Clark Griswold only wishes he had the vision and talent of a San Francisco Bay area school teacher. Tom BetGeorge, a music instructor at the Conservatory of Vocal and Instrumental Arts in Oakland and Centerville Presbyterian Church in Fremont, designed and created a Christmas light show spectacular to the music of John Williams' iconic Star Wars score.
BetGeorge revealed to Yahoo! News that he is excited about the national attention that his Star Wars light show is attracting, yet he is also humbled by it all.
"I anticipated that a lot of people would like 'Star Wars,' but I didn't expect it to blow up like that."
Over 100,000 choreographed lights create a mesmerizing event to the beloved Star Wars iconic themes, including "The Imperial March" (Darth Vader's Theme), "Binary Sunset," and "Cantina Band."
Just when you thought it couldn't get more interesting, BetGeorge tells Yahoo! News that it took him over 1,000 hours to put the light show together, but admitted most of that time was spent building the decorations from scratch.
BetGeorge revealed that he built the singing faces, the candy canes, a drum kit, a 17-foot guitar and a 19-foot piano from wood, metal, acrylic, and corrugated plastic. The keys on the giant piano even plays. the real notes. However, he confesses that the lights on the roof are store bought.
Yahoo! News reveals that after BetGeorge finished building the props, it took him about a month to set it all up using two miles of cable and 5,000 wires.
BetGeorge tells Quartz about the professional lighting gear he used, and admits that it took lots of practice before getting it to its state of current perfection.
"I sequenced the show using LOR, mixed the music/sound effects with Digital Performer, and filmed it using a 35′ lift at 3am. About 12,500 channels running around 100,000 lights. To make the timing match, I have to do tons of trial and error."
You would think his neighbors would be going nuts, but it is quite the opposite. However, BetGeorge says he goes the extra mile to prevent his light show from being an annoyance by not allowing his lights to shine on other houses, and ensuring that the tons of spectators do not block neighbors' driveways, or cause traffic jams.
The neighbors are also supportive because of how and why BetGeorge has worked so hard to create this incredible Star Wars Christmas display.
BetGeorge knows that families are struggling, especially this time of year. He wanted to offer a form of free entertainment for parents and their children to enjoy.
Yahoo! News reveals that "if anyone wants to leave a tip, he is raising money on site for Centerville Free Dining, a program at his church that provides free meals for the homeless and poor twice a week. They also offer counseling services, as needed."
"I'm a Christian. The Bible references taking care of the poor more than anything else. I don't think that's an analogy. I think that's literal."
For anyone lucky enough to be at the corner of Lafayette Avenue and Ruschin Drive in Newark, California, you can see this Star Wars Christmas Spectacular most nights from 6 to 10 p.m. For the rest of us, we will continue to watch and share the video.
Thank you, and Merry Christmas, Tom BetGeorge!
[Photo Credit: SuperStarMagazine.com]