Camera assistant Darren West and the Wild Canadian Year team travelled to a beautiful woodland area near Montreal in mid-fall just as the autumn colours were bursting with vibrancy.
Assisted by Lisa Bidinosti, a local ‘chipmunk whisperer’ and researcher from McGill University, the crew went in search of a chipmunk that would be relaxed having a camera crew observe its daily life invade its territory.
Fortunately, luck was on their side. “The first chipmunk we decided to focus on, and amazingly the closest to our cabin, became our star,” says West. The crew watched for hours learning where he liked to forage for acorns, which fallen trees he liked to race on and where he would stand watch for predators. “This valuable intelligence gathering helped us choose angles that worked best for light and provide an interesting background so we could plan our sequence.”
The team used a scope — a long tube with a lens on the end — to capture a wide angle shot and a chipmunk’s point-of-view of the woodland. “As he becomes more comfortable with us, we were even able to get shots of his cache of acorns in the den, which was truly a privilege.”
A few days later, the crew packed up to leave their star back to his industrious work of collecting an autumn harvest for the long cold winter ahead.
Click play on the video above to watch.