Archive: Exclusive behind-the-scenes look! - SciFiNow

Archive: Exclusive behind-the-scenes look!

Actors Theo James and Stacy Martin talk us through working behind the scenes on sci-fi thriller Archive and we have two exclusive 360 videos from the shoot!


Set in the year 2038, Archive follows George Almore (Theo James) who is trying to cope after the untimely death of his wife, Jules (Stacy Martin), while working at a remote, secret facility researching AI technology to build a true, human equivalent android. 

However, Jules is still present in George’s life… in a way… via a new form of life-extension technology: the Archive. Not only that but George has secretly skewed the focus of his work towards the goal of creating a simulacrum of Jules using the Archive. His latest prototype, J3, is almost complete, being achieved through two earlier prototypes, J1 (a robot with the learning ability of a young child) and J2 (whose brain capacity has maxed out in teenage years).

But the Archive has a deadline and George must work quickly if he’s to be reunited with his wife…

Written and directed by Gavin Rothery, who worked on the visuals behind 2009’s cult classic Moon, it’s no wonder that Archive’s look is based on futuristic realism. In fact, Rothery was so dedicated that Archive look as real as possible that he ensured the sets were completely built.

You can see how realistic the sets look in the below exclusive 360 video of a scene with Theo James and Stacy Martin…

“We had everything that you see pretty much,” Stacy Martin tells us. “It was completely built. It was there for us to run around. I think there were only a few computerised things that we couldn’t see, but Gavin was really clear that he wanted us to be able to feel the technology and to interact with it.

“Only in I think one instance towards the end of the film [was there something I couldn’t see]. I was lying down and Gavin said: “Suddenly this big thing is going to come round and do this” and I was like: “Oh wow, yeah we are doing a sci-fi!” I kind of forgot because everything was just so available that I forgot that Gavin was going to add this big thing. It was nice. It was quite freeing for us to not have a green screen and to have things we could see and interact with on set.”

It’s easy to imagine just how immersive the sets were from our 360 videos! Especially in the video below in a scene that sees Theo James cautiously creeping through the facility with a cricket bat…

Not only were the sets completely built, but so were the film’s J robots too, an element that really worked for Theo James when establishing a realistic relationship with them… “It was unique in the way that you could literally interact with these robots as characters,” James says. “I think it looks really great as a result. It looks very tangible and robust, and you can hold these big clunky robots. I think it makes it that much more natural…”

Archive releases on digital download on 18 January. For more on Archive see Issue Two of SciFiNow+!