ESC2017 logo kyiv2017 white

 

WELCOME TO THE 11TH EDITION OF THE EUROVISION DIARY!

May 12

Are you watching the Grand Finale??? It's on NOW - watch live at www.eurovision.tv

 

Now, I know our stage is fantastic, the lighting is fantastic, our crew is fantastic, but one thing that has been getting rave reviews is the content on our beautiful LED wall and arch. Our content team is Gravity out of Hamburg. We caught up with Visual Director Falk Rosenthal who walked us through this adventure that the team has been on.

 

0gravity

Here’s half the team from L to R: Falk Rosenthal, Annika Evers, Thomas Neese and Armin Lintl. Not shown are Mark Huff, Martin Speidel, Ramon Mazzoni and Thomas Knack.

Gravity has created content for Eurovision 2011 in Germany, 2012 in Azerbaijan, 2014 in Denmark, 2015 in Austria and now 2017 in Ukraine.

 

armenia

Many countries prepare their own content, but it’s not until stand in rehearsals and the film is reviewed by the delegations that many will change their mind, as the concept can get lost when going from wide shots to close ups of the performers. Others will put their full trust in the content team, simply with notes on the concept they want to convey.

 

germany

Germany is a good example. They let Gravity design the content from start to finish, and it takes advantage of the fantastic arch.

 

albania

“Albania is another one I like,” said Falk, “we were able to show off the arch nicely in that one too.”

 

latvia

Many request are for clouds, fire, water…many of the same ideas. Falk and his team try to twist these ideas so that everything doesn’t end up looking alike.

The team uses After Effect and custom engines to build their work. It can be done from anywhere in the world, as long as there’s descent internet, and the company has a render farm in Hamburg and an office in Los Angeles.

Thanks for the beautiful work Gravity!!

 

Enjoy the show!

 

May 11

Congratulations to our next 10 finalists:

SF2winners

Austria, Romania, Netherlands, Hungary, Denmark, Croatia, Norway, Belarus, Bulgaria and Israel! Great job! Our final is now complete!

 

7marynakalashnykova sadams

Although, clearly Nicole thinks SHE deserves the crystal microphone...... Sorry girl, you have to sing first to stand a chance!

 

7marynakalashnykova sadams

Here's me, Anders and Angry up at front of house during broadcast making sure everyone is behaving! The broadcast of Semi Final 2 went flawless.

 

7marynakalashnykova sadams

Markku has still plenty of gas on hand! He will need it for the three grand final dress rehearsals and the broadcast.

 

7marynakalashnykova sadams

And speaking of crazy Finns.....welcome Riku Kauppinen from MA Lighting! Oooh....my liver hurts already! Why do you insist on punishing my liver? WHY???

 

7marynakalashnykova sadams

Me and Eric Schumacher's being super calm minutes before broadcast.

 

5hence stuart

Hence and Stuart preparing for broadcast.

 

7marynakalashnykova sadams

Just another lovely moment in fantastic stage lighting..... If you ever wondered how 350 Elation Paladin Strobes looks like on all at once!

 

7marynakalashnykova sadams

Hall 1 has turned out to a massive success. The delegations and press are just so happy to have everything under one roof. I dare to say that this is the best solutions so far. My lovely girls Sarah Adams and Maryna Kalashnykova posing in the delegation bubble! Thank you so much for keeping everyone happy in there!

 

Finally, here is the PRG backstage movie they've made about this production! Click on the smiling clown below!

 

 Why do you need a driver's license to buy liquor when you can't drink and drive?

 

So many questions...........

 

 

May 10

Hejsan hejsan! Well here we go again! At this very moment we're broadcasting Semi Final 2 whoop whoop!

Joan was supposed to do a sound report today but some last minute things clashed so instead we'll do something else!

9fans

First of all Roman Keryk has lost his kickbike and it was last seen being ridden by a mysterious rider. There are wanted signs posted all over the venue. Please tell Roman if you have seen it!

 

And now let's go real-time outside to see all the fans that are coming tonight! These people are the lifeblood of this show! We love you all!

9fans

9fans

9fans

9fans

9fans

9fans

9fans

This one is my favorite - we got the Russian ladies and Jedward together in the beer line!

 

Hope you're watching! Goodnight!

 

 

May 9

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!


bullenaward 

CONGRATULATIONS!
 
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:

0winners

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………

 

bitterballen

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.

 

bitterballen

Here's Avo Kokmann, Technical Manager OB, who you've met in Eurovisions before.

 

bitterballen

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.

 

bitterballen

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.

 

bitterballen

Here is just outside the door where Ladislaus stores his cigar!

 

bitterballen

Here is the EBU switch – the heart of the production. From this container we have contact with all the TV stations in Europe.

 

bitterballen

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!

 

bitterballen

Here’s the NEP container. NEP supplied all of the OB trucks and equipment.

 

bitterballen

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.

 

bitterballen

This is Jens Invall, Technical Supervisor from NEP, enjoying a nice salad!

 

bitterballen

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!

 

bitterballen

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!

 

 

bitterballen

And what better way to celebrate a succesful third dress rehearsal than with bitterballen! So....happy..... Thank you Team Unbranded!

 

 

 

May 8

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!

ste

For the first time ever, three men will host the Eurovision Song Contest; give it up for Oleksandr Skichko, Volodymyr Ostapchuk and Timur Miroshnychenko.

 

ste

Of course I have to show Sweden again......I know we're gonna win.

 

ste

Although Australia is dangerous - great song with great graphics.

 

ste

Belgium looking good!

 

ste

Gotta love this - Montenegro brings the full Eurovision glory!

 

ste

Finland's Blackbird - beautiful lighting on this.

 

ste

And keep an eye on Azerbaijan!

 

ste

Greece is a feel good song. :)

 

ste

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!

 

ste

Welcome Ralph Larmann! Taking a picture of him is like painting a portrait of Van Gogh! He'll get epic photos of course!

 

ste

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!

 

More Articles ...

Ola Melzig

  • Europe  +46 704 104 343
  • US +1 719 466 1785
  • ola {at} m-m-pr.com

Contact us

Joan Lyman Melzig

  • Europe  +46 708 204 767
  • US +1 719 466 1784
  • joan {at} m-m-pr.com