Where in the World is the Lighting Director? - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Where in the World is the Lighting Director?

^ Bill Ferrell ^ Bill Ferrell

November 22, 2002

The leaves are falling. So is the temperature. And Bill Ferrell couldn't be happier visiting Georgia from Los Angeles.

"It's great to see the seasons. We went from the end of summer to winter in one week."

But never mind the weather. He is like a major motion picture director, watching over a cast of 8 million lights, and right now there is a problem with a scene."

At 10:30 last night we thought we had a major problem and this morning we discovered it was something real easy. I am not gonna tell you what it was."

That can happen when you have 32 miles of cable, 3,500 extension cords, 444 speakers, and more than 1,000 switches to turn them all on. In fact it takes an hour just to turn the lights on. And for that holiday feel, Bill uses studio musicians to orchestrate and record the music. He's the man with a lot of power.

"We are using 18 transformers that are being pushed to the limit so I don't know how many houses that would power, but definitely a community."

So why the effort? Because the folks a Callaway Gardens want the Fantasy in Lights to be just right when Santa arrives. And if all goes well, there may a little snow in the forecast when Santa takes his place to hear Christmas wishes.

The 11th year of Fantasy in lights opens tonight at Callaway Gardens. It will take more than one thousand hours to tear it down when the show closes December 28th. But it's not the only place you can see Bill's work. He is also the technical director for the Academy Awards.

Callaway Gardens is on highway 27 south of Pine Mountain in Harris county.


posted at 3:30PM by kentw@walb.com