Earlier this month Moment Factory created a multimedia projection show on the façade of Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. When you’re starting out with a project, is it the story that comes first or is it the technologies you want to implement that drive the story?
We have quite a rigorous process. Mostly the ideas drive the concepts and the ideas drive the technology.
The big idea for the conception of Sagrada Familia was the seven days of creation, that the show would be based on seven acts and each would represent one of the seven days.
We wanted to have something that’s religious but not too intensely religious. And then it’s also interesting because Gaudi was also very connected to and inspired by nature, so it just made sense.
Our goal is always to touch people. To create shivers. We’re there to make them live something special. Especially when you’re working with a huge, iconic building like that, you need to use that emotional base as a springboard to make the experience even stronger.
So does that mean the creative phase is over by the time the project is implemented, or is creativity an ongoing process?
For us, everyone’s creative at Moment Factory. The technicians are creative, the animators are creative, the producers are creative.
Everyone’s creative. We don’t say, “you’re creative, you’re not.” Some people have jobs making a technical design, other people have jobs developing a concept, but we assume that everyone is part of the creative team.
There’s a lot of stakeholders in something like the Sagrada Familia project. How do you strike a balance between respecting the desires of your clients or partners and preserving Moment Factory’s reputation for innovation and creativity?
The Sagrada Familia is actually a great example because in the end, we got carte blanche on this project, and on a lot of projects we do. Our brief is often, “I want some of that.” We have a lot of creative space.
But that comes with responsibilities. It’s we who need to be happy, it’s we who need to understand that we’re touching the citizens of Barcelona, that we touched the grandmothers and the punks and the business guy and the mother and the kids.
So that’s our job, really, and that’s our responsibility because no one is really telling us what to do.
Your projects have to speak to many different audiences. Take the ball drop you did for Arcade Fire at the Coachella music festival. How do you ensure that the guy in the middle of the crowd is as pleased with the experience as the woman watching five days later on Vimeo?
It’s an experience. At Sagrada Familia, there must have been a couple hundred thousand people that saw the show. The streets were jam-packed. People cheering.
We didn’t know there would be that many people but we still designed the show for different perspectives, different points of view.
When we were working on the project for Arcade Fire at Coachella, we took into consideration the entire environment in order to maximize the experience. People are listening to one of their favourite bands, there’s a great song going on, it’s an emotional time, then boom, there’s this ecstatic event that happens that’s unexpected and surreal.
You’re like, ”Whoa, what’s going on?” And the more people participate, the stronger the experience is, that’s for sure.