In Search of Wolves: Filmmaking in the Wilds of Canada

Bertie Gregory looks every bit the part of a wildlife documentary filmmaker.

Like a David Attenborough or Bear Grylls, his natural enthusiasm for animals and conservation is infectious (the comparisons come easily: Gregory also features a British accent). He’s comfortable in front of the camera, easygoing and conversational, as if he’s right there in your living room talking with you. He’s willing to go to the ends of the earth in search of animals. And what’s more, he’s only 23 years old.

The winner of the Youth Outdoor Photographer Of the Year Award, Gregory has been filming wildlife since he was 12. The day after he graduated college, he began working for National Geographic Magazine, assisting photographer Steve Winter in his work with leopards. Gregory next headed for the west coast of Canada for his debut solo assignment for National Geographic to film Nat Geo WILD’s first digital series, wild_life With Bertie Gregory, in search of the elusive coastal wolf that inhabits one of the last places on the planet where a wild forest meets a wild ocean. While in the field, Gregory navigates harsh terrain filled with unexpected encounters, all in an effort to find and film wolves that seem more like ghosts of the British Columbia coast than actual creatures.

Often filming alone, Gregory has had to deal with a number of logistical challenges along the way. Traditional film crews can number into the hundreds of people, while Gregory has to bring all of his gear along with him. Filming can be grueling, with days that begin at 3 a.m. and last until 11 that night. Exhaustion is a real threat, meaning that every second of time that he can get back is more time spent resting for the day ahead.

“When I get finished with a day’s shooting, all I want is to get footage downloaded so I can get horizontal as fast as possible,” Gregory said. “For that, I need fast transfer speeds’’.

Out in the field, Gregory makes use of LaCie’s Rugged Thunderbolt drives for his data backups. Reliability and durability are critically important for the filmmaker—there’s no reshooting a scene when it comes to animals—and the LaCie drives have met those needs, even with the rigors of traveling in the wilderness. On a big shooting day he can exceed 500GB – 4k+ from the primary camera, 4k from the behind-the-scenes camera, and 4-2.7k on multiple GoPros for extra angles. The peace of mind that comes with using LaCie (not to mention the speed) is invaluable. Gregory also makes use of a 20TB LaCie 5big Thunderbolt 2 when using footage in post production on these larger projects, in order to keep all of the data from a single project on one drive (with proper backups, of course).

“Drive failures are rare but they do happen, for me, it’s always been with the cheap and cheerful brands,” Gregory explains. “So the long-term savings from using LaCie is virtually priceless.”

New episodes of wild_life With Bertie Gregory premiere Wednesdays on the network’s YouTube Channel, as well as on We want to extend a big thank you to Gregory for sitting down with us and for bringing LaCie along on his wildlife adventures!

Learn more about Bertie Gregory >