EUROVISION.TV REPORTS / SWEDEN – One of the key roles in the creation of the Eurovision Song Contest is that of the Contest Producer. This year is the fifth time that Christer Björkman has occupied the role, making him the most experienced Contest Producer in Eurovision history. He took time out of his hectic schedule to talk about what the role involves and how to go about creating a great audio-visual show like the Eurovision Song Contest.
“Actually, the difficult part is to arrange the order of the two Semi-Finals because at that point I just got to know the songs really, and that’s why I really have to bang these songs into my system to get the melodies in. By Thursday night, I know every song inside out, every phrase in them so by that point it comes very naturally. I also get 10 on the Tuesday already so I already have a spread of songs and I have the Big 5, so I have more than half to play with already”.
“Then what happens on the Thursday night is I go straight to my office after the show. Jon Ola Sand comes along and this year I also think that the show producer Yuval Cohen will join us. I use big shiny post-its because I love that, I can put them on the wall and play around with them. I sing the songs in my head and look at the colours, the props they have, what the acts look like. Then I start banging ideas about, and playing with orders. I think how does that song sound after that one, ‘what is needed after this one to make it interesting for the viewer?'”.
“Then I usually find a situation where two songs fill the same function for the purposes of a television show. Then, if I have any variations possible, I’ll turn to Jon Ola and say ‘alright, what do you think about this, this is my proposal’. Either he agrees with me or he has another opinion. So then I’ll move it around and say how about this, and we’ll say that works better sometimes, or I might argue my case and say why it doesn’t work as well. We both know that as long as I have a good argument to support my gut instinct, he’ll say ‘OK, I’ll buy that’ until we get to exactly how we think the final should look”.
“It’s very much based on facts because we have the colours, we have the props, we have the tempo, we have the energy but of course in the end, it’s a feeling as well”.