‘Eurovision’ Director David Dobkin on the Songs, Accents, Extended Cuts, and Filming in Iceland

     June 28, 2020

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With Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga now streaming on Netflix, I recently landed an extended interview with director David Dobkin and we went deep into the making of the film. During the hour long conversation, Dobkin shared a ton of great behind-the-scenes stories about how the film was made. This includes how the hook for the song “Double Trouble” would have gone to Ariana Grande if they didn’t use it in the film, how they came up with the songs in the movie like “Ya Ya Ding Dong”, the advice Ridley Scott gave him years ago about using music in a film, casting Dan Stevens and the importance of his performance in making the entire film work, why they had a tough time editing due to an abundance of material, reuniting with Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams after Wedding Crashers, and so much more. Trust me, if you want to hear how Eurovision was made, you will learn a lot in this interview.

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Image via Netflix

If you haven’t seen the trailers for Eurovision, the film stars Ferrell and McAdams as two aspiring musicians from Iceland who are begrudgingly selected by the country to represent them in the Eurovision Song Contest. Loaded with catchy songs, an incredible performance from Stevens, and tons of past Eurovision winners in surprise cameos during a very fun musical number, Eurovision is a really fun movie that’ll have you smiling as you watch. The film also stars Pierce BrosnanDemi Lovato Natasia Demetriou and Jamie DemetriouEurovision is co-written by Ferrell and Andrew Steele.

Check out what David Dobkin had to say or you can listen/download the audio of the interview below the video player.

Finally, as usual, I’ve listed everything we talked about below the player. A huge thank you to David Dobkin for giving me so much time.

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Image via Michael Simon

David Dobkin:

  • How have the last few weeks been for him?
  • The timing of the release of the film.
  • How the film was originally going to get a theatrical release for a week.
  • How the film will appeal to people in Europe in a completely different way than in America.
  • How the film has fun with Eurovision without making fun of it.
  • How no one has made a Eurovision movie before this one.
  • Why he had to go to Tel Aviv to shoot the real Eurovision.
  • His history with directing music videos and how they helped with this film.
  • How they came up with the songs in the movie like Ya Ya Ding Dong and the advice Ridley Scott gave him.
  • How the hook for the song Double Trouble would have gone to Ariana Grande if they didn’t use it in the film.
  • What was the toughest battle while making the movie?
  • What being able to film on location meant to the film.
  • How there is no place like Iceland.
  • What is it like managing actors that each work a different way?
  • eurovision-will-ferrell-rachel-mcadams

    Image via Netflix

    How much improve happens on set?

  • Was the name of the band always Fire Saga?
  • How many takes were ruined from someone messing up an accent?
  • Reuniting with Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams after Wedding Crashers.
  • Casting real Icelandic actors.
  • How Pierce Brosnan is only fifteen years older than Will.
  • Casting Dan Stevens and the importance of his performance.
  • How long was the first cut compared to the finished film?
  • How they had a cut of the film at 2 hour 27 min that they were really happy with.
  • The advice Jackie Chan told him.
  • What the audience tells you when screening the film.
  • Have they talked about showing an extended version of the film or deleted scenes?
  • Why he’s mad about the extended cut of Wedding Crashers.
  • Thoughts on extended cuts in general.
  • The Arrival script and his thoughts on what Denis Villeneuve did with the film.

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