Conversation with: Sakchin Bessette

Moment Factory is based in Montreal, Canada but we regularly do events with them here in New York and around the world. The most recent event we did was, of course, the Celebrations Book Launch Party, where Moment Factory helped me transform a regular runway into an over-sized old fashioned printing press that mimicked how the book was printed.

I sat down with Moment Factory’s Creative Director, Sakchin Bessette, (also known as Saky) to talk about the possibilities of multi-media design, how to create new and unexpected moments and where Moment Factory draws their inspiration from.

Before you read the interview, watch this quick clip from video tour of their office space in Montreal, lead by Joy Marsal.

PB: Can you tell us a little bit about Moment Factory? What do you specialize in and how did you get started?

Saky: Moment Factory specializes in designing multi-media environments. We design spaces with video, lighting, theatrical effects, and performance. We do a lot of events, permanent installations, building facades, museums, theaters, rock shows, and of course we work a lot with you and your crew and it’s been a very nice experience.

Basically, Moment Factory’s approach is integrating light, sound and video together to create this seamless flow, this seamless piece of art. That’s really our specialty. Sometimes we tell stories, sometimes we create a wow factor, sometimes we create backgrounds for shows…but it’s always with video and it’s always integrated within the rest of the environment.

PB: I know you like telling stories through your visuals. What was your inspiration for telling a story at the Celebrations party?

Saky: Moment Factory loves telling stories in different ways. Our way of working is really by re-inventing stories and creating new storytelling languages. We think about how we can tell a story by twisting the traditional tools of narration and a clear storyline to something that may be a bit more abstract and figurative. It lets a person understand that there’s a story behind the concept, but you don’t necessarily see the exact beginning, middle and end. It keeps you involved but each person is left to interpret it in their own way.

For your book launch, we decided to create something that started conceptually with the bookmaking process and the book printing process. We explored different options and the idea was really inspired by the process of creating a book.

PB: What was one of your most challenging jobs? And why was it so challenging?

Saky: I think all of our jobs are challenging on one level or another. At Moment Factory our culture is based on innovation and creativity. Every time we have a project, we look at ways we can create something new and different. Innovation equals challenges. You don’t have easy innovation, it doesn’t really exist. Or if it does, it’s very rare. So basically, a lot of our jobs are challenging and that’s part of the way we work.

There are some that are more challenging than others, because we rely on technology or rely on the equipment or other suppliers. A lot of the challenge comes from coordinating the different entities from far away or working with teams we’ve never worked with before.  But in the end the show must go on, so we always make it happen.

PB: How do you stay innovative in your field?

Saky: We stay creative by staying inspired and working with innovative and creative people.  A lot of people will come up to us and say, “Oh, we want some of that.” They don’t know exactly what they want or how they can do it. Our work is really mysterious for some people, so there has to be trust that we’ll come up with something fun and fine. There’s a lot of space in the creativity of what we do.

The inspiration comes from many different places–from resources, books, the Internet–but it also comes from daily life, art installations, the light in the window, our clients, our relationships and everyone we work with. It’s very dynamic and very people related. It’s a lot about creating environments that are made to gather so that people are coming together and sharing.

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