Following on from ‘Personal Connections‘ and ‘Framing‘, our third essay in ESC Insight’s look at the visual performances of the Eurovision Song Contest continues with a few lessons from Hollywood… specifically from the Master Chief of the summer blockbuster, Michael Bay.
Cinematic techniques in Hollywood films are used to create immediate connections, to tell visual stories, to emphasise emotion, and highlight key moments. Which is exactly what a strong Eurovision song needs on the night of the live shows. These styles are comfortable and accepted by the public. Even if they might not be able to describe why something is nice and feels right, by Hollywood’s very nature it has ensured that the viewing public are visually adept at understanding what works and what doesn’t.
Which means if a Eurovision Song Contest performance can tap into this dictionary of the moving image, it is far easier for viewers at home to connect with a song.
The Musical Bayhem Of Michael Bay’s Eurovision
What can the Song Contest learn from Hollywood and the movie industry? The techniques of Michael Bay are often imitated, but with a career that spans lingerie adverts and Jim Steinman inspired musical videos of Meat Loaf, to the budget-breaking Transformers movies and the genre-defining Bad Boys, the techniques of Bayhem are known to the public… and can be easily applied to the Eurovision Song Contest.
Movement… Parallax… Vertical… Cuts… Put simply, the rules of Bayhem are the rules of a successful Eurovision performance.
As always, thanks to Tony Zhou and ‘Every Frame A Painting‘ for the inspiration. Truth be told, the very first idea for these essays came from Zhou’s essay on Michael Bay and a moment of realisation while watching ‘Round and Round’.
Every Song A Story will be running weekly throughout April here on ESC Insight, and we value your input as we explore the visual world. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments, or reach out directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.