Chris Curtis visually spices up events through GoVision

by / Friday, 09 December 2011 / Published in Feature Articles

by Mark Miller (Flower Mound News Connection)

Next time you visit Cowboys Stadium, the New Years’ Eve celebration in downtown Dallas or a local music festival, check out the large video screens. Chances are they were created by Flower Mound resident Chris Curtis and his company.

GoVision jumbo event video produces, transports and displays mobile and modular screens of various shapes and sizes at about 400 annual events at nationwide venues large and small. They feature mobile units in three sizes: 19′ x 33′ called GoBigger, the mid-level 9′ x 16′ GoBig and the smaller 9′ x 12′ GoTron. Modular units run 3′ x 4′ and can be hooked together for any size.

Curtis and his 20 employees have worked from their specially-built facilities just west of Interstate 35E on FM 407 in Argyle since January 2010 after being located in Keller. They have provided screens and production services for everything from Highland Village’s Red, White and Blue Festival, sports venues including marathons, golf tournaments, the NCAA Final Four and the plazas outside Cowboys Stadium and Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, the last two presidential inaugurations and the George W. Bush Presidential Center groundbreaking.

“What’s cool about this has been the LED (light-emitting diode) technology,” said Curtis, a Flower Mound resident for the past 13 years who serves as GoVision president. “I get involved with what’s hot and in the news.”

Curtis, who admits he’s more of a sales and marketing person than technician, started his company in 2002. The Iowa native came to Texas to study journalism at Texas Christian University and remained in the Dallas-Fort Worth area after graduation. He worked for various companies and later owned a piece of Screenworks, a company similar to GoVision, which he sold in 1998.

“At that time it was a different business,” he said. “I believe they still are the biggest in the business.”

While at Screenworks, he traveled to Japan to learn about then-emerging LED technology such as the Sony JumboTron. He helped use what he learned at events like the 1994 men’s World Cup soccer tournament.”

“We are a pioneer in the business,” he said. “We built the first portable JumboTron while at Screenworks.”

Among the units GoVision has produced are one of the largest portable screens ever built (60-feet high) for the Boy Scouts Association of America’s 100th anniversary celebration and among the widest screens (128 feet) for a national aviation show, both in 2010.

“When we started the equipment was extremely expensive,” Curtis said. “Only the biggest events could afford it. In 2000 the technology changed to LED at one-fourth of the cost and it lasts five times longer. In the rental business you never use up that.”

“What used to cost $3 million and last two years now costs $750,000 and lasts 10 years. That’s why you have the proliferation of signs at high school events.”

Curtis lives near the Tour 18 golf course with his wife and four children after moving to Flower Mound from Carrollton.

“At the time we were in the stage where we could have lived anywhere but we kept coming back to Flower Mound,” he said. “It was the trees and hills. We wanted to get out a bit and being a Midwesterner. I liked hills and trees.

“We like that kind of rural lifestyle and the influx of stores and restaurants. We really love it.”

Curtis also has really loved some of GoVision’s more recent productions. On Nov. 11, there was the Carrier Classic basketball game between North Carolina and Michigan State on USS Carl Vinson in San Diego harbor. Two weeks later there was the Cowboys’ Thanksgiving Day halftime show featuring singers Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull.

It’s events like these that explain why Curtis truly enjoys his work.

“It’s the closest a short, fat guy is going to get to show business,” he said.

(from Flower Mound News Connection 12/09/2011)