Type of application: New
Wildstar Films is a Bristol based production company founded in 2018 by Emmy and BAFTA winning film makers Vanessa Berlowitz and Mark Linfield. Their credits include Planet Earth 1 and 2, Frozen Planet, Attenborough’s Life of Mammals and 6 Disneynature feature films. https://www.wildstar.tv/
Wildstar are embarking on the pre-production of a landmark series for a major global streaming service that aims to be the definitive and most ambitious exploration of animal intelligence to date. It will be filmed across the world and aired internationally. The series is yet to be announced by the broadcaster, but as soon as it is, we will be able to share a lot more detail about the project.
For one of our stories, we are aiming to film the wolves of Ellesmere Island. Ideally this would be for a period of 9 weeks between late June to mid August 2022. Dates are to be confirmed but are provisionally 25th June 2022 – 27th August 2022. We intend to work remotely in the field, entering and exiting through Eureka.
The footage of the wolves we hope to obtain will likely be featured throughout the series to show different areas of animal intelligence, including how through teamwork wolves are able to survive in the Arctic. We are aiming to film the interaction and communication behaviour of a wolf family at their den, exhibiting how canine communication is far more advanced than ever expected, whilst showing the intelligence the exhibit when hunting arctic hare or musk ox in an effort to feed their pups.
Filming will be undertaken by a crew of 5-6 people over a roughly 9-week period. The crew will be comprised of two experienced wildlife camera operators and a director. The crew who will be selected once permission has been granted will be world leaders in natural history filmmaking and have vast experience in filming endangered species in remote and protected habitats. There will also be two guides who will have prior experience and knowledge of the Ellesmere region and filming area, as well as experience in safety procedures around wolves. The guides are yet to be confirmed, however we are in conversation Alain Lusignan who is highly experienced in the field, having spent 2 summers on Ellesmere filming wolves, as well as 1 winter. We will rely on the guides for their expert knowledge on how to safely and respectfully film the areas wildlife. The crew will primarily use ATV’s to follow the wolves during their day to day activities.
The team will set up in a small self-sufficient base camp in the field with individual personal tents for the crew and a set of equipment tents, approximately 10 in total. If the wolves move a significant distance from the base camp the crew may relocate the main base camp or set up a small temporary camp– ensuring to take all equipment and waste with them. We will be working with a local Canadian outfitter to assist with logistics and camp set-up to ensure it is appropriate in the field.
For a period of 14 days during the filming dates, yet to be confirmed but likely the last 2 weeks of filming in August 2022, the crew intend to be supported by a filming helicopter, that will be based in Eureka Aerodrome (permission dependent of the ECCC). The helicopter will be flying out to film scenic shots and using zoom lenses obtain aerials of wolf behaviour from a safe distance and height that will not disturb their natural behaviour. The pilot of the helicopter will be the 6th person in the crew, who will be primarily based in Eureka itself.
Drone filming will occur by our camera operators who will be highly experienced operating around wildlife in a non-invasive and non-disturbing manner. They will be obtaining a Special Flights Operations Certificate prior to filming.
We are seeking to obtain all other permits in accordance with the requirements once NPC permission has been granted. We are in dialogue with the ECCC to obtain their support and will be seeking the permission of Grise Fiord Hunters and Trappers Association.
Please do let us know if you have any further questions. We will be willing to update you with any further required information.
List of all project geometries:
||Specific filming location is dependent on wolf location. But aim to be within this area of Ellesmere Island.
Affected Areas and Land Types
Inuit Owned Surface Lands
North Baffin Planning Region
Project Land Use and Authorizations
Project Land Use
QIA: Right of Way Agreement
GN-DOE: Wildlife Observation Licence
NIRB: Screening Decision Report
Other Licensing Requirements
No data found.
||11m x 4m x 3m
||Helicopter for scouting filming and camp locations, as well as aerial filming. The helicopter will be stationed at Eureka Aerodrome upon arrival and used for scouting the last week of June 2022. It will then transport the camp equipment to create a base camp in the field. During the last two weeks of August 2022 (TBC) a helicopter will be used to film aerials. Permission dependent.
||54cm × 41cm × 32 cm
||We will bringing filming equipment, including cameras, tripods, drones and accessories. Backups will also be brought.
||65cm x 50x cm
||Generators to be used to power general camp and charge filming equipment.
||2.5m x 1.5m x 1.5m
||ATV's will be used to move across Ellesmere Island, to find and film wildlife.
Hazardous Material and Chemical Use
||Current Estimate. The aviation fuel will be used for the helicopter - and stored at the Eureka Aerodrome. Permission dependent. It will not be transported to the field camp.
||Current Estimate. Gasoline will be used for the generators and ATV's. It will be stored securely in the field.
||For cooking stoves.
|No records found.|
|Daily Amount (m3)
||Melted snow/ice or river/stream
||Dependent on location of camp
Waste and Impacts
Impacts on Wildlife
With a highly experienced crew, every effort will be made to ensure filming will be done in a non-invasive manner. Filming will occur at a safe and respectful distance at all times with minimal disturbance to the wildlife in order to obtain their natural behaviours. Hides will be used when appropriate, such as when filming a wolf den from a safe distance. Camera traps may be used in places where the animals are likely to be disturbed. The filming crew will follow the advice of the experienced guides at all times to avoid disturbing the wildlife. At any point that the wildlife seems effected by the crews presence they will immediately move away to ensure the animal is comfortable.
Impacts on Environment
Alongside ensuring there is no disturbance to the film subjects, the team intend to have as minimal impact on the tundra as possible, with correct waste management set up. Water will be obtained by melting ice or from rivers. Human waste will be buried away from water sources, whilst all other waste will be secured from wildlife whilst in the camp and subsequently removed when the crew departs. Washing materials used for everyday cleaning will be environmentally friendly.
|Sewage (human waste)
||5-6 people over 9 weeks
||It will be removed and filled/covered with earth before the crew depart.
||A temporary toilet structure will be built over a pit near to the base camp away from water sources.
Application related document - Conformity Determination Letter
Public Registry ID:
2021-02-20 18:43:13, from: Goump Djalogue
Hi Mr. Jones,
As we I was reviewing your project proposal, I noticed that we have not so long ago received and reviewed the similar project at the same location to from BBC studios, that is proposed for July to october 2021. Do you mind expanding if on the link between the two projects? Thank you.
2021-02-21 04:04:31, from: Philip Jones
Thank you for getting back in touch. This project is not connected with the BBC, it has a different broadcaster and will have a different editorial. We are unaware of what specific story the BBC are trying to tell or film this year. Wildstar Films will be focusing on showing the interactions between the wolf pack members and their cubs at a young age. Hence the application for this period of the year.
Do let me know if you have any further questions.
NORTH BAFFIN QUESTIONAIRE
s3.13.8: The applicant undertakes to prevent any new occurrences of pollution, garbage and contamination at the site of the development.
Removal of Fuel Drums:
s3.13.8: The applicant undertakes to remove all drums safely from the site and dispose of the drums in a safe manner.
New Site Restoration and Clean Up:
s3.13.1 and Appendix H, s1: The applicant undertakes to clean up the site and restore the site to its natural condition to the greatest extent possible.
Old Site Restoration and Clean Up:
s3.13.2: The applicant undertakes to clean up the site and restore the site to its original condition to the greatest extent possible, including any work required due to the applicant's action prior to this application.
Low-Level Air Flights:
Appendix H, s3: Will the applicant avoid all low-level flights?
Caribou Protection Measures:
s3.3.7 and Appendix D: Will the applicant comply with the Caribou Protection Measures outlined in section 2.4.6 and in Appendix D?
Caribou Water Crossings:
s3.3.7 and map: Will the applicant avoid, between may 15 and September 1, to construct any camp, cache any fuel or conduct any blasting within 10 km of any Designated Caribou Water Crossing identified
Polar Bear Denning Areas and Walrus Haul-outs:
s3.3.8: Will the applicant keep its activities away from any polar bear denning area or walrus haul-out?
Reporting of Archaeological Sites:
s3.11.3 and Appendix H, s2 and s8: Will the applicant immediately report the discovery of all suspected archaeological sites to the Department of Culture, Language, Elders and Youth (GN)?