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An interview with Christoffel Groenewald

Christoffel Groenewald is stage and set manager at Fisher Productions, whom he joined after an earlier career as a builder, carpenter and furniture maker.

How did you get into the rental/staging business?

I had been in the building trade for many years, building, renovating premises and making furniture. I got talking to a chap about three years ago and he invited me to come and have a look at the production company that he worked for; he said he would be interested in me working for them.

I loved the new environment and, after three months as a freelancer, I managed to work myself up and before four months was over, I was offered the stage and set manager position at Fisher Productions. I am always looking for new challenges within the company and constantly looking for and designing new concepts.

What is your favourite project that you’ve ever been involved in?

We recently had an exhibition at Westfield Mall for the Greek Tourism Board. This involved a beach area, an archaeological digging area, bespoke bars, an immense amount of graphics, a spa and many other elements. It was a very challenging job and very rewarding on a personal level.

Is there are a particular product that you’ve come to look on as ‘an old favourite’ ?

An all time favourite for me is our art deco bar, together with internally-lit coffee and poseur tables. These are very easy to build and very attractive to the rental market. They have been going out constantly every week and the maintenance on them is very low. In fact, it has been so successful that we’re constantly building more and more to keep up with demand. They look fantastic from a client’s point of view and are suitable for almost any event, exhibition or conference.

Is there a recent product that’s caught your eye that you think will be very useful in your business?

There are so many new products on the market that have caught my eye over the last couple of months. The problem is that I want everything I see – but, of course, that’s not possible because I have to focus very clearly on the rental market and understand what will work and where it will work. And, of course, these new products will need to be adaptable for our clients. What that means is that I’m constantly designing and making templates of new ideas and testing the items within our workshop. One of the strengths that we have as a company is our ability to build pretty much anything to the specific requirements of a client.