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The Incredible Story Of Lighting Up The Hollywood Sign After Two Decades

June 2022 marked an incredible milestone achieved by the think tanks behind the Hollywood Sign: Jeff Kleiser and Philippe Bergeron. Essentially, the Hollywood Sign sits in the backyard of Jeff Kleiser’s L.A. home. The duo and best friends, Jeff and Philippe, have been partying in this L.A. mansion since the 1980s and apart from their unending friendship, there is one more thing that glues Jeff and Philippe together: computer animation. For years, the twosome has been wondering about lighting up the white signs in their backyard.

Twitter / The Hollywood Sign sits in the backyard of Jeff Kleiser’s Hollywood home since the 1980s.

However, it was not as simple for these animation gurus as it may sound for us common folks. “We have been thinking about renovating and liting the Hollywood Sign for years,” says Jeff Kleiser. “There were times when I and Philippe thought we could do this. But we failed many times. Most of the time, we were unable to convince the Academy Museum. So much so, that there was this grand opening of the Academy Museum last summer, but we could not get the right animation. Thus, we were unable to put the new perspective that we wanted to put on the Hollywood Sign.”

Black Entertainment Television (BET) Made it Possible to Lit the Hollywood Sign After 23 Years

Flickr / Ahead of the BET Awards, BET requested the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce to project images onto the Hollywood Sign and lit it up.

Based on the failure and denial of the Academy Museum, Jeff and his colleague Phillipe were quite disappointed. However, BET paved the way for the duo to make their long-time dream come true. Black Entertainment Television approached the owner of the Hollywood sign’s licensing owner the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. Ahead of the BET Award, BET asked the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce to lit the sign and project images on the Hollywood Sign.
This was the moment of the long-time friends and animation gurus Jeff and Philippe. Taking advantage of the moment, Jeff reached out to one of his friends who works in collaboration with the Hollywood Chamber, Jim Griffin. Jeff asked about the possibility of animating the sign and preparing his Hollywood sign for the grand anniversary. In turn, Jim confirmed that BET “seems interested” in his idea of liting up the Hollywood Sign.

History Dot Com / The Hollywood Sign will be lit up again in 2023 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the sign.

Nevertheless, BET’s Executive Marketing Officer, Kim Paige, also showed interest in the idea of Jeff and Philippe. “Amidst this partnership and the exciting preparations of the anniversary, I wanted to use this opportunity to do something remarkable about the Hollywood Sign,” Paige tells the Los Angeles Times. “This time, what we are doing is something which is never seen before.”

That was what exactly they came up with. Last Friday, the Hollywood Sign was lit to represent black excellence after 23 years. Numerous images and projects were featured in the 3D animation of the sign. Now, Jeff and his partners are looking forward to liting the sign once again in 2023.

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