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Hires, Wins & Business

Electric Theatre Collective Hires Stirling Archibald as Compositing Lead

Stirling has become a renowned Nuke/Flame lead

Electric Theatre Collective Hires Stirling Archibald as Compositing Lead

Electric has announced another exciting edition to their 2D department. Stirling has joined ETC after working together on a freelance basis many times over the years. 

Stirling started his journey into the VFX industry in 2004. The same year that Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook, an exploration rover from the US landed on Mars and Usher released ‘Yeah’. What a time to be alive.

Upon graduating from London Guildhall University with a degree in Film & Broadcasting, Stirling was hired as a runner and learnt from some of the best in the business. Fast forward 18 years and Stirling has become a renowned Nuke/Flame lead and excellent mentor himself. He has a wealth of VFX knowledge and is a highly skilled compositor. 

Iain Murray, head of 2D commented: ‘’Stirling is a brilliant artist and a natural born leader and we are very lucky to have him join our team. More than anything though he is an exceptional human being who in truth has already been part of the ETC family for a long time now. It is with great pleasure and pride we can finally make this official.’’

ETC sat down with Stirling for a ridiculous conversation, and this is what happened...


Q> You’ve got a great name. Is there a story behind it?

Stirling> My Dad liked a book or two and named me after the screenwriter Stirling Silliphant ('In the Heat of the Night', 'The Poseidon Adventure') and English novelist Sir Kingsley Amis. I think he knew what he was doing...I think.


Q> What first inspired you to work in VFX and where else do you look for your inspiration? 

Stirling> I always wanted to be creative. I have a passion for music and storytelling and found myself as an MC and host on a pirate radio in my mid teens. I eventually transferred those raw skills to TV production when I was studying. I really enjoyed being part of the narrative and how an idea was put together from the inception to the final result. It finally clicked when I first saw the post production process of a B&Q commercial. The final touches of the production -  the grade, the shot elements, the seamless VFX, the CGI assets. It was like I had just been told a secret that was right in front of me. I never looked at visual media the same again and I wanted some of it! I was fully invested from that point onwards. 

Nowadays I look for inspiration in the world around me, people I work with, pictures I take and see, my love of music and my family. 


Q> If you were invited - and had to go - to a party at Number 10, what bottle would you bring and why would you accidentally on purpose whack Boris on the head with it?

Stirling> I would take a bottle of honesty and integrity. It doesn't cost a thing and you could never get enough. Boris, are you listening? Mic drop!


Q> If you could use your VFX skills to change anything in the world, what would it be?

Stirling> Even if I could encourage one person to be anything they want to be that would make me happy. No matter who you are or where you come from it is achievable! Working in VFX has shown me this. 


Q> Dennis Bergkamp or Thierry Henry?

Stirling> That’s unfair! Two of the greatest to ever do it. There is no ‘I’ in team and they were both very invincible. Does that answer the question?


Q> Have you got any plans up your sleeve for this year with Electric Theatre, or is it a secret?

Stirling> Lets just say Electric is an exciting place to be right now. A great place to be a team player and collaborate with some amazing people. I plan to be a big part of that. 


Q> The government announces everyone has to self isolate for a month but you can choose any figure from history, alive or dead, as a companion. Who will it be? (Note: if dead they will be brought to life so you don’t have to hang around with a dead body)

Stirling> I have to say to my wife…outside of that Nelson Mandela. Imagine the gems he would drop.


Q> A genie offers you the choice of eternal riches or a career as a professional footballer for Arsenal. What's your choice?

Stirling> We love you Arsenal we do!


Q> What is the best piece of advice you can give to someone starting out in the industry?

Stirling> Take time to understand what it takes to achieve your goals and fully dedicate yourself to it. Satisfaction is key to a happy successful career, and to be patient and persistent. 

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