Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor


Imagine you’re a motion graphics creator and “Doctor Who” fan. In your spare time, you create an opening sequence to the new series of the show, featuring new star Peter Capaldi. You tweet the sequence to the motion graphics company who creates the actual titles for the BBC.

And then imagine those fan-made titles were so good, they got seen by series Executive Producer Steven Moffat, and were used nearly frame for frame on the actual new series of the show.

That’s exactly what happened with Billy Hanshaw, a freelance motion graphics artist who worked on the self-created title sequence for four weeks, and now finds his work will (essentially) be on television screens around the globe when “Doctor Who” premieres on August 23.

Billy “I’m a motion graphics professional, working on tv commercials and corporate presentations mostly. This was an exercise to see how far I could stretch myself over 4 weeks of spare time.

Published on youtube originally – it caught the attention of Radio Times, Huffington Post, BBC America and SFX magazine. Before publishing I tweeted it to the incumbent motion studio doing the titles for the show.

First section is the Doctors watch, and we fly inside. The journey through the cog-wheels end with our exit through the untempered schism. And into an escher-esque timey wimey never-ending clock face (a metaphor of time travel and the time vortex).

Our journey catapults us through the vortex into a void where the seal of Rassilon is drawn in aged metal, which is accompanied by the Doctor Who logo, with some subtle embellishments. The seal of Rassilon burns away, reminding us of the Doctor’s disdain for the Time Lords; revealing the new Doctor’s reflection in the back of the watch which then tumbles away to the black hole in the distance. (This section could have done with a better shot – but seeing as I don’t know Mr Capaldi’s press agent this one had to suffice)

The steampunk aesthetic is intentional.

Audio reproduced by kind permission from Chris Adams (Hardwire) who created this special arrangement.


Logo, Tardis and Time Vortex: CINEMA 4D
Everything else: AFTER EFFECTS (using various post fx and particle generators)
I did try Element 3D for some of the 3D assets, but went back to Cinema for flexibility.

© info: Dr Who logo, Tardis and photographic content are the sole property of the BBC – no copyright infringement intended.


HDW : Billy even gets a mention in the end credits…well done. If you want to contact Billy for commercial work : 



Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

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