At the time Chris joined Brompton, in July 2019, he had clocked over 20 years’ experience within the demanding field of live events and installations. Much of that time with Gearhouse South Africa where he provided technical solutions for creative staging ideas and technical backup for events reaching audiences from a few hundred to millions.
Having worked with many LED processing products over those years, it was inevitable that he would come across Brompton’s Tessera processing system, which he recalls was “intuitive and easy to use”. When he set his sights on the UK, the name came up again, as Chris says, “Brompton came highly recommended and many of my friends and peers said it would be a good fit for me.”
Barely 24 hours after touching down at Heathrow, he began his first day with Brompton, quickly settling in to help head up an expanding and busy technical support and training team. From a support perspective, the team is all about finding solutions to every challenge or query that comes their way. Chris expands: “We deal with technical challenges that our customers have presented to us, either by giving them the correct advice to resolve the problem or trying to simulate what they are doing. We’ll either give them a workaround or work with R&D and QA to find a solution.”
It’s one of the things he’s known for: having a brain that never switches off. Sometimes he’s mapping solutions before even a problem is recognised. Chris recalls working on a commercial shoot for Honda where the idea was to create an animated film made entirely out of car headlights, but that was captured as a real event with 374 sets of lights acting like a massive LED screen. Driving home after a late pre-production meeting, he noticed something about his car’s lights: “I pulled into the driveway and in a reflection I could see that the headlights faded out, they didn’t stop emitting light the moment they switched off. I realised then that we couldn’t shoot the commercial in real time.”
As laser-focused as Chris is on identifying potential technical obstacles and finding their solutions, there’s an important people component to his role too – there’s the daily interactions with Brompton users and the relationship with his team members. He adds, “Although I’m technical, my primary focus is on people and making sure they have what they need to do the work they do. There’s too much to do so I have to rely on and trust my team.”
In and out of work, Chris enjoys technical challenges of all kinds. In his spare time he shops around for retro consoles and components for his computer projects. He also has an ever-growing collection of old and used desktop computers and laptops, rebuilding these for fortunate family members and friends.