There is a new VFX facility in town to have recently opened their doors for business. They are a trio of young visual effects professionals who have proven talents across a range of high profile projects both in the UK and US. This company is the Electric Theatre Collective, and we would like to congratulate them on a very impressive start up. We believe these guys are destined for great things as they venture into the sometimes uncertain territory of running their own facility and build a strong foundation around the name Electric Theatre. We wish Giles Cheetham, James Sindle, Daniel Stanhope Marum and their team every success in the years to come.
Obviously a very busy time for the team at Electric Theatre, so I was delighted I could catch up with the young and extremely driven James Sindle to find out more about this new business venture. We know James from when he studied here in Escape Studios. In 2005, James completed a Maya Core course and quickly moved on to fill a junior 3D artist at The Mill.
Could you describe Electric Theatre in a couple of sentences?
The Electric Theatre is a brand new visual effects company in London's Soho and is the lovechild of a young VFX team with reputations for enhancing film projects through visionary flair, and is fast establishing itself as a bright new light in the world of advertising and film.
You have two other partners in this venture. Can you say a little bit about how you three met, and what inspired you all to venture out on your own?
It was really the next step for all of us in our careers, we had all spent a long time working for some of the best companies in the business and it was time to go it alone. I think for all of us it also was like a perfect storm with regards to the team of people involved, very early on we decided that it had to be all of us or we would not do it.
Were you faced with much difficulty during the initial stages of setting up Electric Theatre? Or how free sailing was it?
We were amazed by the support and help we received from so many people while setting up the business. I think it really showed the best of the VFX community spirit in and why Soho is such a special place.
What’s so unique or different about Electric Theatre? What do you hope to offer that is unique to other companies in the Soho area?
At the moment we offer all the usual compositing and CG tools such as Flame, Flare, NUKE, Maya but are really keen to try and test as many new pieces of software as possible. That's the beauty of being new, we are not trying to make new kit work with an old infrastructure. The most important thing we offer is the talent that is in the building. Anyone can buy the kit, operating it is where the real skill lies.
What are your main aims for this company? Do you have a target customer?
Commercials will always be the main focus of the business but if it's an interesting project we will get involved.
In the short time we have been open we are already working on a diverse range of projects such as a Mercedes commercial with Lynn Fox, a major computer game project, an internet banner ad, music videos with Academy and also the tour visuals for Kasabian with the team at Silent Studios. If it lives on a screen we can create it.
How busy are you guys since opening your doors for business?
Things have been really busy for us since opening a few weeks ago and we are already talking about projects for February.
What are your expectations for the business over the next few years?
The main ambition is to continue to do great work with great people. The best thing about the industry we work in is that the business is constantly evolving, so who knows what work we might be doing in 10 years.
Could you tell us a little bit about how you have kitted out the company? Are there any particular technologies that stand out for you that may attract particular business?
Being a totally new setup, its allowed us to be as innovative as possible with our technical setup. We have used a GPFS setup for the server, (with help from the Escape technology department), that is proving very durable and quick. We have Flame and Flare, NUKE, Maya, MARI and Houdini. We are very keen to push Houdini into our 3d workflow to work alongside Maya 2012.
Under the recommendation of Escape Studios technology department you installed CandIT Media Data Centre. How is this working out for Electric Theatre now?
So far so good, it is reliable and quick and support has been excellent. I look forward to filling our studio with operators, and really pushing the limitations of the CandIT Data Centre!