April 20

Hejsan Hejsan! Big day today! Congratulations to our production photographer Ralph Larmann, Kirsten Weltzin who was one of the set designers for Eurovision 2010, Pelle Möller who was the accreditation manager for Eurovision 2013 & 2016 and Björn Fors, one of our lighting tech's for Eurovision 2016. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! You are ALL ROCK STARS!

 

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Welcome to the followspot world! This year we are using the ROBE RoboSpot system. We have 17 systems controlling a total of 24 fixtures since some of the systems has a switch.

 

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This is the operators view when running their spots.

 

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Say HELLO to some of our 351 MagicPanel FX's! Our wall of death is almost completed. I'll try to snap a picture from the front this weekend so you will see it in all its awesomeness!

 

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Our 50 meter curtain track is in place now. It's the home for our 45 meter long and 15 meter tall scrim that can be brought in and out in front of the wall of death.

 

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Christer B Jörkman had an idea to have people coming out of the hole under the lift in one song. I took this picture to support my NO freaking way answer.

 

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Both bridges are in place as well. I know this might come as a shock, but Jerry will hang lights under them, and put lights on top of them too.......

 

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The camera rail in front of the outer catwalk is in place.

 

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There is an amazing depth in this stage.

 

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SR ramp coming into place as well.

 

Today's clip takes us back to 2016 and my home town Stockholm!
This might be the coolest thing that has ever been recorded live, EVER. There are 50 camera shots BEFORE the first chorus. The camera work and editing is better than most music videos I've seen, and this is LIVE TV. Absolutely insane! The fact that Iveta is hot as shit doesn't make it worse.............
Directed by Robin Hofwander and lit by Fredrik Jönsson. You guys...............!

 

April 19

Hejsan Hejsan and welcome to sunny Portugal!

 

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The guide tracks for the rib counterweight towers came into place today, which means that we could build up our last dimmer city, the one feeding all our floor lights and the wall of death.

 

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This means that we could place the counterweight towers as well. I can not wait to see these ribs in action!

 

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Our small modes bridges on SR and SL are also completed now. These ribs are smaller than the center ones, so they will have a different automation solution, since they don't need any counterweight towers. But it will still be done with Cyberhoist II hoists.

 

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So the complete install of the ribs looks like this. Pretty cool huh?

 

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And here it is, the Cyberhoist operator area on SR. We will put pyro here as well. Monitor is on the opposite side.

 

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Say HELLO to Antonio Antunes, Pedro Mesquita, Joao Fontinha and Sergio Vilela from ESMAE (Escola Superior Musica Artes e Espectaculos).
I met the Principal for ESMAE at the PLASA Show in London last fall. He told me that he had some students that would really benefit from an internship in our production.
So, I set it up with the HR department at RTP, and they are here working with Ruud and his lighting team the whole week! Awesome!

 

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And, according to the new rule in this production, you are not allowed to come and visit the production office without getting a picture taken with my official Eurovision cow.

 

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But wait! There is more! We have a flying version as well! With high vis wings! Safety first! Here hovering over our Head of Sound, Daniel Bekerman!
Daniel's mother claims that he is the best man in the world! I don't agree to 100%, but she is not completely wrong, he is pretty awesome!

 

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First telescopic crane came in today! We have a 45' Moviebird crane on SL, and a 52' Moviebird on SR. At one point, the directors asked for a 100' crane. I told them to F off............

 

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Alexander and the team from Opertec getting ready to install the custom made rail that goes into our stage.

 

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 Here is a forest of chains, steels and shackles for all you rigging pervs!

 

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Charlie Gustavsson and Amber Etra from Vari*Lite came by for a visit yesterday! Here they are, plus half of my nose, up in Jerry's cozy couch at FOH. Lovely people, lovely products!

 

Today's walk down memory lane takes us to Istanbul and the year 2004. The back of the set was made with a huge black back projection screen, and the resulotion was 8 x Full HD. Today that is a no brainer, but back in 2004, it was a completely diffent ballgame. Just as yesterday's clip, it's directed by Sven Stojanovic and the lighting design was done by Per Sundin. He did the lighting design for the clip from 2005 from yesterday as well, but I completely forgot to mention that! Shame on me!

The sharks in the background created a big fuzz. Even the cleaing ladies had an opinion about this. Most of the producers hated this content, because sharks are not nice animals, but the band thought they looked bad ass, and the band opinion won the battle.

 

See you tomorrow!

April 18

Hejsan Hejsan, and welcome to yet another sunny and warm day in Lisbon. If you've never been, please come here! It's an amazing city, filled to the rim with amazing people! We REALLY enjoy it here, and I would like to say THANK YOU to our hosts for taking such good care of us. Really- you are ALL ROCKSTARS!

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This morning started off a little on the gray side, but the sun was up by 09:30. First thing for today was to fill the OB compound with stuff. The office containers for the EBU switch, MCR, Voting, Graphics and other fun stuff has been in place for 10 days already.

 

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Say HELLO to Videohouse from Belgium! They are supplying the OB trucks and cameras this year. My first time working with them, but I enjoy it already!

 

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Tobias is the more polite version of Head of Production, so he came to say a proper hello. He even took his helmet off to greet Ief de Jong.

 

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The rude Head of Production showed up minutes later, demanding Belgian Beer and Chocolate........... Ief asked me to leave his compound........ I refused........... because I can............

 

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Say HELLO to some of the Videohouse crew! They got some cable to run, so better get started!

 

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We have a National Layout Manager, sorry, I mean CAD Muppet working with Tobias Brodd! Say HELLO to Goncalo Salguiro. He brought a new addition to our daily bitterballen party that happens around 16:00 in our office every day.

 

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Snails in garlic and herbs. SO GOOD! Thanks buddy!

 

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Flashlight was EXTREMELY upset that Powershop got bitterballens before them. We fixed that problem today. And this weekend we should compensate further with firing up the smoker!

 

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FAMILY IN TOWN! Say HELLO to my beloved son, Kim Melzig, and his girlfriend Sara Johansson! They decided to come and check out what daddy is doing, and do some proper shopping while being here.

 

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And, then it happened! First lights were turned on yesterday when Jerry and his team started the onsite programming!

 

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We are far from done, but you can already now tell that this will look AMAZING. Very exciting! Can't wait to see this in camera!

 

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I'm not sure what to say here? Joan? Tobias? Jerry? Anyone?

 

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We had a small oups with the first carpet that was delivered for Greenroom. It was.......... how should I say this........... babypoop blue? Does that paint a picture? Oh well, we got new carpet yesterday, that matches our design book a bit better. The other carpet will be used somewhere else. But I can't tell you without killing you, and we can't have that!

 

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Most camera risers are inside the venue now, waiting for be built and positioned. There is a bet going on about how many times our multi camera directors will move these, and lift or lower the height of them, before they are happy.
My bet is on 7 times................

 

Today's clip takes us back to Kiev in 2005. It's one of my favorite camera works EVER, directed be the genius and dear friend Sven Stojanovic. Mind you, this was years before we started to use timecode for lighting and que pilot for camera. Old school and awesome!

And another one just for fun...... How can you beat a cow flying in slow motion? Very therapeutic!

See you tomorrow!

 

April 17

Hejsan Hoppsan and Hejsan! The sun is shining, we are doing awesome and I hope the same for you dear readers! I thought about something really clever to write as an opening line for today's update, but I completely forgot it, so I guess you have to live your lives without those words of wisdom.......... Here we go with April 17!

 

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The spheres came into position on time, the lightboxes are working well, and all is happy as a pig in poo regarding this part of the stage. Thank you stage and rigging team for sorting this out!

 

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OperTec is finalizing the rigging of their 2-D camera. We'll do a first test with it tomorrow morning!

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And you will find their winch farm behind lighting FOH. I guess this hot dog stand will not do that great during this show........

 

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Second camera is also in da house. This 21 meter crane is located in the far back, right next to the Green Room.

 

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And here she is! The stage for Eurovision Song Contest 2018! We will call her Hilda! Why? Why not?

 

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We have a total of 22 different fixture types in this show. Say hello to some of our 68 Vari*Lite WashBeams!

 

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Here he is! The most romantic Lighting Designer in the world, in his kingdom! Jerry Appelt and his operators moved into their FOH today. Tomorrow we kill house lights at 18:00, so they can start some proper programming.

 

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Security guy: "You are freaking crazy! What the hell did you just build?????"

 

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Me: "A small modest bridge to support the outer ribs on SL and SR. What's the big deal?"

 

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Time for the daily fill up in the generator compound.

 

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Say HELLO to two of the most important people in our show: Pedro Miguel and Paula Macedo are our Multi Camera Directors for our three broadcasts!

 

Video of the day...... Loved this performance, and of course, check out the steadi cam run that starts at 2:17 into the song!

Here's how that camera shot was done!

 

April 16

WE HAVE SUN! WE HAVE SUN! WE HAVE SUN! WE HAVE SUN! WE HAVE SUN! WE HAVE SUN! WE HAVE SUN! WE HAVE SUN!

Besides that, here is today's update!

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Say HELLO to our Senior Multi Camera Director Troels Lund from Denmark, next to my cow. This is Troels third Eurovision - welcome back buddy! Good to have you here!

 

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No office is complete without a visitor's couch! And when you don't have any visitors, you can use it yourself! Anything else would be rude - to the couch!

 

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But quite often is occupied by someone else. I guess that fulfills the original purpose..........

 

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Downstairs, the lifts from WII creation was installed into the stage today. Can't tell you what they are for, but I can assure you it will be awesome!

 

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At the other end of the venue, Hans is running video cables left and right! He has not stopped by my desk with chocolate for days. This might be a breach of his contract!

 

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And Robert got stuck inside the lift install. Tragedy. He even got his hands dirty!

 

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Back in the office, it was time for the traditional 16:00 bitterballen party. This time with critical inspection from The Powershop!

 

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They had to make sure that we were cooking them right, and that they had the proper temperature when served. It was quite an operation.

 

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But Wouter Hallaert and his team was happy with the test results, and our bitterballen are officially approved by Powershop! Thank God! I was really nervous............

 

Here is todays favorite pick from the past!

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Ola Melzig

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Joan Lyman Melzig

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