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10jeater

Has Light O Rama Lost The Wow Factor?

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Ok - So I was curious to what others think.

Here's my dilemna. After building and creating 2 big shows this year (1 at Halloween and 1 for Christmas) spending many man hours and countless hours sequencing and major $$$ to build the display, the thing people commented on the most about the display was the rear projection in my attic window.

Wow, how did you get the eyeball looking at everyone, how great is that to have Santa in the window!

My point being - it took all of .99 cents for a shower curtain, an Ebay used projector and a DVD to create the effect.

Someone in our community used the new 3D mapping and projected onto their house and it was the talk of the town.

Now, don't get me wrong - I know I am not comparing Apples to Apples, however, most of us like the WOW factor in our displays and it seems like sequencing lights to music is well "so yesterday".

I am truly exhausted this year and to think maybe 2012 needs to be 3D mapping and projecting it on my home next year - a lot less set-up and tear down. Maybe the 2 can co-exist together to make it really be a WOW factor?

Any thoughts?

Edited by 10jeater

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i get the same thing with my virtual santa. I put alot of hours into my songs and all everybody talks about is the cheap santa.

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i get the same thing with my virtual santa. I put alot of hours into my songs and all everybody talks about is the cheap santa.

Exactly my point. It seems like a lot of work in these displays and maybe there are so many now - it's hard to get that WOW factor anymore with LOR.

I have 3 different people in our community with big LOR displays and maybe people are saying - been there/done that!

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They aren't "so yesterday" in my opinion. SOmetimes the simplest things are the ones that catch the eye. But if they rolled up to your house and you didn't have a single light they (probably) wouldn't stop.

So two questions:

1. Who do you do your display for?

2. When is a Christmas display no longer a Christmas display? Newer isn't always better (in fact I've seen a lot of shows the past few years that don't do anything for me because they seem more rock show than Christmas display.

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I know what your saying. Doing a nice animated show takes time and resources and it's challenging. Seeing the new wave of projection shows makes you stop and think...

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They aren't "so yesterday" in my opinion. SOmetimes the simplest things are the ones that catch the eye. But if they rolled up to your house and you didn't have a single light they (probably) wouldn't stop.

So two questions:

1. Who do you do your display for?

2. When is a Christmas display no longer a Christmas display? Newer isn't always better (in fact I've seen a lot of shows the past few years that don't do anything for me because they seem more rock show than Christmas display.

Well, to answer your question;

1./ For people (audience) - especially children to enjoy.

2./ I have been finding that the minute a slow song comes on - people drive away, but they will stay to listen when there is a rock beat to it.

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I know what your saying. Doing a nice animated show takes time and resources and it's challenging. Seeing the new wave of projection shows makes you stop and think...

And some of this 3d projection mapping is very creative - imagine using the whole facade of your home to re-create the nativity scene at Christmas or anything for that matter - with this new projection your mind can have virtually no limitations to what you can project. 4th of July fireworks, Halloween ghosts flying out of your windows all syncronized to whatever music you wish.

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I think the technology is fantastic and has a lot of great possibilities, but some of us have small yards - no trees to place projectors in, and the rain & cold would not be kind to them. Virtual Santa maybe, but 3D and laser projection doesn't work in my situation. We have & will continue to have somewhat traditional displays. In fact with a few twists, we are moving back to more of a traditional display this next season.... not totally, but stepping back a couples steps from the disco ball approach that is ruining too many shows. I want to insure the C is still in Christmas.

So to the original post - No, I think LOR still has a LOT of untapped potential. Just ask the dozens of cars that stopped at my house most any night this past season - they would tell you what they tell me ... WOW!

.

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I am truly exhausted this year and to think maybe 2012 needs to be 3D mapping and projecting it on my home next year - a lot less set-up and tear down. Maybe the 2 can co-exist together to make it really be a WOW factor?

Any thoughts?

But honestly....if you are totally exhausted...now is not the time to be real critical on your "performance". I am a band director by trade, so performance is really my job. My show last year, I had some issues. This year, I learned by some of my mistakes from 2010. I honestly see some things I need to sequence differently from 2011...for 2012. Just like my band's performances. It is hard to be objective when you are exhausted.

On the above quote...sure can coexist. You need to look on YouTube at Disney World's..." The Memory, Magic and You". Look and see what they do with the castle. THIS is where the guy got this from (and Small World in Disneyland). With the Christmas lights...there were some pretty awesome effects.

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It hasn't lost is luster. People just want to see something different each year.

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It's all in the eye of the beholder. After years of putting up 100,000 plus lights, I made a discovery this year. I placed about 75,000 lights on the house, and 15,000 on a storage building about 300 ft from the house. My guests all seemed to like the smaller display with the importance placed on smaller pieces moving to the story of the music. It required more detailed programming, and thought to the whole sequence. Virtual Santa seems to bring the wonder of Santa, to both young and old alike. Almost like a magicial bridge between the generations; If all it costs is 99 cents and a used projector from e-bay then job well done. Someone will always come out with more flash, more zing, or whatever.

The biggest thing I learned this year is to bring Christ more to the party, with that said I pray God guides me to make a better display for that purpose in 2012.

Edited by Flint Hill Lights

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Ok - So I was curious to what others think.

Here's my dilemna. After building and creating 2 big shows this year (1 at Halloween and 1 for Christmas) spending many man hours and countless hours sequencing and major $$$ to build the display, the thing people commented on the most about the display was the rear projection in my attic window.

Wow, how did you get the eyeball looking at everyone, how great is that to have Santa in the window!

My point being - it took all of .99 cents for a shower curtain, an Ebay used projector and a DVD to create the effect.

Someone in our community used the new 3D mapping and projected onto their house and it was the talk of the town.

Now, don't get me wrong - I know I am not comparing Apples to Apples, however, most of us like the WOW factor in our displays and it seems like sequencing lights to music is well "so yesterday".

I am truly exhausted this year and to think maybe 2012 needs to be 3D mapping and projecting it on my home next year - a lot less set-up and tear down. Maybe the 2 can co-exist together to make it really be a WOW factor?

Any thoughts?

No offense, but is there any video posted of that house with the 3D mapping in your neighborhood? I have only seen it done on commercial buildings. If it helps, I don't want to see your santa video. :)

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Well, to answer your question;

1./ For people (audience) - especially children to enjoy.

2./ I have been finding that the minute a slow song comes on - people drive away, but they will stay to listen when there is a rock beat to it.

Perfect, those are good questions to ask yourself and when answered honestly (as you have) tell us a lot about your wants/needs:

For people (audience) - especially children to enjoy.- Makes perfect sense and this is where some of your feelings stem from (IMO). Many of us say that we do our shows for ourselves first (I am one of those people) so we select songs we really love and create display elements for our tastes and personal enjoyment. That's not to say that I (and others) don't want people to enjoy it all but my first priority is to myself and my own family. If anyone doesn't like my display I would always encourage them to create their own and outdo me. And that's not meant to be sarcastic, it's simply true- there is always someone out there who does it better and sometimes "better" comes in the form of "different".

I have been finding that the minute a slow song comes on - people drive away, but they will stay to listen when there is a rock beat to it. Ok, I myself haven't seen that, and I have 63 songs in my show with a different theme each night. If all of your sequences are the same "type" (ie- staccato WIW type of hits) then it won't translate well to slower songs, where I personally use melts (which is what I call really slow fades from color to color on my brick). So I don't have that issue at all, in fact I've had people tell me that the slow stuff actually helps break things up a bit. I do know that the experience with slower stuff is different for each person and their audience.

But your answer, as interesting and honest as it was, isn't really in response to my question and it's probably because I didn't ask it well. What I meant was this: I think the projections, RGB, CCRs, etc etc are really cool technology and i have been lucky to see most of these items debut in person over the past few years at events. But for me, and I believe many visitors, people still want to see Christmas lights. C9's, C7's, mini lights... I know I'll sound like one of the old guys but I have a soft spot for that stuff. People are doing some great things but a lot of it doesn't say "Christmas" to me (and I'm not one of the "Keep Christ in Christmas" espousers so that's not what I mean). That's what I meant when I said "when does a Christmas display stop being a Christmas display". Again, I probably didn't ask it well and I apologize for that.

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Virtual Santa seems to bring the wonder of Santa, to both young and old alike. Almost like a magicial bridge between the generations;

Great point!... it's one of the reasons I started doing Santa for kids at my display. People get lots of cars at their places, more than I do for sure- but I get something most don't get. I get to have a kid sit on my knee in the life sized sleigh and take a picture with Santa. I get to tell them to close their eyes and thing of Christmas magic while I'm pushing the button under my seat to turn on the bubble machines. And I get emails and Facebook messages thanking us for the Santa time. That's better than any lights or projection. At least to me it is! :D

Edited by Ryan_Johnson

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Great point!... it's one of the reasons I started doing Santa for kids at my display. People get lots of cars at their places, more than I do for sure- but I get something most don't get. I get to have a kid sit on my knee in the life sized sleigh and take a picture with Santa. I get to tell them to close their eyes and thing of Christmas magic while I'm pushing the button under my seat to turn on the bubble machines. And I get emails and Facebook messages thanking us for the Santa time. That's better than any lights or projection. At least to me it is! :D

Great point!... it's one of the reasons I started doing Santa for kids at my display. People get lots of cars at their places, more than I do for sure- but I get something most don't get. I get to have a kid sit on my knee in the life sized sleigh and take a picture with Santa. I get to tell them to close their eyes and thing of Christmas magic while I'm pushing the button under my seat to turn on the bubble machines. And I get emails and Facebook messages thanking us for the Santa time. That's better than any lights or projection. At least to me it is! :D

Ryan you are starting to get it. My diplays of old averaged 2200 hundred vechicles a night ( city put a counter in the street) Santa was there every night in the cul de sac across from my home. The greatest joy was watching the kids with Santa both young and old. We ran the show for 5 years without ever knowing the true identity of the gentleman playing Santa. We used our lights to collect donations for the Salvation Army, funny thing all the hard work was always worth it when one child smiled.

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LOL. Not starting to get it... I've been doing Santa for years now! ;) I actually spent more time and money the last 2 years on Santa supplies than anything lighting related!

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Ok, I have to say that it is not what you have, it's what you do with it.

I agree with Ryan. Visitors are intriqued with technology, but in reality, they like the tradition. So I use a blend of everything in my display, and I set up what I would like to see in someones yard. I use everything imaginable in my display, set it up in vignettes, and people resonate with that. They love the fact that they can walk around, and spend an hour and go back to a previous part of the display and still see something they missed. I enjoy people spending those "hours" as they will come back 4-5-6-7+ times a seson, and bring different guests with them and take the time to spend those hours smiling, laughing, and engaging with my display.

I completly ran last years show this year. No new songs. A few display updates, and as always, a slight juggle of the yard layout. I got told by my family, neighbors and long time visitors that this years display was "just somehow special". I added 3 Lister candles and 20 RGB balls to Mega Trees and that was pretty much it on additions.

In 7 years of growing, only this year did I pop over 100K of lights. People are impressed with those numbers, but 2 years ago, people were amazed that what they saw wasn't 100K or more, because they thought it was.

I completly ran last years show this year. No new songs. A few display updates, and as always, a slight juggle of the yard layout. I got told by my family, neighbors and long time visitors that this years display was "just somehow special". I added 3 Lister candles and 20 RGB balls to Mega Trees and that was pretty much it on additions.

I have used the Virtual Santa now for 6 years and I like the fact that he is still the main draw, and that adults and kids alike will sit in front of that window and be amazed that he is talking and waving to them.

A display that is aminated needs choreography to be successful. It has to be an expression of you. Blend it around what you got. I have 2 - 38 minute shows, that are very similar with slight differences in them. The songs I use are slow, upbeat, and fun(ny), mixed with jokes, and announcements. The slow songs get plenty of positive comments.

So I am not saying that 3D technology is not good. I like it as much as everyone, but I set up a Christmas display, If I can use technology to create a better traditional experience, I will spend the dough and implement it. I love TSO and will see thier concert every year, but I am seeing a concert, not a display.

Edited by zman

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LOR hasn’t lost its Wow Factor but I think some people have lost their way. LOR controllers and software are mere tools – it’s what a person does with them that are important.

I’ve seen some pretty amazing things done with LOR…I’m amazed that the homeowner chose to add that to their display. I’ve seen many videos where I’ve been left scratching my head as to whether I was watching a Christmas display or as rock concert or even a video game. Some elements looked better suited to a pinball machine than a Christmas display.

I wish they had stepped back and took an objective look at their own displays and asked themselves, “Does this invoke Christmas?” Instead, I think some are asking themselves, “How can I outdo everyone?” If someone is sincerely doing it for the kids, then think back to when you were a kid and remember what you saw. As for whether or not a display has been deemed, “so yesterday”, then how come everyone still listens to Bing Crosby’s White Christmas? The classics will always be around - not the latest fad to hit our circles.

I’ve seen displays that had only a few lights that were better looking than others that literally had tens of thousands. I’m dumbfounded as to why someone would spend months (yes, months) to setup tens of thousands of lights when the end result doesn’t invoke any thoughts of Christmas. The best part is when they complain on the forums that it takes too long, it’s expensive, and they’re exhausted.

Little kids (remember, the ones many say they’re supposedly doing their displays for) aren’t fickle. They’re awestruck at the simplistic – not at a person’s light or controller count. Little kids don’t complain that they display is the same as last year. Luckily nature has a way of producing more little kids each year. There’s an unending supply of kids that have never seen your display. If you’re concerned that you need to keep the same kids entertained year after year all throughout their lives, it’s not feasible.

It’s the parents that understand the whole experience of driving around as a family to see the displays is my goal. I aim for the kids, the opinions of everyone else is secondary. I do have both upbeat and slow songs. Some cars stay for a long time and some cars quickly leave. I’ve seen the cars that left quickly return later with a carload of kids. I’ve seen cars filled with seniors, middle-aged couples, and young adults. All of them didn’t complain that I didn’t have fans, fountains, firesticks, real flames, arches, mega trees, 3D projection, or a game controller.

I also do it for me and not to win contests (I don’t enter them) or prosthelytize religion down a passerby’s throat. What makes me happy is to invoke the childhood memories that I fondly remember and pass them on to new generations. I can accomplish that without breaking my bank or my sanity.

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Please don't get me wrong, I agree with practically everything that has been said - Keeping Christmas in your display, doing it for yourself - first & foremost and hopefully others will enjoy.

I like to design my display for a 'yuppie audience" as that is what I enjoy and I have a lot of comments about my song selections and how much they enjoy it. I think I'm just really tired and cannot remain objective just yet as I incorporated 3 homes in my display this year and bit off more than I could chew - so to speak.

I also have someone literally around the corner with more lights and uses the classics in his display, which gives the audience a couple of choices. I did not want to duplicate the same type of show.

i have just noticed that the main compliments were regarding projection and I was thinking of trying to incorporate more of it in next years display.

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No offense, but is there any video posted of that house with the 3D mapping in your neighborhood? I have only seen it done on commercial buildings. If it helps, I don't want to see your santa video. :)

Above is the link - I think this is a first attempt on something that will just grow next year.

Here's a very cool one for Halloween

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i have just noticed that the main compliments were regarding projection and I was thinking of trying to incorporate more of it in next years display.

There you go- if you want more projection then go get 'em! Have fun with it and make what makes you happy. Best of luck.

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First up let's me say that I believe Animated Lights Shows using LOR or any other software still have a WOW factor ... but ... video websites etc have made it well "not so unique" anymore even if your the only person in your area.

For those who don't know me I have been on a leading edge of RGB/Pixel stuff for a couple of years, this year we ran two 20 foot RGB Pixel megatrees and whilst i had many people tell me how good it was and like wow we have never seen anything like it, you would never guess what the biggest kid magnet in the display was....

and wrong, it wasn't the $79 North Pole model tree running inside one of the megatrees, though that got a lot of kids out of the cars.

it was... the $20 (actually given to me by a neighbour to setup) 10" Plasma Ball.

I experimented with some basic video stuff this year with a 3D animation of Santa's workshop and delivering presents, it was projected onto a screen just inside one half of the garage, this two was a hit, but to me it was just another component of the entire show.

For 2012 we are introducing more child friendly components with full size Santa sleigh, Santa and Mrs Claus on selected nights just to add further dimension to the entire display. We will likely expand the projection side as well.

Fast vs Slow..... I ran a mix that had both and often people that stayed for the fast/rocky tracks would move on when a slow one was played yet people who has listened through one or even two slow tracks would stay for a rocky track then move on, i ended up using this to keep cars and traffic moving on the busy nights :)

Cheers

Phil

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I don't believe that the "wow factor" is over at all. I do believe that Youtube and other online video sites have captured the attention of young and old internet users. I had plenty of people stop by the house who heard about it from a friend. Yes, I live on the "main street" in town and I have constant traffic, and not everyone stops. I don't take offense to that. People have places to go and things to do, it's the busiest time of year after all.

If I wanted a projector, I'd have no where to put it. It would be literally 14-feet away from the house. I don't even have room to get bigger. I'm just going to have to continue to use my artistic talents with LOR to draw people in. :ph34r:

Also, if you want more viewers, just call the tv/news paper/radio stations and have them come out. I had at least 40-50 people that wanted to tell the media. Honestly, in my small town of 2,000 + people it IS a wow-factor. Adding more traffic here might cause a scene and lessen my own personal enjoyment.

And the "slow song, move along" mentality was completely lost this year! After working and re-working my slow songs to "make them flow" better, I was able to capture people's attention. Rudolph, by Gene Autry was done with around 1/4 of my channels. And ALL the people who watch it said it was one of their favorites. 4 years ago, I would NEVER have tried it because it was so painstakingly slow. But every night, people came back to see and hear Rudolph. My slow songs are here to stay. I'm pleased that my sequencing is improving.

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I do it for myself and for the smiles and giggles from the people watching.

Lots of work yes! But for me it is worth it.

This is my hobby.

Try to find your display on youtube that was taken by someone you don't know. Listen to what they say!

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