The Chasing Pack - An insight into the Sky F1 2015 promo

The Chasing Pack

Shooting 7000ft up a mountain with six wolves isn't something that Sky Sports does every week. The shoot had over 30 different set ups to achieve over three days of filming with safety paramount for both the wolves and the crew. The creative director met the wolves at their home and scouted the location to meticulously plan how to execute the filming. Working with A-list Hollywood wolves who have appeared in Game of Thrones, True Blood and the Vampire Diaries meant the pressure was on.

The promo reflects a Formula One race so it was important that the wolves had to navigate through corners, straights and the occasional coming together. In order to be able to get the camera close to the wolves, electrical fencing ‘hot lines’ had to be erected. These fences were then painted out, frame by frame, in post-production. For each set up the team of wolf handlers had to put out the ‘hot line’. Extras would stand in as wolves so the camera department and could rehearse the moves and get focus points on all cameras. All non-essential crew would then have to leave the set, as not to distract the wolves. The wolf handlers would then walk the wolves down to the set up and the wolves would acclimatise to their new ‘hot line’ zone. They are trained not to go near the hot line. Once everyone was happy the shoot would begin.

The wolf trainers would release the wolves, always with the hero wolf ‘Cody’ at the front of the pack. Unfortunately Cody wasn’t the quickest but always had to be in the lead, so the wolves had to be held back staggering the release in order to create the right formation at the key moment in front of camera. This was all marshalled by Wolf Master, Steve Martin. Once we had repeated that process on over 30 different set ups it was a wrap.

Lewis Hamilton's bid for a third Formula 1® world championship begins in Australia on Sunday 15 March. Sky Sports is the only place fans can watch every Grand Prix in the 2015 FIA Formula 1 World Championship live. Ten races will be exclusive to the channel, including Monaco, Singapore and Mexico.

David Croft and Martin Brundle will reunite in the commentary box to talk viewers through all the drama, while Damon Hill, Anthony Davidson, Johnny Herbert and Bruno Senna are on hand to offer their expert opinion. Simon Lazenby and Natalie Pinkham will front our coverage once again, alongside reporter Ted Kravitz.

Viewers can watch live on TV with Dolby 5.1 surround sound, via Sky Go or using Race Control accessed via the red button, or the Sky Sports App for iPad. Non-subscribers can also follow the 2015 F1® season without a contract through online TV streaming service NOW TV by purchasing a Sky Sports Day Pass for £6.99 or Sky Sports Week Pass for £10.99.

Key facts:
·         Shot over 4 days, 1 day for vistas & 3 days with the wolves
·         Lake Arrowhead Forest, California, it’s en route to big bear mountain at almost 6,500ft above sea level.
·         The wolves have appeared in Game of thrones, Twilight & the Vampire Diaries
·         2 x Alexa cameras & 3x Go Pro cameras were used.
·         The forest was closed off for all 3 days of filming & large information boards were erected at all entry points to warn off any dog walkers! Wolves & dogs don’t get along.