A Swede who lives in Finland and who is lost in Euroland - the wonderful world of Eurovision
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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The director is in power

This year's Eurovision is slowly sinking in - there are so many aspects to analyse and get your head around. The result is of course the first thing that stands out for everyone but then there are all the tiny details that lead up to the result.

One of the things that stood out for me already after the first semi final was the camera work.

Camera work is one of the vital things in the sense that it is something the average tv-viewer is unaware of but that can still make or break an entry.

A show where people perform music must be melodic, follow the rhythm, follow the flow of the performance. Disturbingly often the Copenhagen director did something else. The images went against the flow instead of with it.

The biggest single problem is that the director was as blown away by the really great stage set the way most other people were. It's just that the director has a lot of power in this contest. Good camera work can get the audience onboard a weaker entry, lousy camera work can make a good entry look bad.

Two countries in particular suffered from this - Israel and Estonia. On-screen their performers looked like strangers, like people dancing somewhere in the distance, like those people in a party that you never really connect with or warm to. The camera never allows the viewer to establish eye contact with either Mei nor Tanja and three minutes later you don't feel like you ever really saw them during their performance.

Maybe their songs were not strong enough to hit home with the audience in the first place, but the director really did nothing to help them along either. The director has a lot of power and not every delegation has an eye out for things like these.

Maybe it would be time the EBU would appoint a second set of eyes to co-operate with the local director, who could put the foot down if the quality of the camera work starts to differ too much between the entries. This is television, you know. Images are important.


  1. The dutch delegation had hired a special director to "sculpt" a fitting camera shot list around the act. When you have 36 countries to look after, some countries will get less attention. But all that couldn't have had less of an impact had the stage not been THAT unbelievably humongous. Just keeping the same design, but around 20% smaller had been just as effective, and much easier to use as an stage. If you only allow six people on stage, no need to make room for sixty.

  2. I totally agree with you… the direction of the camera shots was really off for Israel for some reason. Way too many long shots and very messy on tv for such a slick stage performance.