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1 Year On: Why The Roots Opened a Mexico Office

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LBB’s Ben Conway discusses The Roots Production Service Company’s first year in Mexico with founder Ariel León Isacovitch and executive producer, partner in Mexico, Alejandro Rossi

1 Year On: Why The Roots Opened a Mexico Office


The Roots is an international production services company based in Latin America, with offices in a variety of countries, from Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and now… Mexico. The Roots’ Mexican office was opened a year ago during the height of the pandemic, but found success despite the obvious challenges that such an environment would bring.

For The Roots, Mexico is a production community that provides innumerable benefits and opportunities, especially when working with clients from the neighbouring US. From its many beautiful filming locations, to the varied and historic architectural delights of Mexico City, to the world-class quality equipment, facilities and production crews, having an office in Mexico has allowed The Roots to provide an excellent new option for its clients.

After spending their first year cultivating relationships with local Mexican production companies, directors of photography and more clients, the team at The Roots are reflecting on their first 12 months of successful business in Mexico. They’re keen to share their ambitions for the year (and years) to come for both The Roots’ Mexico Office and The Roots in general. 

To discuss assembling the Mexico team during a pandemic, becoming part of the Mexican production community and embracing sustainable practices for all of their productions, LBB’s Ben Conway spoke with The Roots’ founder Ariel León Isacovitch and executive producer and partner in Mexico, Alejandro Rossi.  



LBB> You’ve mentioned that part of the reason for opening a Mexico office was to offer a more convenient service for your American clients. What has the Mexico office allowed you to do with these clients?


Ariel> Its proximity to the United States makes Mexico a very attractive and convenient alternative for our clients, especially for those in Los Angeles. Production costs are competitive while the crews, creativities, and production resources are of world-class quality. In Mexico, you can find the latest technology and almost everything you need to satisfy almost any need - and that includes productions that require a large technical team, art department, or extras.



LBB> What other benefits/opportunities attracted you to opening a Mexico office?

 

Ariel> Mexico offers a wide variety of locations: industrial, infrastructure, historical sites, coasts, mountains, desert, forest, jungle, urban, rural, towns and small cities, lakes and rivers, among others. It is also home to world-class soundstages, with easy access to the same cutting edge production equipment that one would expect to find in major production centers like Los Angeles or London. Any feature, commercial or television production can be accomplished in Mexico.


 

LBB> How big is the Mexico team now? 


Alejandro> Right now, our Mexico office includes our local partners, an executive producer, a bidding producer, a research team and an administrative staff.



LBB> What does Mexico offer that is unique or especially attractive for your clients? Is Mexico being overlooked? 


Ariel> Mexico has been the backdrop for many iconic films throughout the years, but the past five have seen dozens of movies and TV shows being filmed in Mexico City. The industry has quickly taken note of what the country has to offer and has been planting roots strongly over time. Sometimes it is playing itself, but the city can assimilate almost anywhere in the world. In terms of architecture, Mexico City is possibly one of the most diverse capitals in the world. Different styles and periods are mixed in a relatively small space. 

We’ve heard it said that a filmmaker walking through the centre of Mexico City feels like they are walking through a huge set, full of textures, history and depth. Beyond the borders of the city, the country is perfect for productions that require rolling hills, beautiful beaches, lush forests, or large lakes. Also, we can’t forget the large number of skilled camera operators who call it home. Mexican directors of photography are some of the finest in the world and the large number of projects shot there means that they bring a great deal of experience to set.



LBB> Have you been to any Mexican productions that have made you really glad that you opened a Mexican office? Maybe an incredible location, or an exciting client to work with?


Ariel> As we’ve become an integral part of the production community in Mexico, we’ve found ourselves talking with many of our partners on a daily basis. These relationships aren’t the result of any one project or collaboration, which is why we don’t feel like any one project can be highlighted. Every project was important in getting us to this point. We cherish these relationships and think it enables us to provide our partners more opportunities to collaborate.


 

LBB> How has the Mexican service and production industry changed or developed in recent years? Why was it the right time to open in Mexico when you did?


Ariel> We started assembling a team in Mexico long before the pandemic started. It appealed to us because of its long and changing cinematographic history and the last few years Mexico has become the backlot of North America. When the lockdowns started, we decided it was still worth the risk of growing and expanding into another country. The country allows us to provide our clients with more alternatives that are realistic and convenient to them. Today, Mexico has become the busiest country for production from the United States to the last southern region of the world.


 

LBB> The Mexico office obviously opened during a pandemic - but I see that it remained fully functional throughout. How did the pandemic affect the opening?


Ariel> The circumstances made it possible. During the pandemic, we had closed borders in Chile, Uruguay and Argentina, which limited access and resulted in a slower production schedule. Because Mexico had fewer restrictions and a contained pandemic, this made it easier for us to spend much of the year there.


 

LBB> You’ve said that The Roots’ focus has recently been on innovation - what areas of innovation, or specific innovations, are you hoping to develop in Mexico?


Ariel> Being actively involved with Green the Bid, we are now embracing green principles in all of our productions across the board, as well working towards cultivating sustainable practices that help our productions become more efficient, competitive and profitable. We also apply an organic way of growing within our organisation and are devoted to helping our team reach new levels of success along the way, encouraging leadership to freely innovate. Additionally, in order to offer more solutions to our customers and to the US market, in particular, The Roots is investing in helping grow the local industry and spur innovation. 



LBB>  What are your main goals for the Mexico office in 2022 and beyond? And what are your plans for the other offices in Chile, Uruguay and Argentina?


Ariel> Like our name, we are here to grow strong roots and flourish our own garden. We want to be the first company you think of when working in Mexico and beyond. Our community has the power to help shape positive stories and we are looking forward to reading those stories and making them a reality, alongside agencies, companies and directors that trust us to help tell them.



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The Roots Production Service, Fri, 25 Feb 2022 16:43:00 GMT