Sakchin Bessette co-founded Montréal-based multimedia studio Moment Factory in 2001 and currently leads the content team as creative director. He has a background in photography and is constantly seeking new ways to tell stories and engage the public through new media. Bessette has been the creative lead on some of Moment Factory’s most important productions, notably the Beatles Revolution Lounge at The Mirage in Las Vegas, Nine Inch Nails’ Lights in the Sky Tour, the Tiesto Kaleidoscope Tour, Celine Dion’s show at Caesars Palace Colosseum in Las Vegas, Madonna’s 2012 Super Bowl halftime show and her MDNA World Tour, a multimedia spectacle for the facade of Antoni Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia in Barcelona and, most recently, multimedia installations at the new Tom Bradley terminal at the Los Angeles International Airport.
Being More Relevant
How did you get started in multimedia design and learn the necessary skills?
I started by VJing in the late ‘90s, doing big slide shows at raves and nightclubs. As the digital revolution began, it suddenly became possible to edit on a laptop, so I started shooting and editing live at shows. It was a lot of fun. I really felt like I was part of something new and dynamic, not only because of the new technology that was making it possible, but also because there was a great audience for it. My team and I got together with a few friends and rented a loft, which we couldn’t really afford, and we created Moment Factory in this very organic way, just out of passion and pleasure.
How does your background in photography influence the work you do with Moment Factory?
I’ve always been fascinated by light, and that’s still what drives me—the feeling you get when you visualize light, which is the source of everything.
What tools do you find indispensable for your work?
A great team. At Moment Factory we have a very democratic, collaborative creative process, and our best tools are our creative talent. The multidisciplinary team we’ve built gives a different perspective to our work, which we really value.
How do you approach the creation of environmental experiences for concerts and performances by well-known artists?
The rock-show business is a special environment because you need to understand the artist’s persona, brand and style: how they like to present themselves, how they feel when they’re onstage and what makes them feel good. We’re not personally on stage, but we need to give context for the artists so they look great and are able to communicate the emotion of the song and the show to their audience. What’s interesting in our work is the variety—we’ll work with rock shows, but we’ll also work with cities to create permanent installations. The dynamic and the needs of the projects vary a lot, but the work is always about creating a strong emotional response for the audience.
What is the most exciting work in experience design that you’ve seen recently?
I recently saw a James Turrell exhibit at LACMA. His work is so inspiring, because it touches everyone—you don’t need to understand the academic or intellectual thoughts behind it. You can just experience it. It’s really moving.
What emerging technologies and innovations will have the biggest impact on how you work in the next few years?
One of the challenges that we’re looking at right now is opening an office in Los Angeles. We need to figure out how to create a work dynamic that’s productive and inspiring without physical proximity. Having tools that let us create, collaborate and exchange remotely while feeling like we’re really working together is important, and I think more and more of these tools will be emerging.
What do you see as the future of multimedia experience design? The future isn't about one thing; it’s about creating more engagement and being more relevant. We don’t want to just create gadgets, gimmicks and eye candy. We want to actually drive emotional responses. The future is about creating greater depth in storytelling.