If we were to film an intimate portrait of the wolf, we needed to get close enough to see into their eyes. By socializing with the pack from the time they were pups, we were able to gain the wolves’ trust and observe their behavior in a way that few people ever have.
On the edge of Idaho’s Sawtooth Wilderness we built the largest enclosure of its kind and created an environment where a pack of wolves could open their lives to us and accept us as just another part of their world.
While the wolves could not hunt or roam without boundaries, they were free to build their own society, choose their leader, and sort out their own disputes. We called them The Sawtooth Pack, and set out to capture their intimate lives on film, to dispel myths and show a side of wolves never seen before.
Over the course of the following years, the wolves matured, established a hierarchy, and even mated and produced offspring. We lived in a tented camp within the wolves’ territory, a constant but unobtrusive presence, documenting, recording, and photographing life inside the pack.
Our approach, one of social partnership with the animals, has garnered discussion, debate, criticism, and, most often, appreciation and encouragement. As a result, audiences have become acquainted with an animal that, in addition to being a successful predator, is curious, playful, both independent, and resolutely devoted to family. This could have never been achieved with impassive observation.