Tag Archives: eurovision

Big Chat and How To Win Eurovision

2013 has certainly been an interesting year so far. I have had three Assistant Producer broadcast credits; Comic Relief’s Big Chat with Graham Norton, How To Win Eurovision and Eurovision 2013 The Semi Finals.  

Things that I have learnt whilst being a linear AP (that means an AP that works on the TV show and not just on the website):

  • Always have a pen (or about 10)
  • Never underestimate the power of a smile
  • Coffee can be your best friend and worst enemy at the same time
  • Taking a Tupperware to a foreign location might seem stupid at first, but actually with some clever hotel breakfast material you can make a scrummy sandwich for lunch AND save money!
  • Headaches are a way of your body telling you, you’ve had too much coffee


Comic Relief’s Big Chat with Graham Norton

This production was generally about me working as a cross platform Assistant Producer again. In the build up to the show I would work with the Edit Producer to make the hilarious VTs (which were dropped in the end for timing reasons). I filmed using a Canon 305 at various locations, from the glamorous red carpet in the ice cold rain (always bring a coat!), to the super hot basement dressing rooms of Television Centre (R.I.P.). A few of the locations also allowed me to use a bit of lighting which was just to basic 3-light interview setup.

On the night of the live show I was located in the gallery pulling in comments from the audience and posting them on Graham’s big wall. It was the first time I had used Chyron to actually control the graphics. In layman’s terms, when Graham needed a new question, it was my finger that pushed the button to make it appear on TV. Funny how a button can shrink to the size of a pinhead when you’re nervous! Still, my finger may have been quivering like a reed in the wind but to everyone out there, it went seamlessly.

How To Win Eurovision

Turns out, there are a LOT of Eurovision performances!At this moment in time, you need a fact or stat about Eurovision then you just ask me and if I can’t recall it from the lists we wrote, then I will dam well know where to find the information at lightening speed.For example, did you know that if you perform a love song, in the UK, and you’re a solo female artist dressed in ‘other colours’ then you’re totally going to win the Song Contest! It’s that scientifically easy!As you’ve probably guessed I was part of the archive team who found clips and came up with great lists of examples. My personal top 5  favourite finds from this production were:

  1. The orchestral saxophone player in the 1991 Greek entry (go to 1.13 in the video below)
  2. Latvia from 2000 with his great dancing left leg with a mind of its own. Then the dancing towards the middle of the song is priceless
  3. Carola’s backing dancers in her 1991 winning song
  4. Watch the backing singer from the 1997 Bosnia and Herz entry. She doesn’t play her saxophone or keyboard throughout the whole song! Now that’s some mind powered skills
  5. And finally, another Saxophone example just because they’re so funny. Here’s a multi-sounding saxophone – you know, those great instruments that start to sound like a guitar after a while. Miming skills to rival Cheryl Cole’s ‘Call My Name’ performance.

So that’s what I have been up to. I’m currently clipping up the moments from Eurovision 2013 so check out those super soon.

Also on the 18th June I shall be presenting at the BECTU Freelance Fair so pop along to that if you can. It’s the ‘Marketing Yourself’ session from 10am. See here for more information.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are that of my own and not my employer.

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Eurovision 2010 Final vlog

During the Eurovision 2010 Final, I kept a short vlog about what goes in to making a website for a live show.

And here it is……..

The views and opinions expressed in this article and video are that of my own and not my employer.


Eurovision has taken over my life!

Well, the official countdown to the Eurovision has begun. This time next week we’ll know who the 25 finalists are.

On Wednesday morning we filmed a brief challenge with Josh Dubovie during his rehearsals. He had to guess whether the songs he heard were winners or whether they scored nil points.

You can see how well he did on the Eurovision website.

Meanwhile, the linear team set off for Oslo on Thursday afternoon. Travelling by coach and ferry to avoid any disruption from strikes or ash clouds, they will arrive at their destination in the early hours of Saturday morning.

With the Senior Content Producer heading out to Oslo on Sunday with BA (hopefully!), it’ll mean I have a week of looking after the website. I’m really excited as it means I can get stuck into a bit of HTML, photoshop and publishing again.

Whenever I do anything like that, it reminds me of being in a spy film. You know those scenes I’m talking about. When the character is typing furiously on their laptops to ‘hack’ into a system of somekind. What can I say, it helps make the day go quicker.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are that of my own and not my employer.

It’s the time for competition…

I have recently been lucky enough to be sent information about a few competitions that are taking place.

The first is the Twitter Contest being ran by the Met Film School.

Basically, you have to follow MetFilmSchool on Twitter and pitch them your idea in one single tweet! Then one winner will be rewarded with a free place on their Introduction to Screenwriting course!

What a fantastic way to use Twitter for an online competition. It’s great to see the different ways in which people are using Social Networking to reach a larger audience.

Also, the prize is fantastic and would really help anyone who took part in the Scriptwriting Frenzy!

Please note, the deadline is 18th May so get those thinking caps on!

The second challenge I have my eye on at the moment is the one ran by Framepool/LBBOnline/Fireflies. For this, you have to make a piece of work showing the meaning of the word ‘courage’. It can be from 30 seconds to 3 minutes in length and the winner will be the first to win this annual award!

Please note, the deadline is 20th May for this challenge.

It certainly appears that with the summer coming soon, the competitions are certainly surfacing.

In other news, I am busy editing together the Hero VT for our UK Eurovision hopeful. The video will be published the week before the live final.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are that of my own and not my employer.

Sunday… Filming in London

After the initial gridlock we encountered trying to leave London, filming actually went very well.

On Saturday, whilst traveling back to London, I had sent and arranged for contributor consent and location agreement forms to be signed before we began filming.

It’s incredible what actually goes in to filming. I sometimes forget that it’s not a case of turning up at a location, sticking the camera in someone’s face, and then leaving.

On Sunday night, we then went to film at the Eurovision Preview Party at The Shadow Lounge.

The worst part about this filming was not having another room to conduct the interviews in. When originally told about this filming, we were led to believe we had a separate VIP area but on arriving, the separate room was unavailable. This meant some very crafty microphone work had to be done.

I’m praying that the audio won’t be as bad as I thought. I’ll have to put the transcript up though for multiplatform accessibility reasons.

Tomorrow I shall begin editing together the footage shot on Thursday night, which seems like an age ago!

Sorry I have no pictures of my expedition, but I shall promise to take more in future

The views and opinions expressed in this article are that of my own and not my employer.

Daddy or Chips?

It’s a question that we ask ourselves at some point in our lives. Well maybe not. But it’s a question that we asked Josh, this years UK hopefully for Eurovision.

Today I have been editing together the clip.

Using keyframes and Photoshop, I’ve decided to scroll the either / or questions along the bottom and Josh answers them.

The problem I found at first was that you could clearly hear my voice, despite my position behind the directional mic. I think I’ve just got one of those travelling voices.

Anyway, you can relax as I simply went back to the location and filmed wild track. Usually I film wild track at every location, but with this one being right outside I didn’t think it was necessary. Typical that I would need it this time! Thankfully the weather hasn’t changed in London for three weeks.

Now, I am just about to mix the audio tracks together and hopefully the edit will be up on Monday morning!

The views and opinions expressed in this article are that of my own and not my employer.

Sunshine and Pens

Temperatures are expected to reach 17C this weekend. With that in mind, it’s time to take the scriptwriting on the road!

Well, when I say on the road, I mean to the park.

I’m 13 pages in to my Scriptwriting Frenzy.  I should be writing about 3.3 pages per day in order to meet the 100 page quota for the deadline. Certainly won’t be doing the College trick and leaving it until the night before!

In other news, the recce went really well and I was able to make contact with the people running the Eurovision event.

Took a few stills and have worked out where to do any filming; the venue is a pub and so noise was instantly a real issue.

From my experience when I filmed in a Playgroup for Children in Need, I shall be using a clip mic on any contributors and make sure their backs are to the crowd. It worked really well for me with the Tess Daly video

One last thing. A huge thank you for the link on The Manchizzle website! Make sure you keep up to date with all the Manchester based blogs by visiting this site.

Meanwhile, you can keep up to date with my weekend adventures with my Twitter account.

The opinions and views expressed in this article are that of my own and not my employer.