The Junior Eurovision Song Contest (JESC) 2008 was transmitted live to a worldwide audience of over 30 million from the Spyros Kyprianou Arena in Limassol, Cyprus. The event was held on November 22. It was transmitted live in high-definition and in Dolby Digital stereo. We used all the latest TV equipment, including 23 HD cameras, the Spidercam 3D motion system, and plungecam (used at the Beijing Olympics).
The mission of the production’s creative team was to create a show that was as impressive as an adult Eurovision Song Content (ESC) on a limited budget. The theme of the show was “Fun in the Sun” on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. The design of the stage, lighting, and video had to express this theme. At the same time, it had to be able to change according to the mood colors and character of the song of each participating country and have impressive scale and depth.
Although an abstract composition, the stage design followed the theme closely. The central circular stage represented the island of Cyprus surrounded by real water, two piers, five sails, and five oars. To represent the suns rays, we used Barco MiStrip over the stage, four beam splitters on either side of the stage, and a total of 800m of color-changing LED strips on the stage floor under translucent Perspex.
Our set background was formed using a 50m x 12m LED star-cloth and 85sq-m. of Martin LC2140 panels. This, together with the color-changing LEDs and 160 moving heads, provided us with the tools to make every song appear different.
One of our biggest challenges was the inclusion of real water around the stage. To prevent the possibility of any water damage to the arena floor, a double tank had to be designed and build locally. The water was lit using submersible LED spots, placed horizontally and facing the camera on track in front of them. Small pieces of mirror were placed on the bottom of the tank to reflect the lights. We also used several small submersible pumps to create movement. As a final touch, for each song, a beach ball with the flag of each country painted on it was floating on the water surface. The ball movement was achieved using a simple submerged pulley and wire rope mechanism.
The stage was generally praised as one of the best for JESC and ESC ever.
We are proud that the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2008 was highly praised by the EBU, acclaimed by viewers and press throughout the world, and was described as the best edition ever!
Production/stage designer: George Papadopoulos, Skinotechniki
Lighting designer: Manfred “Ollie” Ollma
Assistants: Oliver Stemplinger, Markus Janning, Semira Sommerfeld
Video content operator: Jan Schröder
Executive producer: Munro Forbes, CyBC
Senior lighting engineer: Christoph Hahnl Procon Event Engineering
4 MA Lighting grandMA
4 Martin Maxedia Media Server
Martin Professional LC 2140 Panel
80 Martin Professional MAC 2000 Wash
80 Clay Paky Alpha Spot 1200
8 Space Cannon Ireos 7kW
4 Griven Beam Splitter 4 kW
160 Ikelite Pro-V8 LED Video Light
20 Underwater LED Spot
2,600 SchnickSchnack 250mm Strip
4 Truss Followspot
24 ACL 4-Lamp Bar