filming bears and salmon on Vancouver Island

Bear and salmon shoot on Vancouver Island

Early October Subvision Productions went on the road, together with Lawrence Whaba from Canal Azul, filming bears and salmon on Vancouver Island.  This assignment was part of the shoot for the National Geographic channel program “Morning-glory”.

Driving from Port Alberni to the outer West coast of Vancouver Island we searched and located Mercantile creek. There during the annual run of the Chinook salmon black bears benefit from the abundance in the shallow and small creek and get a lot of their winter nutrition.

Black bear falling asleep after eating salmon
Black bear full of salmon takes a nap

On the day of filming we set up our cameras and we did not have to wait too long before the first bear showed up. Shooting with Sony Ex1, Sony Z100, Canon C300 and even a GoPro 3 a great deal of excellent footage was obtained.

We observed and filmed bear behavior like feeding, fishing, stealing food from other bears and more. The Chinook salmon going up the creek provided jumps in the calm water of the creek but also spectacular schooling and. jumps at the waterfall further up the creek.

During the day the tide came in and more Chinook made it into the estuary and the creek.  A bear mom and cup showed up and after being concerned with our presence for a little while she settled down and determined that we were not a threat.  In total there were around 5 different bears and the action lasted from dawn to dusk. Amazingly the bear were active during the entire day allowing us to film different bear behavior.

The alternate rain and sunshine provided stunning light variations and close quarter encounters with the bears ensured very detailed shots.

The episode of the program will be edited and is expected to air around June 2015.  It will be aired in the Spanish / Portuguese countries.