My guess is that the lights are actually real (except maybe the blue/white border lights looked tinted in post). I'd say he/she took stills of each string lit alone or in various patterns he thought he would need, and later sequenced/layered them to the music in the editor. No way it was done live - too much work.
Not really too much work at all. I've set up live light shows on stage that were that complex. Each light or group of lights is assigned to a fader. Adjust the faders for the look you want for each step and assign that look to the next scene in the sequencer software. Most lighting software has timing built in. After setting up all the scenes (and many of those are repeats so there aren't that many different scenes to create), play the whole sequence back along to the music with manual advancing. The sequencing software can remember your manual timing and play it back again automatically.
I was hanging out with the tech guys for News Boys at one of their concerts. The lighing guy was grumbing because he had to load a new lighting sequence for act 2 because the software he was using could only handle up to 9999 cues per show. Act 1 had over 7000 lighing cues! I asked him how long it took to set up the program and he said it only took about 6 hours for each act.
That is too cool. <evil grin> I may have to try that!.
Like was said, it wouldn't be that hard or take that long to set-up and program but the amount of dimmers/relay packs needed would not be cheap; if just for Christmas decorations anyway. It looks to be about 32 control channels. Either a DMX512 interface or standalone controller could be used for the controller.
Barb, actually i think even simple blinking Christmas lights are way beyond tacky. ;)
I usually just put up a simple string of white lights on the big pine tree out front and i'm satisfied. I never saw the point in putting lights on the house. I suppose one thing i would find interesting is a string of lights in which each bulb blinks with it's own indepedant cycle. At any given time at least half of the lights would be on. That way instead of the whole thing blinking on and off the effect would be more like a sparkle. That would be a lot less garish than blinking.
Remember, Christmas isn't about decoration; it's about celebrating Him who came for all of us. :)
I just saw this guy on one of the morning news shows. He's been doing these light shows for a few years now. Sounds like he has more than one song programed and broadcasts the music on a low power FM transmitter so drivers can listen to the music without disturbing the neighors.
Awesome. I want very much to believe it is live but I think Barb is right. Watch the grass in the foreground. It could be artifacts but it looks like footprints, wind sway, etc. that appear and disappear as if in an old stop-motion Christmas animation. It could also pass for artifacts but that was my first thought when I saw it.
Either way it was alot of work!
Ok, I'll bite on the copyright issues. Isn't this guy going to get in a lot of trouble? First, using a TSO song in a public performance, second, broadcasting it over low-power FM radio, third, being seen on national TV using the song... wouldn't you think that some copyright lawyer somewhere would be at this guy's door?