Sakchin Bessette, co-founder and creative director of Moment Factory, was the lead artist for the multimedia aspects of the Super Bowl Halftime Show, working to deliver the video content under Rodgers’ direction. “Madonna’s management called Cirque du Soleil [for a recommendation], and Jean-François Bouchard put the creative team together on their side,” says Bessette of his team’s involvement. “They wanted some help on the creatives for the Super Bowl project, and so Jean-François called us and thought we were the right people for the project.”
Bessette and his team were working with Rodgers on both the Halftime show and a Jay-Z benefit held in New York the Monday and Tuesday after the Super Bowl). “We started first on the Super Bowl with Bruce and his design of the stage,” says Bessette. “We kind of went back and forth with what we can do with video projection, projecting on the field, and expanding all that, so it was really a back and forth, figuring out the issues and team work on the realities, and everyone playing together to maximize the end result. It was a really positive experience working with Bruce.”
Bessette and his team used various applications for content creation and manipulation, including Adobe Photoshop, After Effect, and Illustrator, Maxon Cinema 4D Studio, and other 3D software. “The first intent of the concept was to make this show spectacular and make it an actual spectacle, to max out the square footage of the feeling of the stage, and to really create an immersive world around Madonna,” says Bessette. “At a certain point, Madonna would transform this world in different ways, and the world would evolve throughout the songs, and she would control it. It would represent the emotions that different songs evoke.”
As far as integrating content with Gurdon’s lighting, Bessette notes that it had to be seamless and that his team spent a lot of time in advance comparing the approaches to the lighting and video design. “For us, it is really important to merge them, both color-wise and rhythm-wise, and have it really integrated as a whole,” he says. “Al is on the same page, and he really did a great job. It’s not so easy to light Madonna for TV and have her look amazing. He has a big responsibility on that level and at the same time to create the entertainment and visualization of the music in the lighting, but he did a great job.”
In addition to Bessette acting as creative director for Moment Factory, he was also video director for the show. His extended Moment Factory team included a dozen multimedia artists as well as multimedia director Pamela Rocks and producer Johanna Marsal. “We had a really good team of people, and everyone worked really hard to bring everything together on the field,” says Bessette. “There were a lot of limitations for rehearsing and a lot of limitations as far as availability of the field, which is the reality of working on the Super Bowl. So in the crunch time that we had, it was really great to have such a great, passionate team.”
Jason Rudolph programmed the video and provided the media servers, Green Hippo Hippotizers, and used an MA Lighting grandMA2 light console. Projectors were Barco FLM HD20 20K units, adn the tiles were BasicTech FLED FL-io11s from LMG. DWP supplied half of the projectors, and Danny Whetstone was lead projectionist.
As far as what's next for the content creation company, Bessette says quite a lot, including "projects with Cirque du Soleil and many clients across Canada, the US, and Europe. We’re doing a lot of urban spaces right now and designing multimedia for architecture, for stadiums, and permanent spaces, and we’re really fond of working in multiple types of environments and disciplines, and especially bringing people together so that we get people out of their personal devices and screens, and we gather them together, whether it be for rock shows, or public parks, museums, or brand experiences. That’s really what we strive to do."
Bessette adds that finding the right talent isn't easy. "That’s one of the big challenges in growing and developing...finding the right people that have right passion and talent and are great at what they do," he says.
"We love multidisciplinary, passionate people that are open-minded and that have experience or are just very talented, whether it be motion designers, graphic designers, programmers, producers, etc, so it’s always something that we’re looking for."