LA / Guadalajara / Mexico City – process & proximity

basilicaA trip across three very different cities, but in some ways when taken together emblematic of the globalised nature of the creative industries in a digital production environment – and especially the elements you can move, and the things that you can’t.

First stop in LA was a VFX house who specialise in digital face / body manipulation, to assist their plans for a London opening, the necessity of access to the production and importance of the creative collaboration on the effects requiring a close proximity to an upcoming project. Second stop was a business providing 2D/3D conversion services, and the process based nature at the end of the production chain allowed them to ship work out of the LA studio to a 1000 strong facility in Pune, India – generating cost efficiency without sacrificing quality (see India blog below).

In Mexico this theme was continued, businesses providing excellent servicing via experienced staffing but reflecting local market realities by positioning themselves as value add partners to international clients (all the while trying to move back up the production process). In Guadalajara a rapidly growing mobile app production company embodied this theme, its bus dev and UX design front end working out of Austin TX with all development back at base in Mexico – good service at a competitive price targeting medium sized corporates was enabling consistent growth.

Outside Guadalajara an example of this judgment wrongly applied. A vast but empty studio facility proved that the human centred nature of primary creative production needs to be part of a close ecosystem of demand and supply – you cannot successfully move everything to a remote location.

Jalisco Province, where Guadalajara is the main city, is putting significant public support behind positioning the region as a creative digital hub. There is plenty to work with but it will be interesting to see how they strategically describe its offer within the global creative landscape.

Mexico feels slightly different as an emerging economy and the beginnings of challenges to Telcel’s mobile market dominance and upcoming changes in TV/broadband supply bode well for increased market opportunity – it is striking that the Mexican constitution now enshrines connectivity as a universal right.

One oddity, the enduring popularity of the Beatles in Mexico is truly amazing – one radio station broadcasts one solid hour of Beatles music every single morning.

(NB: the picture is lighting in the truly staggering Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe)

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