Smile—you’re on walleye cam!

Attendees at this year’s Emo Walleye Classic may not have had front row seats, but they were never too far from seeing the action with tournament media switching fully to live feed from its cameras.
While live video had been used to an extent previously, it was only to compliment pre-recorded footage.
This year went fully live, and no element of the tournament was more improved by it than the top 10 parade, said Lincoln Dunn, stage and marketing director for the EWC.
“The technical side of it really exceeded my expectations this year,” Dunn said. “I did get some anecdotal response that, ‘Gee, that was really cool.’
“Especially with the livewell shot. We’ve always had difficulty with view lines [due to packed crowds],” Dunn added.
This time around, a wireless camera allowed all in the arena to see every detail as the top anglers showed off their fish during Saturday’s final weigh-in.
Rob Galloway was the switcher and self-described “head video guy,” managing the separate video feeds from the media table.
While the big screen live video allowed the entire crowd to see any feed Galloway threw to, the challenge was to bring to the screen what wasn’t visible even in the front row.
“The main thing was just trying to keep in your mind what the viewers want to see, what they can’t see already,” he explained. “You want to show them what they can’t see with their own eyes, give them that close-up view.”
The switch to fully live video was precipitated by the loss of Tyler Gamsby, who had been the go-to video guy at the EWC. Gamsby moved out west, so the team “had to not start over, but start differently” with a new video program, Dunn said.
That new program meant scrapping pre-recorded footage from most of the coverage of the event, and upping the number of live cameras from two to four for most of the tournament (and five for the end of it).
Three of those cameras were on stage for the duration of the tournament—one with a full view of the stage, one with a side view, and a ceiling-mounted “fish cam” that showed catches being weighed from above.
(“The fish cam itself was pretty cool to have,” Galloway admitted).
During most of the tournament, a camera was stationed by the waterfront. For the top 10 on Saturday, that camera was brought on the floor, as well as a hand-held that spent most of its time close to the boats.
It was that waterfront camera that caused most of the headaches.
“I don’t know if anyone could tell,” Galloway said. “We actually had quite a bit of trouble with it,” such as blackouts and encoding errors—most of which went mostly unseen when the switcher changed the screen to another feed.
Still, both agreed the new system went very well, and look forward to next year.
“It was great actually,” Galloway said. “I’ve become really good friends with [the media staff].”
For Dunn, one of his future missions is to better integrate the in-house show with the EWC’s live online video, and getting what they broadcast on their screen out on the Internet.
“Our webcam right now is adequate for people to see what’s happening, but it’s not really any replacement for being there,” Dunn said.
“For me, that would be my hope. Having said that, you have to realize that at some point there’s diminishing returns on what you’re putting in,” he admitted.