The New Guy by Chris Collier
by Chris Collier
September 29th, 2021

The New Guy—Ready for a Road Trip

I visited The Tint Guy in Woodstock, Ga., on May 3, exactly one week after my first day on the job. Five months later, I’m still ‘The New Guy,’ but I have a lot more industry experience on my resume. I traveled to Orlando, Fla., and watched the world’s top tinters and paint protection film (PPF) applicators battle at the 2021 International Window Film Conference and Tint-Off™ (WFCT). I also soaked up informative seminars, visited booths, wrote recaps and networked. But education never stops—it’s time to hit the road.

Visiting Film Shops

Throughout this fall and winter, I will pack my bags and trek to film shops throughout the U.S. Covering the Southeast, Midwest, and the West, I will attempt to learn more and even jump in and install some film.

Observing: During my visits, I aim to get up close and personal with the film industry. First, I want to watch installers and their process. How do they prep the car, the residence or the building for application? What tools do they use? What film do they use, and what are its features? How long is their preparation when compared to their installation routine? What are the challenges of application? Is PPF or tint more difficult to install?

Chimal Jose, owner of Pro Window Tinting in McKinney, Texas, focuses on an install.

Hands-On: What is the cutting process like—is a plotter involved? What does the film feel like and how far can you stretch it without compromising its use? I believe my writing will benefit if I encounter film in first-person, not just third-person.

Contributing: My sole intention isn’t to watch from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. I want to make an impact. Whether that’s computer work, paperwork, unloading trucks, picking up lunch for the crew, writing a story or assisting an installation, I want to bring meaning and value to every shop I spend time at.

I look forward to sharing this journey. Scan my itinerary below for details on where I’ll be traveling. Stay tuned for blog coverage over the fall and winter.

My itinerary:

Pro Window Tinting (McKinney, Texas)—October 4 to October 7
Green Valley Window Tinting (Henderson, Nev.)—November 1
Palmetto Protection Films (Myrtle Beach, S.C.)—December 6 to December 9

This blog is from Focus on Film, the weekly e-newsletter that covers the latest news regarding window film and related products, including paint protection film. Click HERE to sign up—there is no charge. Interested in a deeper dive? Free subscriptions to Window Film magazine in print or digital format are available. Subscribe at no charge HERE.

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