Q&A | Sakchin Bessette, Moment Factory

Think of Sakchin Bessette as an artist of technology. Sometimes it’s cascading color and light in urban installations, like this year’s Super Bowl XLVIII virtual theater, a multimedia show on the Macy’s store along Manhattan’s Super Bowl Boulevard. Other times it’s a concert performance, like Madonna’s 2012 Super Bowl halftime show in Indianapolis. Either way, Bessette knows how to incorporate technology for one-of-a-kind, dynamic experiences. That technology is known as X-Agora, Moment Factory’s proprietary software, which controls and seamlessly integrates all media and content sources, based on real-time interactivity and data coming from users through their mobile devices and the Web. Capitalizing on that interactivity has been essential in creating a real-time experiential component for clients that range from the NFL to Bon Jovi to Cirque du Soleil. “We’ve always been about innovating technology and developing content so we can tell a story in a different way,” says Bessette. What advice do you have for planners about designing meaningful experiences? [inlinead align="left"]"We always want to push stuff further. It’s really important that people have the passion and dedication to make a successful project."[/inlinead]Collaboration is key, especially with clients, as is having that communication and trust. It’s having a great team and giving them space, but also guiding them well. It’s never really easy. We never have enough time or budget to do what we really want to do. We always want to push stuff further. It’s really important that people have the passion and dedication to make a successful project. It’s fundamental to our business and is what helps us to push limits. It’s also important to have really clear objectives. Sometimes we need our collaborators to help create that message. They’ll say, ‘We want something cool at our event.’ What is it for? Why are we doing that? Who’s going to be there? What type of room will it be in? If you have those clear objectives upfront, then you keep them as checkpoints when you are making creative decisions, and it comes together in a smart way.” How do you foster collaboration? “Through transparency and communication, under-promising and over-delivering—that always creates a good relationship. It’s also important to clarify each person’s role on the team. Sometimes, we will take different roles for different projects. We are happy to play different roles. It helps us learn and grow. We always find a way to be passionate about our projects. That passion drives the team to make it happen and push things further.” What are some of the most creative projects you’ve worked on? “One thing that stands out is a show we did for Qualcomm for its Uplinq 2013 conference. DJs and VJs teamed up to mix iPads and touchscreen phones with music. You could see them scratching video content and creating music live, while on the 120-ft. backdrop, you could see what they were mixing as viewed from the table. They had live cameras on their hands so you could see it on the screen.”   Sakchin Bessette is creative director and co-founder of Moment Factory, based in Montreal.