Before we go into today's update, here is something really important!
Yesterday the Bullen Awards 2017 was handed out in Gothenburg. The Bullen Awards were founded by me and Lighting Designer Fredrik Jönsson to honor our friend Pontus Bullen Lagerbielke who lost his battle to cancer in the fall of 2015. Not a day goes by without me missing this wonderful man.
Among many other things, Bullen was the assisting Lighting Designer for Eurovision here in Kyiv in 2005.
Anders Q-lan Wallertz (left) won the The Bullen Lifetime Achievement Award for his long and loyal service to our industry. Besides being the followspot caller on Eurovison 2013 and 2106, he has toured as the Lighting Designer for Europe since 1984. Anders Heberling (right) won the Bullen Visionary Award for his daring and innovative lighting designs!
The prizes were handed out by Kee Marcello, former guitarist in Europe, and the glass sculptures are designed by Bullen's sister Erika Lagerbielke who was also acting moderator at the ceremony at LLB Forum.
I asked our sponsor Kosta Boda for a favor in relation with them supplying the glasses and bowls for the green room. So our artists will drink refreshing drinks from glasses designed by Erika. So a little piece of Bullen is with us this year as well. That feels very good!
So....about yesterday.......YEAHHH!! One down, 2 to go!
First and foremost, let's congratulate our 10 Semi-finalists that qualified to the Grand Final:
Congratulations Sweden, Australia, Belgium, Azerbaijan, Portugal, Greece, Poland, Moldova, Cyprus and Armenia!
And now for something special!
It’s time to explain our process of Outside Broadcast, which is one of the most important pieces in this entire project. Otherwise it would just be a concert! So, just as last year, we have 2 Technical Directors on this show. Besides Peter Andersson looking after show, we have Bo Wahlberg looking after all cameras, OB trucks, Intercom, Commentator boxes and everything that comes with it. It’s all in the spirit of: stick to what you know, and there is NO ONE in the world that knows enough of both broadcast AND show to be the Technical Director of both on a show of this scale. Many have tried, and they all failed. And so did their budgets………
And here he is! Our Technical Director for Broadcast, Bo Wahlberg and his small camping car! Let’s peek into his wonderful world of stuff.
Here's Avo Kokmann, Technical Manager OB, who you've met in Eurovisions before.
The main OB truck is the main camp for the broadcast. And it’s also the home of a lot of people, spending an endless amount of hours every day, to get every single shot correct.
All 20 cameras feed into the OB truck and this is where the show is produced along with the voting graphics and playout for all postcards and recap. Every shot in this show is scripted. All seven hours of live broadcast. Here sits Multicam Director Ladislaus Kiraly, 1st Assistant Director Richard Stier, Vision Mixer Frederik Schnitzler and Assistant Vision Mixer Sefa Aydemir.
Here is just outside the door where Ladislaus stores his cigar!
Here is the EBU switch – the heart of the production. From this container we have contact with all the TV stations in Europe.
We are using CuePilot to cut this show, which means that we can timecode all the camera shots, so they appear exactly in the correct moment of the song. But this doesn’t mean that we skipped the operator for the vision mixer. He knows the songs as well as the computer, and is the physical back up if the CuePilot decided to have a meltdown. The biggest advantage of using this system is that we can cut between different cameras faster than in any other way, and it always tells us what shot, what camera and the duration of the shot we are in when rehearsing, or reviewing rehearsals. By using CuePilot we can sync camera with lighting, pyro and automation since they are all running of the timecode generated from the music tracks. This is totally awesome sauce!
Here’s the NEP container. NEP supplied all of the OB trucks and equipment.
Here is the patch panel on the OB truck. This is where all cameras are connected, and this is also from where we feed the EBU switch with the host broadcast feed. This feed is done by two separate fibers to give us full back up on it and it’s distributed to the world via two satellite dishes parked out in the OB Compound.
This is Jens Invall, Technical Supervisor from NEP, enjoying a nice salad!
Karin Holmberg on the right is our EVS, here together with Leonard Gren, Camera Control. I just love bothering people while they try to eat!
And this lovely lady is Irene Viklund, who does Color Camera Control better than anyone in the world.....seriously!
There is an average of 40 camera shots per song, and we have 42 songs. Then you can add 3 openings and 5 interval acts, plus several host breaks and a bunch of other thingies here and there, so I dare to say that we have more scripted camera shots than in any other show in the world.
Because this is Eurovision………….
A really really good CCU operator can control 5 cameras. Irene never control less than 10! THAT is how GOOD she is!
And what better way to celebrate a succesful third dress rehearsal than with bitterballen! So....happy..... Thank you Team Unbranded!
Hey hey hey - even though you're reading about yesterday, at this very moment we're broadcasting Semi-Final 1!
That being said, I'm clearly short on time so I'll show you what you can watch live!
For the first time ever, three men will host the Eurovision Song Contest; give it up for Oleksandr Skichko, Volodymyr Ostapchuk and Timur Miroshnychenko.
Of course I have to show Sweden again......I know we're gonna win.
Although Australia is dangerous - great song with great graphics.
Belgium looking good!
Gotta love this - Montenegro brings the full Eurovision glory!
Finland's Blackbird - beautiful lighting on this.
And keep an eye on Azerbaijan!
Greece is a feel good song. :)
And watch Moldova - this will be the dance of Summer 2017 I promise! In 2010 the Sunstroke Project represented Moldova in the Eurovision Song Contest, alongside Olia Tira. It was after the 2010 contest that saxophonist Sergey Stepanov became a YouTube sensation known all over the world as the Epic Sax Guy. The video of him performing at the contest went viral and has been watched millions of times. This is just as catchy!
Welcome Ralph Larmann! Taking a picture of him is like painting a portrait of Van Gogh! He'll get epic photos of course!
And welcome Ste Durham from Total Production International - the lovely people that named me Production Manager of the Year, so naturally we're being very nice to Ste!
When they first invented the clock, how did they know what time it was to set it to?
So many questions..............
Enjoy the show!