lifestyle, travel This is Cozumel

The third in our series about successful island businesses run by non-Mexicans.

This article looks at Cactus TV, a multimedia services agency in Cozumel run by German husband and wife team, Chris and Tati Biermas.

Cozumel videos
Tati filming in paradise.

In this age of handheld technology, almost everyone has a camera and can snap pictures or be a budding film producer.

This may lead you to think that the demand for video and photo services would be waning, but no, quite the opposite.

Cozumel production
Professional production.

Originally from Cologne in Germany, professional camera operator, Tati, and technology-loving designer, Chris, have seen their business grow steadily on the island since they moved here to launch it in the fall of 2006.

The secret of their success?

Having worked for some 15 years on camera crews with German national TV, the quality of Tati’s camera-work is massively better than that of the average camera owner.

Combine that with Chris’ expertise in editing and packaging the videos and photos and you have a world-class production team.

Tati and Chris admit that making videos in Cozumel is quite different to their old work in Europe, where they got to film or produce interviews with rockstars and celebrities such as Michael Jackson, Demi Moore and Robbie Williams.

Cozumel multimedia
Chris, multimedia wizard.

But they love the island, its people and the “creative opportunities” it affords them.

Businesses in Cozumel appreciate their work too. They find that the difference between a shaky homemade promo video and a professional piece of filming can drastically improve their marketing. This is one of the reasons Cactus TV’s business has been so strong.

Their “multimedia services” include photography, graphic and web design too, so they can offer a complete visual promotion product – very popular with Mexican businesses that promote themselves online to an American and Canadian market.

They will be launching an online restaurant guide for Cozumel very soon too.

Another proof of the quality of their work is the fact that local TV station, Canal 5, employed them to teach their camera-crews and production staff. Tati was a little surprised to find that some of their cameramen had never received formal training, they’d just been given the camera instruction manual to read and asked to get on with it.

Cactus TV
Tati working in Germany.

The difference in the quality of pictures on Canal 5 is already evident and there is no doubt the channel has made a wise investment.

The lack of local technology colleges means that Tati and Chris’ teaching expertise should remain in high demand.

Of course, like all non-Mexican’s doing business in Cozumel they’ve had their fair share of queer anecdotes and difficult moments. Tati says that living in a different culture is a “nice challenge every day” and Chris confesses that there is no sea turtle rescue program for them to film in Germany.

They explain that filming real estate can be difficult when neighbors’ stray dogs wander into shot and that everything seems to take that little bit longer here than in Europe.

When asked to give some advice to other foreigners considering opening a business in Cozumel they think hard before stressing the importance of being - or becoming - "very patient".

“When you come from the US or Europe”, Tati says, “you are used to a different speed, here everything needs a lot more time.” But of course, when you are lucky enough live in the Caribbean this is not such a problem.

For more information, visit the Cactus TV website.

More Enterprises in Paradise:

Furniture and interior design company, The Magic Of Design.
Boutique downtown accommodation, the Hotel Flamingo.