Staff Focus – Chris Willcox
When did you start working at Optichrome?
Starting working here on the 5th January 2015
What made you go into the Printing Industry?
Many moons ago, before the advent of the Apple Mac I started working in print as a manual film based lithographic apprentice, at the company my father worked in. Since then I have progressed to the system based pre-press we have at Optichrome today.
What is your favourite food?
Ah now this is a subject I enjoy talking about and of course, participating in. I am a man who loves his food and there’s not much I won’t eat. There’s so many that come close to being my favourite, but I have to say that pizza comes out on top.
Do you have any phobias?
Yes, I have a few phobias. Heights, needles and flying. Well, I don’t actually have a fear of flying, more a fear of crashing!!
What is your favourite book?
The one book that has stayed with me since I read it at college is ‘Brave New World’ by Aldous Huxley. To be honest, to start with I hated it and really didn’t understand what was going on, but I persevered and I’m glad I did. I think quite a few film makers have read that book as many modern films, such as The Hunger Games, use similar themes of how different classes interact, sometimes in very violent ways.
Why do you like working at Optichrome?
For the last few years I have worked as I freelance designer, both print and web. However prepress is in my blood and I am happy to be back in the print trade. I have enjoyed my first 3 months working at Optichrome as I enjoy the work. Prepress is basically a trouble shooting factory and we pick up every job with the ethos of ‘well what is wrong with this one?’. I have a great team around me. This really does make all the difference, as nothing helps less than a stressful environment.
What is your favourite piece of print?
I have to say the St George books are stunning. The use of imagery is first class, backed up by hard back covers that take them to a higher level. They originally struggled with their logo for ‘The Tower’ and with the assistance of Richard Bond I created the logo using a certain foiling technique and painstakingly drawing sections of the logo, so the final result made the logo look like it had been created out of diamonds.
What is your favourite film?
This is a very tricky question to answer. I’d say I have a top 5, that changes depending on my mood. But my all time favourite is The Shawshank Redemption’. A life spanned behind bars for one man and his inmates. I find it submerges me for 2 hours and leaves me feeling very glad to be free. A film that I can watch anytime and still enjoy all the way through. But my true cinematic passion are the Star Wars films (maybe not so much the prequels though). As a small boy I went to see the original film at the cinema 31 times. Every weekend for almost a year and never lost interest. I still enjoy watching them and I am also an avid collector of the toys, not just Star Wars though, Mego and Matchbox are also firm favourites of mine. I guess I’m just a big kid at heart!
What is your favourite music single?
Wow! This all depends on which decade we are talking about. I love music of all genres and now thanks to Spotify, I have a vast collection that I listen to whenever I can. My commute is up to 4 hours per day, so this gives me plenty of time to listen to my favourite playlists. Getting back to my favourite single. I have to go back to my childhood and the very first single I purchased on vinyl. It was a track called ‘Einstein A Go Go’ by Landscape. And I still listen to it today via the wonder that is Spotify.
What is your favourite holiday destination?
For the last 5 years me and the family have frequented Center Parcs, mostly because of our daughters age and the ease of quick travelling times. It’s a great place to go and I love the fact that the car stays in the car park and I have to travel everywhere on a bike, as this is definitely my favourite way of getting around.
But saying that, my favourite destination is Nerja in Spain. This is where I had my honeymoon and also travelled back there a couple of years later. But to be quite honest, any place that has sun, a swimming pool, a beach and peace and quiet is ok with me!