April 5

Hejsan Hejsan and welcome back to our world!  For all you new readers, here is how it works: We are doing daily updates of the production, but the updates have a 24 hour delay, since that is the only way we can admin this.
So, if my calendar is correct, today it is April 05, which means that we will cover April 04 today. Clear?

Here we go!

 

webloadin

Altice Arena, our home for the next couple of weeks, has a permanantly installed mothergrid. But it was hanging at 20 meters height, so we have rehung it on motors, and will deadhang it on 25 meters height instead. Because we can! At the latest count, we had installed over 150 load cells to do this.............

 

webloadin

Our first day of load in came with sunny and warm weather. Even though we spend almost a year planning this event, there are always major glitches on the first day of production. But we were actually spared from those yesterday. Lets hope that continues!
All trucks are unloaded, brought into a security tent and checked before they are allowed to enter our security parameter. Safety first!

 

webloadin

Our venue was completed for the Expo 98, which happened in........... 1998! It has an amazing wooden wall and roof structure that resembles the hull of a ship. The roof capacity is really good. But with our 220 tonnes of rigged gear, we are very close to maximum capacity, as always. Jerry has put in no less than 262 x GLP JDC-1 strobes in his rig. Since this strobe has a tilt function, they can hit both audience, stage and the ceiling. What does JDC mean? Jack Daniels and Coke of course. I AM NOT KIDDING!

 

webloadin

Speaking of strobes....... Here is something that you have never seen before! Why? Because it's the prototype of a new GLP fixture called KN-V Arc. Is it bright? HELL YES! Jerry came up with the idea for a fixture like this, and GLP was not late to react. It's a modular system that you can build in different shapes and configurations. This unit is built of 8 modules.

 

webloadin

No production is complete without Segways! So I ordered four, just to be on the safe side! We got some golf cars too.

 

webloadin

This is the hall immediately backstage of the main venue. We are putting in a mezzanine floor here at 4 meters height that will cover the entire room. We will build the Delegation Bubble on the top and have supplier work shops and props storage under.

 

webloadin

Erik is still not a fan of tongue kissing in the early mornings...........

 

webloadin

A lot of the infrastructure required in the outside areas are already in place. Here is the combined crew entrance/storage tent on our Stage Right side.

 

webloadin

First thing in the venue is of course the rigging. Needless to say, you need quite a lot of rigging, CyberMotion hoists and truss to hang 220 tonnes of gear. We'll do a proper cover of the rigging of this beast in a week or two!

 

webloadin

We're expecting to bring the mothergrid up to its final height tomorrow afternoon. Once that is done, it's time to hang some lights! A little over 2 000 of them to be a bit more precise!

 

webloadin

Segways- Check! Production Ham- Check! Not bad for a first day in the dream factory!

 

Stay safe, and remember- bad sound kills good music!

Meu alce escapou, você pode ligar para a embaixada sueca?
 

 

 

April 4

Hejsan Hejsan! If you're just tuning in be sure to read my Welcome Back intro to get you up-to-date. Got it? Good. Let's start with a trip down memory lane, and cover some bits and pieces of the past 9 months!

 

Apr04 37

But let me first send a BIG THANK YOU for the warm welcome I got in this country! They even put my name on their chairs. It's really too kind of them!

 

Apr04 37

My first trip here was already in July. I came down here to meet the RTP team, and of course have some fish! You will notice that we eat quite a lot down here...........

 

Apr04 37

That day also involved a visit to the venue. Red Hot Chili Peppers were kind enough to play the night I was here.

 

Apr04 37

I also decided to pick up an old girlfriend of mine. Sorry, I mean, a girl that is my friend! Melanie Cagnon was my pyro coordinator at the 150 year anniversary of Cinco de Mayo that I did in Mexico a couple of years ago.
Born and raised in Canada, but has been living in Portugal the past 15 years. Find an Executive Head of Production Assitant - CHECK! We ate fish that night by the way..........

 

Apr04 37

If you ever come to Portugal, you HAVE to eat their crispy baby pork! OMG!!!!!!!! Here is Tobias together with our Deputy Executive Producer Carla Bugalho whom was the Head of Delegation for Portugal in Kiev last year, and Diogo Cobral,whom is our Head of Precurement and IMS manager. I almost forgot, Carla is our Show Producer as well!

 

Apr04 37

We started off in an office with a river view at the RTP Headquarters. Well....... I had river view!

 

Apr04 37

But before we knew it, we were out of space - here demonstrated by Diogo, his right hand and left foot, Paulo Cruz and our Deputy Executive Producer Paulo Resende. Paulo is my closest boss, so I have to be nice to him all the time........horrible.........

 

Apr04 37

Anyway, we managed to score gold! We got access to a couple of huge rooms at the Portuguese Pavilion, right next to the venue, and moved in there early 2018.

 

Apr04 37

Besides a great location and great space, it came with a pretty awesome 120 meter long balcony on the second floor. Horrible view huh?

 

Apr04 37

We have great living conditions as well! This is our house, in the middle of the street, or roundabout if you like. We've been staying in apartments here since October last year. 5 minute walk to the river, 12 minute walk to the venue, and a 3 minute walk to the Mojito bar that stays open till 03:00 every night!

 

Apr04 37

This allows us to have very romantic breakfasts at home! Here is Tobias with our Logistics Manager Erik Blomdahl, enjoying an early morning gourmet feast at my place.

 

Apr04 37

But there are days when we are just too lazy to cook in the morning. We found a place on the way to the office where you can pop in and get a breakfast for 2,5€. Here demonstrated by our Head Rigger Johannes Schau and Tobias. People here thought that we are REALLY weird having breakfast outside in February. We thought, 14° = a really nice summer day in Finland!

 

Apr04 37

But why stop there! Going to the beach in early March wasn't that bad either!

 

Apr04 37

There has been a fair amount of travel during pre production. Besides going back and forth to Lisbon, me and Tobias went to London to visit the PLASA show. Besides chasing new toys and having meetings with manufacturers, I also squeezed in hosting the KOI at Apollo!

 

Apr04 37

Next stop was Los Angeles. Meetings, meetings, meetings and then I found a proper star to pass out next to.

 

Apr04 37

I also found a traditional Eurovision cowboy!

 

Apr04 37

Funny enough, it actually took me 13 Eurovision productions before I made it to the EBU headquarters in Geneva!

 

Apr04 37

What better way to spend your wedding anniversary than with the most romantic Lighting Designer in the world? I know, there isn't one! So I went to Bergamo with our LD Jerry Appelt! We did have time to visit Clay Paky too, in between taking romantic selfies!

 

Apr04 37

Next stop - Las Vegas and the LDI show. And wouldn't you know! I found a chair with my name on it here too!

 

Apr04 37

Besides meetings, meetings and meetings, I also had the pleasure to go and see Celine Dion. She is from Canada, just as Melanie, difference is that one of them is working the show, the other one won it! 30 years ago this year, to be precise!

 

Apr04 37

We managed to squeeze in a quick break for Christmas, and then it was back to Portugal for a first production workshop with all our suppliers. Here is our set designer Florian Wieder explaining his creation.

 

Apr04 37

Hard work must be rewarded with good food!

 

Apr04 37

And how on earth can you have a meeting about IT if there is not proper steak and stuff involved? Here with Hapmus Rosenqvist and Axel Ekbladh from TPO.

 

Apr04 37

More crispy baby pork! How else would I celebrate the birthday of my wife, Joan Lyman, who is also Executive Production Assitant, especially since I chose a romantic lighting designer over her on our wedding anniversary? Here with our Executive Producer Joao Nuno Nogueira, or JNN as we call him in the Hip Hop world, Diogo and Melanie!

 

Apr04 37

2018 is the year when we introduce Nutella Pizza to Eurovision! It was a trial and error that turned into a success! The jury consisted of myself, our Viewing Room Director Mattias Carlsson, our Contest Producer Christer Björkman and our Layout Manager Tobias Brodd, also known as the CAD-Muppet.

 

Apr04 37

Next challange was to convince our Stage Directors Martin Kagemark and Marvin Dietmann. It went VERY well.

 

Apr04 37

For reasons unknown to humanity, Mattias has celebrated his birthday around 10 times so far in the project. It started off with Martin Kagemark needing an excuse to order dessert, and then it just rolled on. The staff at various restaurants around town are utterly confused over this behaviour, since quite many of us now are up to multiple birthday celebrations in just a couple of months.

 

Apr04 37

We have three ways to go to the venue from our apartment. If you choose the river walk, you can eat breakfast like a Björkman!

 

Apr04 37

And in the river, there is water, and in water lives lobster, and lobsters are evil, so they must be eaten!

 

Apr04 37

Unless you happen to pass a place that sells crispy baby pork of course!

 

Apr04 37

Here is an old Eurovision veteran re entering the wonderful world of Eurovision after a couple of years in absence! Tarmo Krimm is our Technical Director for broadcast!

 

Apr04 37

Jerry has not given up his hopes for an AAA pass to this show, so he takes every moment to be friendly to Andi Schmitz, who is the Head of Accreditation and Security from EBU.

 

Apr04 37

Here's another veteran back on the job! Matthias Rau returns as Head of Lighting and is also Jerry's Gaffer. Always a pleasure to have you on the team buddy! We are forming a band, and this will be our record cover, just so you know. Well...... at least that was the plan up till Germany kicked Sweden out of the Olympic Hockey tournament. Now I don't like Germans anymore!

 

Apr04 37

In late January, we went to see the test build of one of the total 56 ribs that we have in our set design. The biggest ones are 13 meters tall when erected! We will come back and cover staging, and all other departments later!

 

Apr04 37

I promisse you! I'm almost done with the food postings!

 

Apr04 37

 Ok, last food recomendation for today! You HAVE to try the oysters if you come here! OMG! Salty and fresh, and to die for!

 

Apr04 37

Back to work! At the end of January we had the Allocation Draw, which is where we draw what country will be in which Semi Final.

 

Apr04 37

This is also where the Mayor from last year's host city hands over the honor to host Eurovision to the Mayor for the next city. So why not take a selfie with Vitali Klitschko, Mayor of Kiev, and three time heavyweight world champion in boxing.

 

Apr04 37

And in between all this food and travel, there have of course been countless hours of planning and scheduling to have everything in perfect shape for April 04, our first day of load in! And THAT day is something that we will cover tomorrow!

 

Feeding the donkey sponge cake as they say in Portugal!

 

 Go to next page>>

 

 

 

Welcome Back!

Hello Dear readers!

My name is Ola Melzig, and it’s my true pleasure to invite you to yet another edition to the Eurovision Diary.

It’s an enormous honor to yet again be the Head of Production for this amazing event, and me and my partner in crime, Tobias Åberg, would like to thank RTP for inviting us and for the warm and sincere welcome to the Portuguese Eurovision family.

Tobias and I have been impersonating a pair of rubber balls bouncing between Stockholm and Lisbon for 8 months now, and we have finally reached the destination- the production of the largest music television show on Earth - The Eurovision Song Contest!

This diary will cover our daily lives on site at the venue, and you will be able to follow us through pleasure and pain. Hopefully it will be mostly pleasure!

Old readers will recognize a couple of faces, but overall, this year's production is VERY National! After all, we are here to tell a Portuguese story, and who better to tell it then themselves?

Some of you might frown upon the fact that we have no LED or any other video canvas in our stage this year. It is a very bold creative statement, and one that every single member of this production is enormously proud over.

We have hired a few international crew members for some key positions. We did this because they sit on specific knowledge and experience. There are some wheels that don't need reinventing. The mix of all these nationalities combined with the attitude from the national professionals has generated a very creative atmosphere with the best working conditions that you could imagine.

We do think that diversity is a strength, and you will see it not only in our team, that has more than 10 nationalities represented, but also in the mix of national and international suppliers, adding another 6 nationalities to the mix.

We would also like to thank all of you delegations, that immediately embraced our creative statement of not implementing any type of video on the set this year. It has triggered their creativity in a way that we haven’t seen in many years.

As a viewer, you are in for a hell of a ride!

The past 8 months of this event has been an amazing joyride, and we are sure the thrill and the excitement within our team will stay with us all the way to the end.

Lets take a quick look at what has been going on for the past 8 months shall we?

Go to next page>>

 

Logo MM Pr 90x35

 

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