A Courtenay-based nature cinematographer, whose latest work has garnered several Emmy Award nominations, is casting the spotlight on Vancouver Island yet again in his new and upcoming projects.
Raised on the Sunshine Coast and now living on Vancouver Island, Maxwel Hohn never wants to be too far from where he can film the glorious natural ecosystems of BC’s coast.
“I try to be as close to wildlife as possible,” Hohn told Victoria Buzz as he sailed down the mainland’s coast back to the island. “I always kind of position myself in the centre of the island so I have easy access to all four corners of the island.”
Critically acclaimed Island of the Sea Wolves was released in October 2022 and was one of Hohn’s latest projects to be released and is one of his biggest successes to date.
The Vancouver Island-based series had him filming the unique wolf population that inhabits Vancouver Island as well as several different species for the better part of a year. The show was an instant success on Netflix when it was released.
Island of the Sea Wolves was recently recognized with seven Daytime Emmy nods, one of which would be a major accomplishment for Hohn.
“It was a project that was pretty close to the heart,” Hohn said. Even to see it getting nominated for cinematography was pretty big.”
“With a series, often you only get to work on one or two of the sequences, but because this was on Vancouver Island, I got to work with almost all of the animal characters.”
Since Island of the Sea Wolves was released, Hohn has had his work featured in two more massive streaming services nature programs.
A slightly newer program Hohn was involved in, now streaming on Apple TV+, is a nature docu-series called Big Beasts, narrated by Tom Hiddleston, which was released on April 21st.
The series follows some of earth’s largest fauna from the icy poles to the tropical jungles and everywhere in between.
Hohn got to film grey whales as they finished their migration from Baja, Mexico up to Vancouver Island for episode one of Big Beasts as well as the Pacific herring spawn and the giant Pacific octopus.
Another massive accomplishment of Hohn’s is that he filmed some sequences in Our Planet II which is largely regarded as the best nature docu-series to date and is narrated by the renowned Sir David Attenborogh.
Hohn says he is unable to reveal what he filmed for Our Planet II until its Netflix debut, as the streaming giant wants the show’s sequences kept under wraps for the time being.
“The whole series focuses on Migration,” Hohn told Victoria Buzz. “I filmed a particular migration on Vancouver Island.”
“If anyone knows my work they can kind of put two and two together and figure it out,” he laughed.
Our Planet II will be released on Netflix and viewed worldwide as of Wednesday, June 14th.
Hohn says he is always working one or two years ahead of the finished product’s release date and typically, he is sent out with a shot list to capture certain animal behavior which is then edited into the narrative that’s been written for the respective program.
His next project which he is working on right now will be for a new CBC program slated for release in 2025 called, Shared Planet.
Hohn also has a new project he’s been working on extensively that will be released on Earth Day next year, April 22nd, 2024 that follows the giant Pacific Octopus.
Vancouver Island contains some of the world’s most pristine ecosystems and Hohn has become the go-to cinematographer to help people around the globe appreciate its beauty from afar.
Those interested in his work can find award-winning short films on his website and they can watch Big Beasts on Apple TV+, Island of the Sea Wolves on Netflix and come June 14th, Our Planet II will be available on Netflix.