by Navi Radjou, Jaideep Prabhu, Prasad Kaipa, Simone Ahuja
In our recent posts, we wrote about how corporations in sectors ranging from healthcare and energy to consumer goods and technology are learning to leverage the benefits of polycentric innovation by harnessing globally distributed talent to develop new products, services, processes, and even business models in a networked fashion. Now we see a similar collaborative phenomenon emerging in the creative sector and, in particular, the film industry.
Let us state at the outset that polycentric innovation in the creative sector is more than about cross-border financial integration, which has been taking place for several years and is now accelerating due to the lingering economic recession in the West. Indeed, big Hollywood studios such as 20th Century Fox and Warner Brothers are increasingly partnering with production companies overseas to finance and distribute regional films for local and global audiences. And lately, the production companies of Hollywood heavy hitters George Clooney and Brad Pitt have signed development and financing deals with India-based Reliance Big Entertainment, which also took a 50% stake in Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks for $325 million.
As a global media company headquartered in the US with teams operating in emerging markets, Blood Orange Media has consistently experienced that team members who grew up in more resource constrained environments (primarily in emerging markets) often find creative and cost effective ways to solve problems — by, for example, building a makeshift but effective camera dolly when confronting limited time and supplies during a shoot in a remote rural area. In general, we have found that the organizational skills of the Western world complement the fluid and improvisational creativity in the East. This is not to say that there is no turbulence in this cross-regional flow of knowledge — but these “creative differences” enable teams on both sides of the globe to better learn from each other.
Thankfully, the rapidly dropping cost of global communication has made real-time collaboration among creative artists across borders seamless. For instance, a director sitting in Mumbai can simultaneously review and even modify a film clip with a production designer in Hollywood via a shared digital asset management system.
A larger-than-life example of this cross-border creativity and collaboration is Enthiran, the most expensive film to come out of Asia ever. Produced by Sun Pictures out of Chennai (South India) Enthiran is slated for worldwide release on October 1, with HBO handling its global distribution. The film is the collective output of a truly international crew. While this sci-fi thriller features Bollywood-style songs by Oscar-winner AR Rahman (Slumdog Millionaire) and kung-fu-style fight scenes choreographed by Hong Kong legend Yuen Woo-ping, it also boasts animation and special effects done by Stan Winston Studio (of Terminator and Jurassic Park fame) and costume design by Mary E. Vogt (who worked on The Matrix and Men in Black).
Enthiran is a creative embodiment of polycentric innovation, seamlessly blending Eastern talent with Western expertise to co-create a viewing experience that no single region could have conjured up on its own.
Enthiran lends evidence to the fact that the monocentric film industry of the 20th century where all the creative work (concept development, post production, 3D) was done in one region, usually in the West, is shifting to a polycentric world of the 21st century where new innovation hubs are emerging in India, Argentina, China and even New Zealand (remember The Lord of the Rings?). The creative workers in these emerging hubs augment the capabilities of their peers in established hubs in the US and European hubs by offering complementary skills, expertise, and mindsets as well as cost efficiencies and an international aesthetic. Sigue leyendo