About Chris Watts
Chris’s lighting career began when he moved to Plymouth in 1976 and began helping out at the Hoe Theatre. After school his hobby turned into a professional career that began as a technician working at the Theatre Royal and progressing in the first ten years to chief technician at the Edinburgh Festival, Master Electrician at Northwestern University and Cornell University in the USA and design team member for Theatre Projects Consultants in London.
Since then Chris has worked as Lighting Project Manager for the National Theatre in London, created lighting designs for major car launches, exhibitions, leisure attractions (including Euro Disney in Paris) and managed projects for the National Grand Theatre in Beijing, the Hong Kong Movie City film studio, Kuala Lumpur Conference Centre, Ghana Television Centre for Sony Europe, the S10 Studio in Hanoi, the Oriental Arts Centre in Shanghai and Radio Television Brunei.
In 2012, Chris launched his own business. Recent clients have included designing the lighting for a new Fal River pleasure cruiser, the Minack, Miracle and Hall for Cornwall theatres and the W Club Pool and Spa near Bude. He also works on plans for people’s homes, commercial premises, gardens and churches.
How Chris works
Chris’s whole approach is to focus on the client and their needs – namely how do they want the space to be used and what sort of feelings do they want it to inspire? Lighting design is all about being creative and considering how best to improve and enhance an area so that it achieves whatever aim the client has in mind. Is the aspiration relaxation, for example, practicality (there’s no point in having a dimly lit kitchen surface or work desk) or maybe to evoke a sense of peace and tranquillity? There are lots of choices to be made and Chris is there to help provide the answers.
Once all requirements are established, Chris will produce a 3D plan that will include circuit diagrams. Using lighting simulation software, he can also, as an optional extra, show a client what the room will look like.
In addition to producing the plan, Chris recommends where to buy the materials needed and suggests suitable electricians.