- Will Ferrell combines music and comedy as he takes on one of the world's biggest singing competitions in his new film Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga.
- He first had the idea for the film 20 years ago when he watched Eurovision for the first time, telling Channel24 he thought the contest "was so entertaining, funny, sweet, [and] visual".
- With music being a significant part of the film, Will relied on the expertise of director David Dobkin and well-known producer Savan Kotecha to bring songs like Volcano Man and Double Trouble to life.
If you're reading this and you have never heard of the Eurovision Song Contest before, don't worry, you're not alone. A month ago, I had no idea the competition existed either. And 20 years back, neither did Will Ferrell.
Here's a quick explainer: Eurovision is celebrated as one of the largest singing contests in the world. The annual competition is put together by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and has seen over 50 countries (who are members of the EBU) partake since its inception in 1956.
Why do you need to know this? Well, it will provide some context for you when you sit down to watch Will Ferrell's new film, Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga.
The comedy, which hits Netflix on 26 June, tells the story of Fire Saga, a singing duo from Iceland, who get the opportunity to pursue their dreams by competing in Eurovision.
Speaking to Channel24, Will explained that it was on a trip to visit his wife's family in Sweden 20 years ago when he first discovered Eurovision.
"We were with her [his wife] family, and her cousin, one night after dinner, said, 'shall we sit down and watch Eurovision?'"
Three hours later, and the actor was hooked. "I thought it was so entertaining, funny, sweet, [and] visual. And from that moment on I was like, this could make a great film done in the right way."
Fast-forward to May 2020 - the world receives its first taste of Will's project. A song is uploaded to YouTube. Title: Volcano Man. Artist: Fire Saga. All of YouTube: Confused.
The track is hilarious but catchy, and the video is completely over the top. But as more people listen to it, there seems to be a consensus - this song would actually do well at Eurovision.
"At first you listen, and you're smiling, and oh, these are so funny. But then the second time you listen to it you're like, 'Why do I like this so much? This is actually a good song'," Will laughs.
The music, of course, was a very significant part of the film. The actor understood the importance of getting this right, adding that it's a "very specific style of music that you see at this competition".
He gives most of the credit to director David Dobkin "who is not only known for his filmmaking, but he's done a ton of music videos and is a musician himself".
Will adds that David "really knows how to shoot music in a way that's theatrical".
Producer/songwriter Savan Kotecha also assisted on the project.
The aim was to have music that was strong enough to stand alone. "We wanted to use it as a character in the film and have the songs be genuine, but songs you found yourself wanting to sing, and just create this kind of guilty pleasure."
Well, mission accomplished!
Watch Fire Saga's Volcano Man here and see if you can stop yourself from cracking a smile:
The release of Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga would initially have coincided with the Eurovision contest in May. But due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 competition was cancelled.
Will reveals that Fire Saga would have performed one of their catchy tunes at the show this year. But all is not lost, there's still a chance we could hear Volcano Man at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2021. Not sure about you, but we'll definitely be tuning in.
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