The nature of production: two students create outdoor TV show

“EC Outdoors TV Show” debuted in February and focuses on the outdoors in the Eau Claire area.

Story by Nick Erickson, Staff Writer

Even at a young age, Adam Ganske carried a video camera with him on family hunting and fishing trips. He always knew that he would like to start his own show.

Ganske joined UW-Eau Claire’s TV10 in the fall of 2012 where he worked on the station’s sports segments with fellow journalism student Ryan Laughlin. As it turned out, Laughlin had some desire to break off and do his own thing. It also turned out that Laughlin also found he shared a similar passion for the outdoors as Ganske.

That combination led the two of them to create “EC Outdoors TV Show,” a new program that debuted on Feb. 6 and highlights the outdoors in the Eau Claire area.

“Both of our passions went in the same direction and took off from there,” Ganske said.

Ganske, a native of nearby Chetek, said his dad and the rest of his family are avid sportsmen and that seeing the excitement in them fueled his passion at a young age.

“I was able to see how much fun and enjoyment it brought them, and the same thing followed for me,” he said.

Laughlin, a resident of Wayzata, Minn., said fishing is more of his passion, but he had gotten away from it in college because he was unfamiliar with the region. When he met Ganske and was starting to create the idea of making the show, he found a way to get back into it.

“I wanted to use it as an excuse to get out and fish and hunt a little more,” Laughlin said.

Since Ganske has lived in the region all of his life, he said he knows just how important the environmental scene is to the Eau Claire area, and said that he and Laughlin hope to highlight that in their show.

“Conservation is a huge issue and always will be,” Ganske said. “It’s about keeping nature at its core and then trying to be responsible enough to maintain for future generations.”

But Ganske said the main goal of their show is to inform and entertain viewers on the outdoors. Laughlin said that being in the outdoors is all about having fun.

“We just want to show how fun it is to get out there and show the right way to do it and that it’s easy and that everyone can do it,” Laughlin said. “One of the things that we talk about in making a show is that we want to have fun because people enjoy watching people have fun.”

Laughlin said a lot of preparation goes into making this show, and the biggest challenge he thought the show would have is having enough material to fill a 30-minute segment, but Ganske’s boyhood videos gives them something to work with.

“It was cool that he had all this stuff backlogged,” Laughlin said. “I was concerned that we wouldn’t have enough content, but Adam’s got stuff up to his ears.”

Laughlin said he and Ganske sit down each week and talk about what they have and what sorts of fresh scenes they need to shoot in order to update their show. So far, the content of their shows has strategically matched the current hunting season.

They have done episodes on turkey hunting, ice fishing and after Laughlin’s trip to Florida over spring break, the duo is working on a spring and summer fishing segment.

“It’s an organic show to process, in terms of putting things together,” Laughlin said.

Laughlin and Ganske have had to act entrepreneurial and have promoted their show through social media and other forms of communication so more people can see the show, something TV10 Station Manager Jackson Schmidtke thinks is vital in today’s broadcast journalism industry.

“It’s really important, if you’re passionate about what you’re doing, to get it out there and show people what you can do,” Schmidtke said. “That’s what will get your work noticed.”

Schmidtke said the two have done a phenomenal job of using social media to reach their target audience, and after hearing a lot of positive feedback from people on social media or face-to-face communication, Laughlin said he wants viewers to become more interactive by submitting photos, videos or stories.

“We’re planning on rolling at least another year, so hopefully we can get it to a spot where we can get a whole lot of interaction and a whole lot of viewers,” Laughlin said.

Schmidtke said it is some of the best work he has seen in his time in the station.

“The hard work they put in, the passion that they have for what they’re doing is really making the show great and makes them both awesome hosts,” Schmidtke said.

The “EC Outdoors TV Show” airs Wednesday nights on TV10 or online at its Facebook page and Youtube.