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Day 1 of 3: Class Announcements for 2012 Academy

Ryan Johnson

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We had some comments come up since our announcement last year concerning our inclusion of the DIY Light Animation team in this year’s Academy.  While we want to cover those DIY and RGB topics that people want to learn about we will NEVER forget that there are many, many facets of the holidays.  The Lone Star Holidays Academy is not about any one subset of celebrating those festive times of year and those who have attended in the past know that for a fact!

That being said, we do recognize why some folks feel we’ve been a bit “DIY heavy” for 2012.  With the popularity of DIY we wanted to offer the best in education for that part of the Academy and we felt that was a great opportunity for all of our attendees.  But believe us when we tell you that the last thing we want is for people to think the 2012 Lone Star Holidays Academy is only about DIY, because nothing could be further from the truth!

We don’t usually do this but because we’re so excited and people want to know what else there is beyond the DIY world we’re going to make three days worth of announcements this week.  Today (Wednesday) is the first of those and the announcement of the “Christmas Classic” classes:

Where to Start?  The Process of Designing Your Display:

Every year we have people tell us that they really want a course on where to start.  What should they do with their yard?  How can they make all of those fancy elements they see online and in person work in their space (and budget!)?  We can’t help you with the budget piece, but this class is designed to get you started in determining your own display on your own “canvas”.  If you’re new to the game (or bringing someone with you who is just getting into the hobby) this is a great jumping on point!  When you leave this session you should be able to select classes to attend for the rest of the Academy weekend that will help you realize your dream.

Interactive Displays:

How do you handle traffic?  The media?  A throng of people?  Kids running into the display?  What kind of skits and/or props can you use to make visitors feel like a part of things?  This course will be facilitated by none other than Clyde Dearing of “Invasion of the Christmas Lights 2” and a long-time decorator of LARGE (both in scope and visitors!) residential displays (he was also the first Lone Star Holidays President until the people finally spoke up! 
).  Clyde will bring his unique experiences and laid back teaching style to this class and help you figure some of those interactive aspects out. 

Working with Coro:

We ran this course for two years (and at two workgroups) but it’s back by popular demand in 2012.  Coro continues to be a fantastic way to incorporate an easy-to-work-with material into your display.  The versatility and cost of coro allow holiday fanatics to utilize it regardless of experience level.  From signs, to shapes to 10 foot tall Nutcrackers, the possibilities of working with coro are endless!

Working with Wood Cutouts:

Remember the good old days when you would pile into the car with your family and look at lights around the neighborhood?  The days before RGB, musical animation, voiceovers, bubbles and fake snow?  Remember the house that had the very best cutouts in the yard, illuminated by a bright spotlight that showed off the colors and craftsmanship of each piece?  Luckily those elements never go out of style!  This course will show you the basics of working with wood and how you can incorporate them into today’s higher tech displays.

Filming Your Display:

“I want good video of my house but I don’t have the fanciest camera and I don’t know how to make it look good!”  We’ve heard that time and time again and we’re going to do something about it.  Chris Sims of the Regional Development Committee will be on hand to guide you through the basics of videoing your display.  Types of equipment, settings, tips and tricks to help you get the best results possible will all be a part of this session.

The Polar Express (Bringing Trains into Your Display):

Mechanical movers continue to be a popular element in displays across the country but where do you start with such a technical project?   Jack Huitt, a long-time train builder, will be helping you understand the nuances of building and incorporating trains into your display.  There won’t be any trips to the North Pole or Tom Hanks portraying the conductor but you can be sure you’ll leave this session with a basic understanding of train building, resources to help you find your materials, and the inspiration to get to work on your own train!

Zara Radio 101 and 201 (two classes):

Heeee’s baaaack!  Chris Backus returns to the Academy to take you through the intricacies of one of the hottest software pieces available to enhance your display: Zara Radio.  In 2011 Chris taught one course on this to a standing-room only crowd so it was obvious we had to ask him back in 2012.  His only request was that we make sure he has twice as much time and a larger space to cover it all!  Want to make your display into a truly comprehensive home radio station?  This is the place to start.

Please note that you do not need to attend both Zara sessions. 

As with all Academy classes (except the S3 Experience), there are

no pre-requisites or limitations on what you see.  You should attend

those that you think will benefit you and your displays the most.

What Should I Buy?  The Rundown on Light-O-Rama Hardware:

Light-O-Rama continues to be the hardware option of choice for many, many decorators and we would be remiss to not cover the hardware aspects associated with it.  If you’re new to the game and considering Light-O-Rama, this is the place to start.  We will cover all of the available options from a hardware standpoint: Pros and cons, ideas for usage, and real-world stories of integration that will help you make an informed decision on your future purchases. 

Light-O-Rama BS:

No, not that kind of BS!  We’re talking about the LOR suite
Before Sequencing
!  With all of the software options available for sequencing, Light-O-Rama is still one of the top selling and highly regarded options around.  This session will cover some of the basics of the S3 software suite and is a great start up to Sunday’s S3 Experience with Drew Hickman of Holiday Technologies (remember the S3 Experience is an add on to the Academy registrations so be sure to go to the LSH Shopzone and register for it if you plan to attend.  Deadline is coming up quickly!).

Making Your Own Music (The Basics of Audio Editing):

Back by popular demand, Joe Rogers will be on hand providing the knowledge he has acquired from years in the recording industry and residential display building.  Using Audacity, Joe will help you understand the program, learn the fundamentals of audio editing, and offer you some real-world best practices on making the music you choose unique to your display.

BOOM! (The Elements of a Fireworks Show):

This isn’t a “Christmas Classic” but we didn’t have another category for “Things That Can Blow Your Hands Off!” so we’re including it here.  We’ve done some Basic Firework classes before, from history to safety to legalities to types of fireworks.  We took a year off from this in 2011 but we’re back in time for the 2012 July 4th holiday to show you how to build your fireworks display, fuse it up, and some tips on how to keep things safe and exciting when show time arrives!

[align=center]GO REGISTER TODAY![/align]

[align=center]Make sure to check back tomorrow when we let the (black) cat out of the bag for our next set of classes!  It’s so good it’s scary![/align]


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  • 2 weeks later...

Make sure to get your registrations in as soon as you can. Also remember that the S3 Experience is an addition to the regular Academy registration.

FYI- You might see something on Valentine's Day about the general pricing increasing. Hey wait, isn't Valentine's Day tomorrow???

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