Once I put my Light-O-Rama order in, it didn’t take long for it to arrive. When it did my motivation started to pick up around planning for this years build; this includes the planning the physical build, the conversion of my existing sequences and creating any new ones I’m going to add.
I have ambitious plans this year for the amount of musical Sequences I have in my show. As I mentioned in a prior post I want to add the entire A Twisted Christmas Album as well as the Original Now that’s what I call Christmas Album, which was the background of our family Christmases from when it was first released in 1985. All this new material as well as converting my existing sequences to run on this years layout is a large undertaking. In addition I wanted to get some of the lights up earlier and add a few Halloween songs.
Last year I had around 45 mins of sequences with 1 min of non musical sequence between each song to stretch it out to an hour before repeating. I want to remove the non musical breaks this year as people would often leave after about 15-20 seconds of no music. This year if I execute my entire plan I will have around 2 hours and 30 mins of music sequenced. Ambitious but I’m determined.
The first thing to do is build a plan to help me keep on track:
|Build Week||Category||Sequence||Due Date|
|Week 01||Kids||Jingle Bells Bat Man Smells||09-Sep-18|
|Week 01||Kids||You’re a mean one Mr. Grinch||09-Sep-18|
|Week 01||Misc||Jingle Bells||09-Sep-18|
|Week 01||Misc||Let it Snow||09-Sep-18|
|Week 01||Misc||Santa Claus is coming to town||09-Sep-18|
|Week 01||Twisted||Oh Come All Ye Faithful||09-Sep-18|
|Week 01||Kids||Snoopy’s Christmas||09-Sep-18|
|Week 01||Kids||LET IT GO||09-Sep-18|
|Week 01||KIds||Rudolph the red nosed reindeer||09-Sep-18|
|Week 01||Kids||Frosty the snowman||09-Sep-18|
|Week 01||Kids||Domenick The Italian Christmas Donkey||09-Sep-18|
|Week 01||Misc||Here comes Santa Claus||09-Sep-18|
|Week 01||Misc||Christmas Vacation||09-Sep-18|
|Week 01||Misc||Christmas Vacation Intro||09-Sep-18|
|Week 01||Now||Merry Xmas Everybody||09-Sep-18|
|Week 01||TSO||Christmas in Sarejavo||09-Sep-18|
|Week 01||TSO||Christmas Cannon||09-Sep-18|
|Week 01||TSO||Wizards in Winter||09-Sep-18|
|Week 02||Twisted||Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas||16-Sep-18|
|Week 02||Twisted||White Christmas||16-Sep-18|
|Week 03||Now||A Spaceman Came Travelling||23-Sep-18|
|Week 03||Now||I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday||23-Sep-18|
|Week 03||Twisted||I’ll Be Home for Christmas||23-Sep-18|
|Week 04||Now||I Believe in Father Christmas||30-Sep-18|
|Week 04||Now||Last Christmas||30-Sep-18|
|Week 04||Twisted||Silver Bells||30-Sep-18|
|Week 05||Now||Band Aid||07-Oct-18|
|Week 05||Now||Elton John : “Step Into Christmas”||07-Oct-18|
|Week 05||Twisted||I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus||07-Oct-18|
|Week 06||Now||Mike Oldfield : “In Dulce Jubilo”||14-Oct-18|
|Week 06||Twisted||Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow||14-Oct-18|
|Week 07||Halloween||Oogie Boogie Song||21-Oct-18|
|Week 07||Now||Gary Glitter : “Another Rock n’ Roll Christmas”||21-Oct-18|
|Week 07||Twisted||Deck the Halls||21-Oct-18|
|Week 08||Halloween||Tick or Treat||28-Oct-18|
|Week 08||Now||Paul McCartney : “Wonderful Christmastime”||28-Oct-18|
|Week 08||Twisted||The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)||28-Oct-18|
|Week 09||Now||Shakin’ Stevens : “Blue Christmas”||04-Nov-18|
|Week 09||Twisted||Heavy Metal Christmas (The Twelve Days of Christmas)||04-Nov-18|
|Week 10||Kids||Hot Chocolate||11-Nov-18|
|Week 10||Now||John Lennon & The Plastic Ono Band : “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)”||11-Nov-18|
|Week 11||Misc||Little Drummer Boy||18-Nov-18|
|Week 11||Now||Jona Lewie : “Stop The Cavalry”||18-Nov-18|
|Week 12||Now||The Beach Boys : “Little Saint Nick”||25-Nov-18|
|Week 13||Now||Queen : “Thank God It’s Christmas”||02-Dec-18|
|Week 14||Now||Mud : “Lonely This Christmas”||09-Dec-18|
|Week 15||Now||Johnny Mathis : “When a Child Is Born (Soleado)”||16-Dec-18|
|Week 16||Misc||Twas the Night before Christmas||23-Dec-18|
|Week 16||Now||Bing Crosby : “White Christmas”||23-Dec-18|
|Week 06||Halloween||This is Halloween||14-Oct-18|
Once I had my plan built I hit the conversion motion hard while camping on labour day long weekend.
Week one was all about converting last years sequences, then add some of the sequences that didn’t get converted last year and start building the new ones. The conversions didn’t go quite as smooth as possible because of how I changed some strings to be a single string of 100 rather than 2 strings (and channels). Overall it went pretty fast as most of the sequence carried over from the LED to RGB and adding the new stings to groups also inherited the sequence at the group level. For two features I had to create new props, the big spruce and mini trees. For this I kept the old props and moved them into the sky (the kids like this in the preview and suggest I should have lights floating above the house), maintaining them allowed me to create nice pixel tree props for each and kept the historical sequence as reference.
For the mini trees I created a motion row for each colour (Red, Green, Blue, White) that I had on my LED mini trees to allow me to quickly copy the entire row of the sequence for each colour. I created a custom grid just for the mini trees to allow this conversion to happen really quickly.
I took a similar approach for the Spruce tree, although this didn’t work quite but I could quickly apply a similar effect to what I was doing in the LEDs.
My approach to conversion is to get it converted as close as possible then move on, as time allows later in the season I will revisit the converted sequences to enhance them. Converting the new sequences I created last year for my RGB lights was much quicker than converting the ones that had initially been built on the LED props then converted to RGB last year. This is because the RGB are usually effect based across a group where the LED sequences are prop focused on/off to beats and changed in music tempo. This is why about half way through last year I stopped converting and started building new sequences from scratch.
Once I had my existing sequences converted it was time to begin creating the new ones. As I get into sequencing it takes me about an hour to sequence a minute of music, but starting out it was taking me about 3 hours per minute. This is about the pace I usually start at and then I get in the groove (or lazy and become less picky). I was panicking a bit at first when it was taking about 3 hrs a min, I had also made the 1 hr connection to a song not a minute so the backlog of sequences looked daunting. I did get my groove back though and I’m now clipping at about an hour per min of music. The weather has also been pretty lousy (late October/early November like, with snow and temperatures below freezing) so we have been house bound (when not at the hockey rink), this has given me some time to work on creating new sequences.
So far my progress is looking pretty good.
In addition to building my plan for sequencing I also built out my physical build plan. I am starting much earlier this year for three reasons:
- According to the Farmers Almanac we are in for a lot of snow this year.
- I don’t want to spend an extra $350 on a boom lift like I did last year.
- I have moved our traditional light up party forward a week.
The one thing about moving to the RGBs is it takes much less lights so hopefully the build is easier, faster and warmer than usual.
|House RGB||Upper Roof-RGB||To Do|
|House LED||Upper Icicles R-LW||To Do|
|House LED||Upper Icicles L-LW||To Do|
|House RGB||Right Upper-RGB||To Do|
|House RGB||Living Room Pitch-RGB||To Do|
|House RGB||Left Upper-RGB||To Do|
|House RGB||Play Room Window-RGB||To Do|
|House RGB||Living Room Window-RGB||To Do|
|House RGB||Kids Room Window-RGB||To Do|
|House RGB||Garage Pitch-RGB||To Do|
|Yard||Pixel Tree-RGB||To Do|
|Yard||Driveway R-IM||To Do|
|Yard||Driveway L-IM||To Do|
|Trees||Spruce -RGB||To Do|
|Trees||Spruce Net Lights -LW||To Do|
|Mini Trees||Mini Tree Build||To Do|
|Yard||Candy Canes||To Do|
|Trim||Garage Tree Build||To Do|
|House RGB||Garage – RGB||To Do|
|Trees||Tree Burst||To Do|
|House LED||House Snowflakes-LW||To Do|
|House LED||Garage Outline-LW||To Do|
|House LED||Front Door-LW||To Do|
|Yard||Floodlight Right RGB||To Do|
|Yard||Floodlight Left-RGB||To Do|
|Trim||Wreath R-LW||To Do|
|Trim||Wreath L-LW||To Do|
|Yard||Right Candle||To Do|
|Mini Trees||Mini Tree Display||To Do|
|Trim||Left Candle||To Do|
|House LED||House Garage Globes-LW||To Do|
|Yard||Ground Accents||To Do|
|Trim||Garage Tree Display||To Do|
|Trim||Garage Door Cover||To Do|
So far my plan is progressing surprisingly well, I don’t know how I have found the time to get ahead but I’ll take it as I know I’ll be behind soon enough.