Raymond St-Jean is a film director and multimedia designer. He started his career directing music videos and short films.
Over the years, he explored many genres. He directed dramas (Out of Mind: The Stories of H.P. Lovecraft, Léa), documentaries (A Chair Fit For An Angel, L’oiseau de nuit, Ghost Town, Le Mozart Noir, six films from The Chamber Music Collection) and performing arts movies (Les trous du Ciel, Cabaret Neiges Noires, Peepshow). His films have been broadcasted in Canada and Europe and showed in many festivals.
For Cirque du Soleil, he designed in 2008 the video projections of Zaia. From 2009 to 2011, again with Cirque du Soleil, he designed and produced the multimedia content of Zarkana, which toured in New York, Madrid, Moscow before becoming the resident show at the Aria resort and Casino in Las Vegas. In 2012, he designed with Jimmy Lakatos The World Of Michel Tremblay, a multimedia installation paying tribute to the famous Canadian playwright. In 2013, he co-designed the multimedia content of Michael Jackson ONE at the Mandalay Bay Resort And Casino in Las Vegas.
A Chair Fit For An Angel, his latest documentary, won the Best Canadian Film Award and the ICI ARTV Award For Best French Canadian Production at the 32nd International Festival of Films on Art. The film also won the Best Feature Length Documentary Award at the Massachusetts Independent Film Festival 2014 and the Grand Prize Golden Eagle at IFFEST Document.Art 2014 in Bucharest.
As film director, Raymond St-Jean is often attracted to offbeat themes. He likes to explore storytelling in various ways, using old and new cinematic tools, always trying to make entertaining films, even when looking at the most unconventional subject. Seamlessly blending dance and documentary, his feature film A Chair Fit For An Angel was described as a «genre-bending documentary». It is true that Raymond often «bends» narrative rules in his films, creating unexpected encounters between various forms of expression.
Filming Marie Brassard’s Peepshow, he used front video projections and digital special effects to create a poetic dreamworld inspired by movies that left a mark on his imagination as a youth: Cocteau’s Beauty And The Beast, Whale’s Frankenstein, Bava’s Black Sunday, Franju’s Eyes Without A Face and some old episodes from The Outer Limits.
Blending fiction, documentary and dance, Ghost Town is a tale about the harsh life of a young woman and her brother in a mining town in the early twentieth century. The film also features the work of choreographer Lük Fleury, pioneer of contemporary gig.
Out of Mind: The Stories of H.P. Lovecraft is a biographical essay inspired by the life and writings of the master of horror fiction. The dreamlike screenplay unfolds in the shape of a labyrinth in which the main character gets lost. As he wander through time and space “beyond the wall of sleep”, he encounters Lovecraft himself.
With his wealth of experience as film screenwriter and director, Raymond St-Jean brings a multilayered approach to multimedia design and production. To each project he applies the same rule: always put images and technology at the service of meaning and emotions.
As multimedia designer of the Cirque du Soleil production Zarkana, Raymond has created a delirious video environment, inspired by the baroque world and characters from the mind of stage director François Girard. With the help of the motion graphics designers from Fly Studio, of multimedia technical director Alexis Laurence and of the interactivity wizards of VYV, he spent two years directing this ambitious multimedia production. To learn more about Zarkana, read this interview published in Live Design magazine.
For the exhibition The World of Michel Tremblay, he designed with Jimmy Lakatos an immersive multimedia environment inspired by the novels, plays and life of the Canadian writer. Screenwriting, directing, editing: the co-designers literally hand crafted this “3D documentary”, with the collaboration of set designer Anne-Séguin Poirier, music composer Gaëtan Gravel, lighting designer Normand Chassé and programmer Alex Burton.