sat
there in an airport just waiting day after day. And then you get
that phone call– [snaps fingers] –and it all changes. And you are in the
helicopter, and you are headed straight out to it. And you know you’ve got
one chance to nail it. And if you mess
it up, that’s it. TOM HUGH-JONES: So the idea
was we’d cover the hunt from the air whilst we
left Pete on the ground so that he could capture shots
of the chase panning out. It’s really hard
trying to predict where they’re going to go. We dropped him off into
the middle of nowhere at minus 40 degrees. And he was having to traipse
around in his snow shoes pulling all his camera gear. I mean, it was hardcore. For once we managed
to guess right and predict where the wolves and
the buffalo were going to come. And we placed Pete
right in their path. As the wolves are
chasing them past, Pete’s capturing these
shots of these bison. I was watching it
from above, and he’s got these one-ton beasts
charging towards him. And you’re thinking like,
hold it, hold it, hold it. And I could see the moment
where he’s obviously looking through his long lens. And I think he just
thought, are they going to run straight into me? [laughs] Have they seen me? Just along here,
the lead big bull, they started coming
up along my track. They’re just like
a freight train running through everything, and
kept me in this little bush. They came pretty close,
a little bit too close, really, for my liking. TOM HUGH-JONES: The main
worry is that, you know, we’re only going to see
this a couple of times. And are the cameramen going
to be able to nail it? MARK MACEWAN: And I’ve
got the camera controller. And I’m trying to keep
that on one of 23 wolves I think might be about
to take down a buffalo, or stay a bit wider
and cover the event. TOM HUGH-JONES: The skill of
these cameramen to be able to keep the camera in focus
as the helicopter’s moving, the scene is changing,
and predicting where they’re going– I’ve no idea how they do it. It was a lovely low sun. And the bison were
kicking up the snow, so it was all, kind of, backlit. And we just think, wow,
this is a spectacle. That’s the high-five moment. That’s going to make the promo. [laughs] [music playing] [wolves howling] [wolves snarling]

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