gooood team interviews creative from all over the world. Your recommendations and suggestions are welcomed! gooood Interview NO.33 introduces Sakchin Bessette, Co-founder of Moment Factory. More: Moment Factory on gooood
出品人：向玲 | Producer: Xiang Ling
编辑团队：陈诺嘉，武晨曦，石安 | Editor: Chen Nuojia, Wu Chenxi, Shi An
gooood x Sakchin Bessette
Development of Moment Factory
“Over the years, our team has diversified its expertise in many industries which is very inspiring because it gives us the opportunity to explore different contexts and inspire new projects.”
Since its foundation in 2001, Moment Factory has created more than 400 art pieces. In the past 20 years, what have been the milestones in the development of the company? What are the main fields that the company is focusing on?
在Moment Factory成立的二十多年间，有许多可以被称为里程碑的时刻。最开始，我们与太阳马戏团合作，为他们的活动编排视频。在那之后，我们开始设计摇滚音乐会，如2008年Nine Inch Nails的演出，它为我们打开了进入音乐会产业的道路，使我们能够参与到麦当娜的超级碗演唱会设计之中。几年后，我们将自己的专业进一步扩展到了多媒体建筑领域。
Since the creation of Moment Factory 20 years ago, there have been many moments that could be considered milestones for the studio. The first one could be the collaboration with Cirque du Soleil for events where we did VJ (video jockey). After that, our team started working on the creation of rock shows like the one with Nine Inch Nails in 2008. This first performance allowed us to establish our presence in the show and concert industry which then led to the SuperBowl with Madonna. A few years later, we expanded our expertise in the multimedia architecture industry.
▼演出设计 – Nine Inch Nails摇滚秀
Design for events – Nine Inch Nails rock show
▼演出设计 – 麦当娜超级碗
Design for events – Madonna SuperBowl
One of the biggest milestones for us was to work with the Los Angeles airport where we designed a great multimedia installation in the Tom Bradley International Terminal. Then in 2014, we created our very first Lumina Enchanted Night Walk in Coaticook, Quebec, Canada. Today, the Lumina series has grown into twelve nightwalks that have transformed sites and regions across three continents, positioning each as a must-visit destination. Through these different works, we also started working with the museum and cultural industry, and renowned theme parks around the world. Over the years, our team has diversified its expertise in many industries which is very inspiring because it gives us the opportunity to explore different contexts and inspire new projects.
(left) Boston museum of science, (right) multimedia installation in the Tom Bradley International Terminal in the Los Angeles airport
▼主题乐园项目 – （左）海洋公园泻湖，（右）Wonderbox
Design for theme parks – (left) Ocean park lagoon, (right) Wonderbox
With the situation of covid-19, several projects had to be suspended or cancelled, mainly in the concert and event industry. However, the good news is that we are working in a wide range of industries. Besides concerts, events and theme parks, we also have a lot of cultural and educational projects with museums all around the world and we have a whole team working with cities on architectural and infrastructure projects, in addition to working with real estate developments such as casinos and retails.
▼Moment Factory部分作品，Selected works of Moment Factory
“Comprising five steps (conception, design, production, integration and operation) and three fields with specific stage gates (content, interactive and scenography), our process is designed to ensure a harmonious, cohesive experience for both the team and the client.”
Moment Factory has made its productions spread all over the world, and has opened its offices in several cities. What are the differences in the scale of these offices in different cities and countries? How do you often proceed with a project? Please introduce the typical process and the period of a project, as well as its most challenging part.
14 years after the creation of our Montreal studio, we opened an office in Paris, New York, Tokyo and Singapore. Today, in Montreal we count about 370 creative and talented employees. In fact, much of the multidisciplinary know-how capacity is based in Montreal.
In general, each step in the creation of a project is a challenge. Most of the time, we develop new concepts and new ideas that have never been done before so there are often several obstacles. Comprising five steps (conception, design, production, integration and operation) and three fields with specific stage gates (content, interactive and scenography), our process is designed to ensure a harmonious, cohesive experience for both the team and the client. Since most of our projects are produced outside Canada, the first stage of project development takes place mainly in our overseas offices. It is our international teams that take care of the client’s management, making sure that the specific needs of the sites are met.
Before COVID, our Montreal team travelled all over the world to carry out the integration of our projects with the help of our international offices. Now, things have changed, but the collaboration remains. Those offices are the very important link between the Montreal main office and the clients. They know the culture very well and how to approach our clients. We also collaborate a lot with the local talents on multiple different projects.
▼Moment Factory工作场景，working scene in Moment Factory
Design in different places
“We have digitally transformed the interior architecture into a playful exploration of art and new technology.”
Moment Factory的部分作品设置在历史建筑之中，如SuperReal，Regalia等。历史建筑为Moment Factory的创作带来了哪些灵感？如何将现代的灯光影像技术与古老的历史建筑结合起来？
Some of your works are installed in historical buildings, such as SuperReal and Regalia, etc. How does a historical building inspire your creation? In what ways can modern lighting be combined with ancient historical structures?
▼SuperReal视频，video of SuperReal
Depending on the nature of the project, we create and adapt the concept based on the location (city and country), the culture, the history, the infrastructures and the natural environment of the site. For example, in 2019, we created SuperReal, an immersive experience taking place in the iconic 25 Broadway building in New York City, where they sold tickets for transatlantic cruise ships in the beginning of the 20e century. In this particular case, we were inspired by this Neo-Renaissance architectural masterpiece. Our team merged 360° projection mapping, interactive visuals, lighting, scenography and immersive sound to create an experience that blurred the boundaries between virtual and reality. From the 6,000 square foot mirrored floor to the 30-foot vaulted ceiling, the interior architecture has been digitally transformed into a playful exploration of art and new technology. SuperReal pushes the limits of entertainment and technology, serving as a proof point of Moment Factory’s and Cipriani’s shared commitment to bringing people together through remarkable experiences.
在Aura at the Notre-Dame Basilica和Lumina夜间漫步等项目中，我们从基地的自然美景和历史、包括文化和传说中汲取灵感。我们与当地社区密切合作，创造出了逼真的体验，展现出不同文化的丰富内涵。Lumina项目中的叙事元素和艺术定位通常吸纳了当地深厚的地域特点，可以与不同年龄和背景的游客产生广泛的共鸣。
For projects like Aura at the Notre-Dame Basilica or Lumina enchanted Night walks, we get our inspiration through the natural beauty and history of a site, the culture, and the legacy. We pride ourselves on working in close collaboration with local communities to create authentic experiences that showcase the diversity of each culture. Lumina narrative elements and art direction often incorporate intimate and profound regional characteristics that resonate universally and speak to guests of all ages and backgrounds.
▼Aura at the Notre-Dame Basilica，从建筑历史中汲取灵感，Aura at the Notre-Dame Basilica inspired by the history of the building
“The relationship between nature and technology creates a totally new dimension where the physical world is merged with the digital world.”
Moment Factory创造了很多户外灯光艺术作品。与在特定空间或表面上的灯光设计相比，在开放的户外设计灯光有哪些挑战？ Moment Factory采取了怎样的应对策略?
Moment Factory has created numerous works in outdoor settings. Compared with those designs for specific spaces or given surfaces, what are the challenges of designing in outdoor spaces (such as sight guidance; impact on natural environment)? What is Moment Factory’s strategy for coping with such challenges?
There are different types of challenges that occur in the creation of an outdoor experience such as creative, technical and operational challenges. Creative challenges depend on the environment that we are working in. Sometimes it’s an amazing space where we can let our imagination run wild and sometimes the spaces are more simple. The conception of storytelling is also quite challenging. We need to find a way to catch the attention of the visitors and create a strong connection and an emotion between them and our characters. We work hard to create stories that are simple and magical where the visitors are immersed in. The relationship between nature and technology creates a totally new dimension where the physical world is merged with the digital world.
▼North Forest Light视频，video of North Forest Light
▼游客可以通过声音与灯光互动，visitors can interact with the illumination through sound
When working in outside spaces, we need to make sure that every multimedia installation we use is weather proof and seamlessly merged into the natural environment, even during daytime. For maintenance, we partnered with local suppliers to run the technical operations on a day to day basis. This process is super important because many technologies are not designed to work outdoors. Although we build them to be weatherproof, it is important to plan a good maintenance operation. In the end, all our projects are challenging. Some are more challenging than others and sometimes the most challenging ones become the most successful. They are the ones we are the most proud of because we pushed ourselves and found ourselves in a new place.
▼Terra Lumina视频，video of Terra Lumina
▼通过击鼓与灯光互动，visitors can interact with the illumination by hitting the drum
▼Alta Lumina，户外项目需要考虑设备的隐藏，Alta Lumina, hiding the equipments from people’s sight should be taken into consideration when design in an outdoor environment
Interaction and Immersion
“Sometimes, it’s an interaction between one person and an inanimate object, such as a tree. Other times, it’s an interaction between one person and a touchless screen or one person and the lights.”
North Forest Light项目中，Moment Factory将声音与灯光结合在了一起；在Kamuy Lumina项目中，游客可以用发光的手杖敲击地面参与到灯光的展示之中；在Regalia这个作品中，观众可以通过手机应用来与灯光景观发生互动。如何设计不同项目中游客的参与方式？交互设计对于项目本身有着怎样的意义？
In North Forest Light, Moment Factory combined lighting design with soundscapes; In Kamuy Lumina, visitors are invited to become part of the immersive journey by tapping along with a stick; In Regalia, the public can closely interact with the light landscape via a mobile app. How do you conceive the way of interaction for different projects？How could interactive design be important for the project itself?
Interactivity is often a big part of our projects. Sometimes, it’s an interaction between one person and an inanimate object, such as a tree. Other times, it’s an interaction between one person and a touchless screen or one person and the lights. For example, in the Kamuy Lumina night walk experience, Visitors are invited to walk around with a long stick equipped with a sound and lighting system inside as well as sensors that react to movements. These objects have been developed to involve visitors in the creation of the story. The more people on the path, the more it creates an ambient sound that is an important part of the experience. The stick has become a very interesting connected object and it’s very much connected to every step of the experience.
▼Kamuy Lumina视频，video of Kamuy Lumina
▼互动的手杖创造独一无二的体验，interactive sticks crating unique experience
Another interesting interactive project would be Regalia, a multimedia spectacle on the façade of Reims Cathedral, that highlights the city’s cultural heritage. Regalia begins with an interactive game that invites the public to closely observe the cathedral’s animated façade, in order to answer questions within a mobile app. With the answers selected by the visitors on their phone, the projection mapping is activating onto the building facade. In this way, everyone can contribute to the creation of the show and interact with the majestic lighting on the building. It is then followed by a projection mapping spectacle that plunges the audience into the emotional atmosphere of a coronation, following the various rituals of the ceremony surrounding the crowning of a French monarch.
▼Regalia视频，video of Regalia
▼游客可以通过手机APP参与到项目之中，visitors could participate in the project through mobile APP
“Our creativity comes from the different experiences of each of our teammates, the originality of each site, the singularity of our clients and our will to create unique experiences for people.”
Moment Factory has created unique immersive experiences in various types of spaces and environments, where do these amazing ideas come from?
We have an amazing team of multi-disciplinary talented people from around the world. Our team combines specializations in video, lighting, architecture, sound and special effects to create remarkable experiences. Our creativity comes from the different experiences of each of our teammates, the originality of each site, the singularity of our clients and our will to create unique experiences for people. Fundamentally, at Moment Factory, we are driven by a passion to bring people together through collective moments of wonder. While this new reality presents a variety of challenges and constraints, ranging from contactless interactions to physical distancing and crowd flow management, it also offers opportunities for creativity and innovation.
Our process of creation is simple, we start by doing many researches about the site we are working with and on the type of story we want to create. Then, we exchange our ideas together. We have many people working on each project so the collaboration is very dynamic. It is always a safe space to discuss and share ideas.
▼项目参与者共同讨论，分享观点，people working on one project discussing and sharing ideas together
“We have managed to develop a lot of really unique technologies and ways of using these technologies in different situations and in a large spectrum of projects.”
To create a better experience, what areas of expertise has Moment Factory brought together? What kind of advanced tools and techniques are used to support your practice?
At Moment Factory, we have a wonderful R&D team that does research and development on interactive technologies. Through this team, we have managed to develop a lot of really unique technologies and ways of using these technologies in different situations and in a large spectrum of projects. The great thing is that we do a lot of experimentation by mixing different technologies together, creating totally new mediums. Our studio has a very multidisciplinary team that combines sound designers, engineer programmers, animators, content creators, technical designers, architects and many other talents. There’re a lot of different expertise in order to be able to make these projects happen.
A great example of the technologies we have developed in recent years is a tool we call X-Agora. We created this software because back then no other technology was able to connect multiple screens together at the same time and facilitate the interaction between the video projection and the architecture. This tool acts like a hub for the connection of many different other multimedia tools.
▼使用不同的软件工具实现需要的效果，various softwares used to create ideal effects
Moment Factory还开发了一些创新的互动方案，能够把任何室内空间转变成拥有无限可能的沉浸式游乐场。在Augmented Games中，我们邀请参加者和家人或朋友共同前来，一起体验创新传奇游戏。
Moment Factory has also developed several innovative interactive solutions that allow us to transform any indoor space into an immersive playground of infinite possibilities. Our Augmented Games invite participants to come together with friends and family to play innovative larger-than-life games.
▼人们在Augmented Games中玩耍，people playing in Augmented Games
Moment Factory in China
“In China, there are so many different cities, amazing architecture and luxurious natural environments. There are great opportunities and great projects to be realized in China in the future.”
We have visited the exhibition at Beijing’s UCCA Lab which is designed by Moment Factory in collaboration with Baidu AI. If it is possible to create a piece in China, which building or space would you like to choose as the venue, and what kind of approach are you going to take?
The creation of the digital art exhibition, Animistic Imagery at the UCCA Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing, China was a very interesting project. We collaborated with Baidu and UCCA to create an art exhibit that explores the symbiotic relationship between humans, AI and art. This immersive space, made possible through projection mapping and interactive technology, invites guests to become the AI’s muse. With this project, we created an immersive space where people can contribute, inspire and interact with an AI system. As the artificial artist captures movement generated by the visitors, it draws links and connections, consulting its database to create artful shapes from the knowledge it has acquired over time. At the end of the experience, each visitor can leave with a piece of art that they created in collaboration with the AI.
▼UCCA“唤醒万物”数字艺术装置，Animistic Imagery in the UCCA Center for Contemporary Art
▼游客可以参与到AI艺术作品的创作中，visitors could help the AI to produce art works
In China, there are so many different cities, amazing architecture and luxurious natural environments. There are great opportunities and great projects to be realized in China in the future. Our Moment Factory team looks forward to collaborating with this incredible country in creating experiences that are out of the ordinary.
▼“唤醒万物”中图像根据人的动作变化，images changing according to people’s movement in Animistic Imagery
We Do It In Public
“We believe that participative experiences, whether online or in-person, will be central to keeping the collective spirit of our shared environments alive. We think we can successfully reconnect people together in public spaces.”
事务所的格言是“We Do It In Public”，在你们的设想中未来的公共空间是什么样的？工作室希望对未来的人与环境带来怎样的影响？希望做出哪些新的尝试？
Moment Factory has a motto, “We Do It In Public”. What do you envisage the public space of the future to be like? What kind of influence does Moment Factory hope to bring to people and the environment in the future? Is there anything new you would like to try? Are there any aspects where you want to make a breakthrough?
在Moment Factory，我们热衷于通过神奇的集体时光将人们聚集在一起，这是我们一直以“We Do It In Public”作为事务所座右铭的原因。疫情影响下的新现实为我们的工作带来了各种各样的挑战和制约，包括遥感互动、保持物理距离和人流管理等，但同时也为创新提供了新的契机。我们的团队正在构想新一代的数码篝火，为数字艺术展览、互动游戏、乃至沉浸式多媒体旅行和立体投影带来不一样的体验。
At Moment Factory, we are driven by a passion to bring people together through collective moments of wonder. That’s the reason why our motto has been and will still be “We Do It In Public”. While this new reality presents a variety of challenges and constraints, ranging from contactless interactions to physical distancing and crowd flow management, it also offers opportunities for creativity and innovation. Our team is imagining a new generation of digital campfires, from digital art exhibits and interactive games to immersive multimedia journeys and projection mapping.
▼营造有趣的公共空间 – 新加坡樟宜机场
Create interesting public spaces – Changi Airport in Singapore
As we try to counterbalance social isolation, we believe that participative experiences, whether online or in-person, will be central to keeping the collective spirit of our shared environments alive. We find that it’s important for people to have good reasons and motivations to leave their homes and go out in public spaces to be entertained and to reconnect with other people. Humans are becoming even more aware of the importance of socialization and connecting with others outside the digital world. For us, public spaces such as cities, natural environments, retail, theme parks, museums and many others have the potential to do exactly that. People are getting more and more used to seeing technology integrated in their urban environments. We just need to find a way to seamlessly integrate it to the landscape in order to create magic and to amplify the beauty of the space. With interactivity, music, video content, projection mapping, fountains and lighting and many other tools, we think we can successfully reconnect people together in public spaces.