A look in the directors booth of Eurovision: “Camera 5 broke during the broadcast of semi final 1”

Marnix Kaart, the director of Eurovision 2021

During the first semi final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2021, there was a major issue with one of the cameras. It caused some stress in the directors boot, where to had to act fast and improvise to use other camera shots for several performances.

“It’s quiet in here, I don’t tell a lot or do a lot. I’m looking if every camera is doing their job,” tells director Marnix Kaart in his directors booth. It’s a huge car with tons of equipment to switch between cameras and decide which camera shot is used of which moment during the show. “It’s the heart and soul of the Eurovision Song Contest.”

Of course Eurovision is not a show made up with a lot of improvisation. During the rehearsal weeks, at first with stand-ins, many camera shots are already programmed in a so-called ‘cue-pilot’.

“All the songs are scripted before the rehearsals start. The during the rehearsal week, the delegations give some commands for what they want to change. All delegations expect us to work on the edge, but in the end I make the call.”

Camera issues during semi final 1 of Eurovision 2021

“We had a big failure with one of the cameras, which totally broke down during the live show,” tells Kaart. It was a very stressful for him and his team. “These things can happen, a technical failure is out of your hands. But it came at the worst possible moment. We had to decide we couldn’t fix the camera. So I checked in our cue-pilot which other acts also used that camera. Then we had to change the cameras during the live show, to another camera.”