Franz Hyland, owner of Shades Custom Tint in Hewitt, Texas, returned to the 2006 International Window Film Tint-Off™ for his third competition and continued his championship performance, earning a spot in the finals. The VW Beetle did him in, though, and the 2004 World’s Best Tinter had to settle for fourth place in the automotive competition this time. He sat down with Window Film magazine for some new and more thought-provoking questions about himself, his role in the industry and what makes him tick.
Q: You’ve been applying film for 19 years. How long do you see yourself in this profession?
As long as I can.
Q: When you were a teenager, did you know you wanted to be a window
Q: If you weren’t tinting for a living, what would you be doing?
Stripping. No, really … this is what I’ve always wanted to do. This is it.
Q: How do you measure your own success?
I don’t know …
Q: When you first started tinting, did you ever anticipate being considered one of the best in the world in this kind of competition?
I never really thought of it that way until I started participating in
Q: What have you learned from each of your previous competitions that helped you place this year?
Not much. They’re all … well … just knowing little things like picking up after yourself.
Q: As a repeat competitor, what keeps bringing you back?
The people and the environment.
Q: What’s been the biggest benefit of winning/placing in this sort of competition?
Using it to promote the business. I still have the big check (from 2004) hanging on the wall.
Q: Do you see yourself ever moving away from tinting and into the manufacturing or distributing side of the business?
Q: Will you be back next year?
Smooth as Silkett
This past March, Caleb Silkett, flat glass manager at Midwest Tinting in Overland Park, Kan., competed in his first International Window Film Tint-Off™. He tried his hand in both the auto and architectural competitions and achieved fourth place in the architectural competition, in an application most agreed would have been first had he not overlooked leakage problem with his window did him in. He sat down with Window Film magazine after the competition to discuss the industry, his views and what it was like to tint under pressure.
Q: How long have you been applying window film?
Q: How long have you been with Midwest Tinting?
Q: How long have you been flat glass manager?
Two and half years.
Q: How’d you get started in the business?
My dad owned a company.
Q: How many projects do you think you’ve tinted since you started?
A whole bunch.
Q: What do you think is the biggest obstacle for tint shops today?
Finding good tinters—those that come to work, to work. That’s what I think 75-95 percent of what people are going to say.
Q: What are your future plans for your role in the window film industry?
To own a tinting shop and do something else bigger in the industry.
Q: What is your favorite frame to film?
Commercial windows with rubber seals.
Q: What is your least favorite frame to film?
Arched, decorative French panes.
Q: What style of windows do you find the most difficult to film?
Arched, decorative French panes. They’re old. Almost none are new.
Q: If you could tint one building (or style of building) that you have thus far not tinted, what would it be?
At least a 20-story building—every bit of it—in safety film, with a framing system. Now that’s money.
Q: Did you encounter any obstacles in the tint-off, and if so, what were they?
Yes. Not thoroughly checking the window for leakage, which … most likely [made] me lose the competition.
Q: How competitive did you find the Tint-Off?
I was competitive with myself, but it was pretty friendly.
Q: Will you compete again next year?
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