We recently had the opportunity to speak with Tim David, the owner and brains behind Breakthrough Productions, a full-service experiential production agency dedicated to creating unforgettable events for a wide range of clients and different industries, located in Moorseville, North Carolina. Before becoming a fabrication entrepreneur, Tim had a history of working with design and fabrication for furniture, cabinetry, and commercial offices, and began his career years ago when working closely with chiropractic design for healthcare in a family business. He would work closely with theaters on the side, and soon learned he loved the components of the theatre work and backstage components. “I was introduced to one of my mentors by working with one of the theaters, who hired me as a scenic carpenter, and from there, I fell in love with that work and those type of events. I met a lot of event planners and DJ companies, and from there, I was able to pick up my first solo fabrication job from an event planner who reached out to me directly. It was awesome being able to make connections on my own and begin to start my own side career, without even knowing it”. Tim’s first solo fabrication job was for Johnnie Walker. He was asked to build a custom bar for the company. “At the time, I had a CNC router at my disposable because my parents had one in their shop. The project turned out great, and gave me a huge advantage since I was able to customize and design anything for the Johnnie Walker job, thanks to their CNC machine”. From there, Tim started steam rolling into various projects like Yankee Stadium. “My wife and I learned that we could really do something with this… we both loved what we were doing and by making so many connections from various projects, we knew we could really build something from this passion. That’s when we opened Breakthrough Productions on Long Island”.
Tim and his wife began reaching out to existing customers and clients, hoping to land new jobs. Their first large project for Breakthrough Productions was Jack Daniels. “At the time, we didn’t even have our own shop or CNC machinery yet. We landed the Jack Daniels project, and immediately signed a lease in Holbrook, NY for a space of our own. We had to outsource the first project so we could rent a CNC from a nearby business and 3 months later, we were in the position where we could buy a CNC router of our own. That opened up a wide variety of doors for us and gave us more opportunity than ever before”. From there, Tim worked with multiple agencies, went on national tours, and hosted pop up exterior festival events at over 10 different cities.
“Over the past few years, I’ve learned that although we are a business based off of custom fabrication, we are also white labeling something. We are producing, but also fabricating. We do a lot of people’s work for them, as well. If a company on the west coast is too busy, we help pick up some of the slack and make relationships that way, as well. We make different fabricator relationships yet we all also focus on our own specialties (woodworking, prototyping, prop design, etc). Breakthrough Productions is about connecting brands with the consumers – making impactful events to help make connections… making sure there is a lasting impression on someone through what we do. We are the piece of a the puzzle that basically builds a “Disneyland” for brands. We are theatre on steroids”. The company recently did a project for graduate hotels, creating an atmosphere, setting, and look for one of their hotel chains at an exhibit hall. Tim focused on embodying what the brand represents by replicating it in a 20×20 print so consumers could learn about the brand in their fabricated display model. “It’s about trying to figure out what the brand represents, and theatrically producing something to impact someone with the branding in mind. We want to make a visual statement by integrating technology into pieces we build… virtual reality stuff, interactive technology, etc”.
Breakthrough Productions invested in their HDS Series CNC router from Techno CNC Systems a few years ago. Ever since, the company has been given numerous different, unique job opportunities, like booths for the New York Comic Con. Breakthrough Productions recreated different scenes from one of the video game players, creating an 18 foot tall booth with custom light, pedestals, displays, etc. They recently designed a custom bridge for a display event where the bridge was designed to fit over a space water scene. “We’ve become a popular fabrication company from word of mouth marketing. We work closely with a lot firms that recommend us to other companies, and so on. Once a project goes well, the client usually has numerous other projects they’d hire us for, and that’s how other companies learn about us, as well. Our CNC machine has given us the opportunity to compete with companies who do not have the same advantages as a CNC router gives us. We can customize anything. We can create anything. We can dream up pretty much anything, program it, and have the project in our hands in the same day. Sometimes out client calls for cabinetry. We may also need to build large walls and adjustable shelving, power lines, etc for the same company. We can design all of that into the CNC, eliminating jobs and outsourcing costs, as well. We can go from cutting MDF to sinter to aluminum to wood all in the same day. We can produce the exact same shapes of brands from rendering. There is never any room left for interpretation or explaining to a customer that we had to change __ and __ because were unable to produce those shapes”.
Tim explained to us why they chose to purchase the HDS Series CNC machine from Techno CNC. “At the time, one of the main factors going with the HDS Series was that we didn’t want to wait. Techno CNC had the HDS in stock and ready for delivery. We were five minutes away from the Techno CNC headquarters on Long Island, at the time, so we were extremely comfortable purchasing from a company that was local if technical support or parts were needed. We had an overall feeling when dealing with both Roy and Lori… we knew we would be taken care of and we also knew that was half the battle with purchasing CNC equipment. We trusted the company. We trusted the quality of the CNC equipment for our purposes. And we knew it was a good piece of machinery to perform for our fullest potential. Another pro was being able to see the other machines in person, as well. We loved their Venture Series CNC machine, so we knew that when we needed to upgrade to a bigger, more vigorous machine, we could do so. We liked the versatility of the table. My parents had a different brand CNC machine with a 5×10 table and we always knew Techno was the better piece of machinery. Other CNC brands tend to take up a bigger footprint with less capabilities. We can move our CNC router from one shop to another, and go from cutting one material to another in no time – we can put the vacuum to one side of the table or just clamp down material like aluminum that wouldn’t fit a flat based nested CNC machine for cabinetry. Having a great set of features, paired with versatility of the equipment and a guarantee for quality technical support was the perfect combination for a happy CNC router purchase experience for us”.