Input/Output - Chris Beardwell - Video and Lighting Sales
Pro Audio Systems in one sentence is -
Busy, Busy, Busy! We’re friends – it’s like being in a family, caring about providing the right level of service and solutions for our clients, whilst having a bit of fun along the way.
Chris Beardwell in three words is -
Hard-working (that counts as one word, right?) Easy-going. Adaptable.
What brought you into the entertainment technology industry?
I’ve always had an interest in the technical aspect of entertainment technology. I got into lighting back in secondary school, where I learnt about stage lighting and lit some of our school productions. (I’m pretty sure the first one was a stage version of Terry Pratchett’s ‘Mort’) and from there I started working in amateur dramatics at a local theatre, firstly doing lighting, then over the years moving into sound and AV, taking on work at different theatres, nightclubs etc. I’ve never looked back since.
The most demanding aspect of your job is -
Spinning many plates and ensuring none of them fall and smash! By that, I mean ensuring that jobs and projects are delivered on-time and to the highest standard possible, which is equally challenging with the various logistical demands on equipment and skilled labour in the current climate.
The most rewarding part of your job is -
Seeing a job through from a blank piece of paper to completion - that principle can be applied to any aspect of my job. It could be a sale to a client, a hire of some equipment on an event, or a full installation from conception to delivery and hand-over to the end-user.
What is the most significant change in lighting technology during your lifetime? And video?
I’d probably say it’s the industries drive to embrace new technologies and to be more sustainable. Swapping traditional lamp-based fixtures for more energy efficient technologies such as LED and laser. Cutting down on consumables and unnecessary waste, whilst still providing products that are just as good (if not better), will last longer and still provide the “wow” factor to audiences. I’ve been particularly impressed by some products, both in lighting and video that can match their light outputs and colours between old and new fixtures, meaning companies inventories last longer whilst staying up-to-date. As my colleagues well know, I’m all for recycling old hardware and keeping it going if there’s a use for it!
What was the most recent gig you went to? Any good?
If we’re talking gigs – it was probably pre-COVID watching Ed Sheeran at the Etihad Stadium on his Divide tour – that was an amazing gig – great to see Ed doing everything he does live. The atmosphere was awesome, and it was a technically stunning production. If we’re talking theatre – it would’ve been seeing Hamilton in the West End earlier this year – again, an incredible show and worth a watch!
You can choose three bands/artists, past or present, to play a show at a venue of your choice. Where are we going, and who’s playing?
Venue wise, I’m torn. You can’t beat the atmosphere of a large venue such as a stadium, but I also love the smaller, more intimate venues….. Let’s have a party and go stadium - either the Etihad or Wembley. For the bands/artists – it’s tricky because I enjoy listening to so many across various genres! Coldplay would definitely be there. If I could roll back the clock and he was still around, I’d have Avicii, then finally I’d probably have someone like Bloc Party or even Franz Ferdinand. Either way, a bit of a mix!
A hot air balloon over the Yorkshire Moors or a few laps of Silverstone in an F1 car?
Silverstone in an F1 Car – an obvious choice being an F1 fan for many years! Although I have to admit, the hot air balloon over the Yorkshire Moors would be a close second, I bet the views are amazing!
You must take part on Britain’s Got Talent. Describe your act.
If I had to take part in BGT, I guess it would be something musical – maybe playing bass or playing the clarinet/sax in a band (I’d be a bit rusty though – it’s been a while! I’d probably get 4 red X’s!)
Your 24-hour birthday adventure, no expense spared. Where are you going and what’s happening?
Oooooh 24 hours with unlimited cash? Crikey…. OK, first I turn the work phone off! Then regardless of where I end up, I’d probably start with a bit of an online shopping spree for some new clothes, tech etc. over a good breakfast and coffee to set the day up nicely. Then it would be either a day full of activities (Track days / Clay Pigeon Shooting etc.) or grab a bunch of close mates, the dog and my other half and go for a ‘Top Gear / Grand Tour’-esque road trip! Somewhere in Europe that’s great to drive around and explore. Wherever we end up – the day finishes with some form of gig / music lounge (or both!) enjoying casual drinks before winding down at a hotel (& spa?) and returning home.
It’s another day at PAS. What’s so great about that?
No one day is ever the same – there’s always something new going on and a positive buzz about the place. It’s great to be involved with!