Tennessee-based Jupiter Entertainment hopes to strike big by aiming small. Associate producer Joe Murphy and a camera crew went up to the Fisherman’s Wharf Resort near Isle, Minnesota for a small weekend ice fishing tournament. According to Duluth News Tribune, their goal is to film a reality television show that’s focused on the anglers, the staff, and the drama behind the scenes.
“You need people that you root for. An audience has to care about the characters. You want them to be either someone you love and you want them to win and succeed or, on the flip side, you want to hate them,” Murphy said.
Interesting characters abound at the tournament as old rivalries flare up and new contenders show off their skills. The crew filmed upwards of 100 hours of footage in preparation for a pilot episode to be considered for truTV, a well-known reality television network.
“We did come out thinking it was going to be a very funny, male-skewed, humorous show,” said Murphy, but he acknowledged that things can change at the drop of a hat. Various problems around the resort combined with weather conditions caused no shortage of short tempers, which is liquid gold for the camera.
“It can be quite bleak, and it can be quite challenging,” commented Murphy. “It’s almost got that tense, action feel to it.”
A lot of the filming involved the tournament’s support staff. The organizers, maintenance crews and resort staff all got a say in the initial shooting, which gives a rare look into what goes on behind the curtain in a typical ice fishing tournament. A few fights broke out and trophy fish were hauled up from under the ice while Murphy’s camera crew took candid recordings of the ups and downs of a weekend ice bash.
The show is currently unnamed and undergoing production but its producers have high hopes. Resort owners are also hopeful that the show will bring in new anglers for a taste of ice fishing.