60 Second Interviews

Hedwig de Meyer


Q What are the current issues that you think most concern the industry?

The continuing changes in health and safety requirements cause a lot of concern to many of us in the industry. Keeping informed and then being able to implement them is a constant struggle for many of us in our world of self-reliance and resourcefulness. The pressure on costs, especially after half the inventory from the Olympics seems to be on the market, is also a real challenge; remaining competitive under these conditions is often very difficult.

Q If you had a magic wand, what changes would you make to the industry?

I'd hope to work in an industry where the market would bear the real costs of doing business. That means budgets being at a level where innovation is affordable and investments can be made for the future without compromising on safety or quality and work conditions for the crew. Time is a very important factor in this; we invariably have to work to deadlines that could have been scheduled far better.

Q What do you think the conference achieves or can help achieve?

It's developed into a meeting place for everybody in the rigging sector to share information and experiences. Importantly it can also help create a level playing field for everyone involved because we should all be conforming to both legal and moral obligations. The conference is one way we can all work towards that by discussing the issues and understanding better what those obligations are.

Chris Higgs


Q What are the current issues that you think most concern the industry?

I think that the requirements of CDM 2015 which include duty holders ensuring they engage competent contractors is probably a hot topic. The industry has grown up more or less without formal training or qualifications and relatively speaking we are having to grow up extremely quickly.

Q If you had a magic wand, what changes would you make to the industry?

I would make it mandatory (or at least easier) for the creatives to be in contact with the technical side a lot earlier in the production process. It's all down to planning. Too often it seems they think we're being obstructive, but if only they'd asked earlier....

Q What do you think the conference achieves or can help achieve?

I hope that the conference really does act as a place where those involved with rigging can network and share knowledge and opinion. There are few opportunities for industry peers to meet when there isn't a production or event to put on. The very nature of the business means that projects are islands and businesses can become isolated; there are issues such as legislative changes that can sneak under the wire and common misconceptions that a rigging company may fall foul of - such as the perceived requirements for secondary suspensions. The conference brings together the people at the sharp end with designers, enforcers and innovators with a view to bottoming-out some of these issues in an authoritative way.