April 24

Yo!

So, besides blaming stuff on each other, things are still going amazingly well here at the Telenor Arena.

We have unloaded 27 trucks of lighting and rigging now, and we have also started to bring back empty cases too. Hang on, I think I need to take one step back, so you'll understand what I'm talking about.....

PRG has the contract for lighting, video and rigging. They've teamed up with Frontlite , a Norwegian company here in Oslo, who also are supplying some gear and crew for the show.

So, going back to the cases! Since there is no storage space available at the venue, all empty cases are transported back to, and stored at Frontlite's warehouse.

 

 

There it is! The first part of the mothergrid! There's actually three in total. One above the stage, and two out over the audience.

 

Chris and Spooner enjoying the wonderful weather we had today, with sun and 15 dgr C.

 

 

Bad Boys with a Bad Boy. BJ and Lars spending the days with rigging some lights...........

 

Ok, I have to honest....... I hate hard hats! And I have a large book of stupid excuses not to wear one. I know, I should be a good example, but I look STUPID in it, it's not comfortable, and it messes up my hair. ( I just realized that I sound like a girl.......) Anyway, we DO have a very strict policy here, and we shall, and at all times, when there is work going on in the roof, it's hard hat ON!

Our health and safety manager Tove has caught me, on the arena floor, without a helmet, four times now. I know...... I should be ashemed!

SAFETY FIRST!

 

But, lesson is learned, and I can now walk the venue floor, hitting as many objects hanging down from the roof as I want, and everybody is happy!

 

First lights on! We stroke the outer horse shoe truss today (who came up with that stupid name by the way???) And the Mac 2K Washes  came to life!

 

Visual Act is back in da house! This year, they provide the 2-D cam that runs off a 120-meter long truss that goes along the center line through pretty much the entire arena. This means that ALL trusses left and right of this need to separated, with a 120 cm safety gap, to stay clear of the camera dolly.

 

I'm sure you remember these two guys from last year! Ralph and Olaf are managing the night shift for lights and rigging.

 

And maybe, just maybe, you will recognize this colourfull creature as well. I don't know what happened to Kai after Moscow, but there is just SO MUCH more colour to the guy these days. I'm sorry Kai, but it feels like it is my duty to tell you that your vest is REALLY gay! And don't get me started on your bike..........Cool

 

Stay tuned, becuase there are more PINK things below!

 

 

 

I'm sure you are familiar with the many reports from me about crap catering over the years. Catering is a very important part of a production, if not the most important. If there is someone greeting you with a smile, serving you decent food, with a good variation, you can put up with A LOT of crap out on the venue floor. For some reasons, this has always been a HUGE problem in all the Eurovision Productions that I've been involved with since 2000, lowering the mood of the entire production crew, and forcing us to leave the venue to eat elsewhere, losing valuable production time as a result. And it's really the small details that make the BIG difference. Keep in mind, there are lot of us that are on site for 40-50 days, imagine eating every meal during this time, on a paper plate, with plastic knives and forks, I can tell you, that's no joy ride! And I can guarantee you that serving food on real plates, and providing real cutlery does NOT cost more to wash than buying paper and plastic ones! Another key is variation. Imagine yourself eating lobster and steak, for lunch and dinner during 6-7 weeks. I promise you, you'll HATE already day 4!

This year, there is FINALLY a change, and I'm so grateful for NRK recognizing this, and making sure that the production team needs were looked after.

I choose to quote our producer Hasse Lindmo: This is NOT rocket science!

 

I sent out Joan to have a coffee with Mona, and here is her report.

So, all you future host broadcasters for this show, read and learn!  Smile

 

 

 

Hi everyone, Joan here!

Our catering this year is done by Stunt Squad (www.stuntsquad.no) and there's a good reason why it's done right. The owner of the company is the colorful Mona Halvorsen (pictured above), a veteran of the lighting & staging  industry for nearly 20 years. She started out in rigging, stage building and crew boss at some of the bigger venues in Norway. After tiring of being crew boss, she started her own rigging company working on film sets, special events, and corporate events. The day came when she got sick and tired of bad food. For example, there was a party and the theme was Spain. She set up patios and palm trees and expected a tapas buffet, then the catering shows up with Mexican food. She said, "What part of the meeting did you not understand?"

 

 

All you can eat!

 

Stunt Squad started out catering for commercial films, music videos, big fashion shows, then word spread and the production companies started calling. They now do mostly a lot of film and television sets in Norway though they occasionally travel. "The trick is finding the good suppliers that have the good ingredients and fresh veggies and call me when they're out of something so you don't show up and get a surprise that you only got half of what you ordered," she says.

 

Fantastic coffee, cappucino, espresso - like a Norwegian Starbucks!

 

Ola says it's already better than all other catering he's ever had for Eurovision, and we're still in the temporary phase. Every day there's something new added and Mona said there's much more to come. They're expanding into the rest of the tent that will be the press area and they'll prepare and sell food for the 2000+ journalists that will be here in a few weeks.

 

 

Real plates! Real forks! Real knives!

 

But the best part is that it's all made here from scratch. That includes fresh bread, homemade salad dressing, salsa, fresh burgers, burger buns, even sausage (no "strange" parts in the sausage), no artificial ingredients -- what Mona likes to call "Royal Junk" -- in other words, the typical junk food that we all love to eat, but done with the highest standards. Stunt Squad's motto is "Slow food for fast people". I love it!

 

Friendly faces!

 

The daily menus are posted so we know in advance what we're having. We have a huge outdoor seating area to eat when the weather is nice. They take credit cards (if you want to buy a beer after your shift). They offer vegetarian, Kosher, even Muslim choices. Mona and her crew get to know us and find out what we like to eat or if anyone is on low carb or hates a certain vegetable. They put out condiments like sweet chili garlic sauce, balsamic glaze and chili oil. Best of all, the crew is so friendly and they all go out of their way to make sure we're happy.

For the first time in Eurovision, we look forward to going to catering. Thanks Stunt Squad!

 

Now back to you, Ola......

 

Well, thank you Joan, but I have really nothing to add besides:

 

Norwegian word of today: GRISE SVAERT = PIG BIG

 

 

 

 

 

Contact Ola Melzig

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

Contact Joan Lyman Melzig

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