Ariel León Isacovitch, MP of Latin American production service company Roots, on adapting and nurturing a community during a challenging year – and embracing the future
What a time it has been. A time that has forced us all to live with a little fear, a little more of an unknown in our lives than usual. A time that has caused us to turn inward and make that the journey for a change. In some ways it’s been an incredible time that has brought some much-needed perspective and objectivity to our process, some humility and some gratitude. It has, above all, been a time of reflection. In the past we may have intellectually agreed that we are better when transparent and collaborative; last year was proof that we need to navigate through change together.
So, what can we apply to this coming year?
The ability to quickly adapt to different scenarios on the world scene should encourage the industry to be more responsible and efficient in 2021 and beyond. As production service, our job is always centred on creative problem solving, but we also need to think about impact. In 2020, we opened The Roots/Mexico to bring solutions closer to home for our North American clients looking to film on location for a variety of reasons. This movement was intensified by the pandemic - we had anticipated a very busy year of production service, and like most experienced a swift drop off of business as the world shut down. We took that as an opportunity to evaluate where we were and where we wanted to be - personality, professionally, ethically…. we got back to our roots, in a way. We thought about where we began, and how we might focus on tomorrow, even if we don’t exactly know what’s around each corner. We worked on some amazing projects - connecting the AICP safety protocols with our local organisation’s own, while finding inspiration in the locations we love in Chile, Uruguay, Argentina...and now Mexico.
When we named the company, we wanted something that reflected the way that we look at the world, at people, at life. I realised that what was so important to me was story, history, experience. Everything we create in life is informed by what came before - our roots. 2020 reminded how much the world - our connections to those near and far, cultural influences, and their creative by-products - feeds us. It has shown me that in whatever we do we should infuse it with the deepest and richest experience for those involved.
That experience includes investing in our future. In 2020 we became a member of Green the Bid, implementing cleaner and more sustainable actions to our productions, with a goal of sharing best practices in other regions. As production service, we are here to help our clients realise their creative visions - we also need to reduce our production waste globally and work collectively to make that happen. The case for collaboration is stronger than ever. We must be in sync, be mindful and realistic about factors such as time, cost, and service in the region. Whether a project comes to us or a competitor is a choice of style but together we are making our region stronger. We enter alliances with common objectives, and we also understand the responsibility that each of us as service companies have when we welcome clients in our countries.
And welcome we shall. Here’s to a more connected, joyful 2021. Let’s remember the challenges we faced and what got us through, and not lose sight of what made us a community.