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How It’s Made Part Six: Lighting design

09 July 2017 at 09:00 CEST
Technical picture Andres Putting
Several aspects make a great performance: props, outfits, the artist, the song, camera work and lighting. In the sixth part of How It’s Made, we spoke to Jerry Appelt, the lighting designer of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest.

When caught up with Jerry in Kyiv, whilst the production team were in the midst of the second round of rehearsals. Busy days you would say, but Jerry’s work was mostly done already: "During the shows we have to make sure that everything goes right. The lighting has been recorded on a time code, but we still have to oversee this. The show itself is quite relaxed, and most of the work is done prior to the transmission." 

Step-by-step evolution

What happens prior to the show? According to Jerry, the work starts right after the Head of Delegation meeting in March. "We get a lot of information from the delegations like storyboards and visual moodboards. With all these ingredients we try to find a way to support the delegations in the best possible way, while finding our own visual language that fits to the design," he explained.

The arrangements for lighting can be seen as an evolutionary process. "After receiving the information we program the lighting design, we have the famous stand-in rehearsals and we then send this footage to the delegations." From there, we get to work on adjustments during the actual rehearsals and the tweaks continue right up until the first Semi-Final." 

Pros and cons

Jerry loves his job, but there were also some challenges along the way. "You have to get every crew member in line so that they know what they have to do. We also have to make the delegations happy and support them in the best possible way." 

All the effort pays off during the shows according to Jerry. "First you have how it looks only in your mind, then you have it on a plot and then you pre-program it in the virtual environment. When everything is set up and comes to life, that is the best feeling."