Expert Interview

Telescope Magazine: The event also serves to reinforce your own identity, doesn't it, since the clients exercise no control?

Dominic Audet: Yes. But the clients are also looking for the identity of what we are, so it's a good balance. In any case, the clients are often our collaborators, too. We should remind ourselves that we are a service company. It keeps us humble, creative, and open. Doing stuff for a client or a collaborator can be just as creative and inspiring as working for ourselves.

Telescope Magazine: What does your motto "We do it in public" mean?

Dominic Audet: That is the DNA of Moment Factory. Before co-founding the firm, both Sakchin Bessette and I had worked as VJs and party organizers. I should add that VJ is a director of live projection arts for parties. Given our backgrounds, it was natural that the first motto of Moment Factory was "Music for the eyes." We changed it to "We do it in public" because we no longer work on parties so much, and often target a broader environment instead. The change of our motto was organic rather than strategic. Fundamentally, our interest remains the same: we simply want to make big parties, and create a festive environment where people gather together to have fun. We think it's important for people to get together for real, which is why we are focusing on "social entertainment" or "human entertainment." Our purpose was not well understood at first, but nowadays people seem to get it.

Telescope Magazine: I understand Moment Factory now has a staff of about 300 people. What are your criteria for hiring?

Dominic Audet: Specialized knowledge, abilities, and experience are the key, of course, but personality is also important. When I do an interview, I try to see if this person is socially interesting. Diversity in office is also important, as I already mentioned. Montreal is a truly multicultural city that seems to represent the entire world. Moment Factory intends to be just like that. As a result, half the staff members are from outside Quebec now.

Telescope Magazine: What do you mean, "socially interesting"? That they are team players?

Dominic Audet: I mean social openness, and humility, too. We don't need stars at Moment Factory so ego is not well received. I have interviewed many applicants who, in my judgment, would gladly take all the credit for a project given a chance. What we need is a very horizontal team of humble and flexible people. But we also welcome freaks and geeks, too. They may look a bit asocial, but they can be surprisingly flexible as colleagues. So, being socially interesting doesn't mean being sociable. In fact, there are many introverts who are invaluable team members.

A Moment Factory office converted from a former textile factory
[Fig. 5] A Moment Factory office converted from a former textile factory

Telescope Magazine: Tell us about your participation in Tabegami Sama - The Mysterious Restaurant of the Food God. What drew you to this project

Dominic Audet: That project opened many doors for us. It was Yoichi Endo, a friend of mine who is General Manager of Corporate Business Marketing Group at Sony Music Entertainment, who approached us about this project. I've always been inspired by Japan. I loved anime and ninja movies as a teenager, and then I discovered sushi as an adult. Tabegami Sama, our first assignment in Japan, was a unique project designed to represent Japanese food with digital arts. We did four simple installations that could be delivered fast. Compared with its Western counterpart, Japanese cuisine is much more perfectionist, probably reflecting the Japanese love of making things structured and organized. As we worked on this project, we were greatly inspired by what we encountered.