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How It's Made: Eurovision through the lens

02 July 2017 at 09:45 CEST
Stage and Technical stuff Thomas Hanses
Around 64,000 people attended all the shows of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv, but there were also some 200 million people watching the Grand Final around the world. In the fifth part of How It’s Made, caught up with the 2017 multi-camera director Troels Lund to find out what it takes to create the Eurovision Song Contest.

The Eurovision Song Contest is one of the most sophisticated examples of live television and features some of the highest production values in modern broadcasting. We spoke to Troels Lund who was the multi-camera director in Kyiv to find out more about his work and the challenges with producing three spectacular live shows. 

Here comes the science bit

When it comes to arranging camera angles for 42 acts, each with their own specific requests, there are many challenges and technology can certainly help. "We use a cue pilot, a computer system that controls the vision mixer," explained Troels. "We can program all the shots, the camera movements and the scripts. It is run by a time code and we can control it from our computer,” he added. Whilst technology can help the production to run smoothly, Troels and his team have to be alert at all times, as anything can happen with live television!

Troels explained more about the camera which was actually located inside the lighting rig, the 'bee hive' or 'Swiss knife', as he calls it, which can be seen in the above picture. "It has a lot of rigging parts and LED lights. They can go up and down individually, so every performance will look different, even though you use the same camera system."

Different but the same

The Eurovision Song Contest is an international co-production involving numerous professionals from around the world. Are there any challenges with this? "Yes absolutely but it's also great fun. I get to listen to music all the time. Every country is a challenge, also from the production side,” said Troels who is Denmark. "We have an international team here which means that we have to watch all the videos. For example Germans make videos in very different ways than we do," he added.

Does Troels have any advice for the Portuguese for next year? "You just have to be polite and open-minded. It is all about communication, everybody is trying their best. If you get a good team, and everyone is working really hard, you will get the best result."

If you enjoyed this story, you might want to read more about what goes on inside the viewing room.