The pandemic was a very challenging time for many businesses. In one respect we were quite lucky. We were able to continue working from home, remote working is common practice for us anyway. We were also blessed with a steady enough stream of work, though things were noticeably less manic than the incredibly busy period we had just prior to the world grinding to a halt.
The lockdowns gave us the one thing we had been struggling to find, a bit of downtime and breathing space to revisit some previous projects, and even try something new. After all, when you’ve taken your dogs for so many walks around the park they’re running to hide when you reach for the lead, and all your DVDs, CDs and food cupboard contents are organised into alphabetical order, you need something else productive to do.
We believe that any spare time should be used to hone our skills, and let’s face it, keeping busy helps to distract you from the utter madness going on beyond your front door. We don’t often have the luxury of a decent amount of time to spend on R&D, so we decided to revisit a couple of older projects with a fresh approach, and set about bringing new to life an idea we had filed away many years ago…
Doctor Who Series 8 Opening Titles (Studio Version)
We had always intended to revisit our Doctor Who title sequence. As a collaborative project with BBC Wales, it was inevitable that the end piece deviated somewhat from the initial vision. After creative direction from the executive producers our original concept evolved into a draft TV version, and once these designs were delivered to BBC Wales Graphics they were developed further at the build stage.
We set a few ground rules. We would take on board the changes the executive producers originally requested (with one notable exception). We would only use technologies that were available to us in 2014 and we would present it with the official series 8 theme by Murry Gold – we were originally briefed to use the series 1 (Eccleston) theme.
The notable exception mentioned above is a simple one. The primary cast names had to appear during the cog tunnel section at the start of the sequence. That’s what it was designed for, and our opinion was that the sequence felt a little flat and empty without them. That decision was taken out of our hands back in the day, and we always felt the official sequence suffered a little because of it. Having the names later in the sequence seemed to be a decision based partly on ‘that’s the way it’s always been’, and partly on a desire to be able to easily add in extra names if required. We have reinstated them to the place we always wanted them to be.
The Studio Version has evolved in other ways too. We’ve used a broader colour palette than either our original or the official sequence used. The clock face segment is now bookended by cogs, we’ve used a new image of Capaldi’s face, and added a portal behind the planets in the final section. It’s still very much based on our original ‘Journey Through Time and Space’, but we feel that it is a far more consistent and visually enjoyable sequence.
Doctor Who Series 13 Original Concept
Seven Kings Must Die teaser
What the future holds
Now that life once again feels (relatively) normal, and we enjoy the freedoms that only a couple of years ago we never imagined we’d be without, we can reflect on the two positives to emerge from lockdown. Not only did it give us precious time to create new promotional material for Motionworks, it also gave us valuable perspective. Seek projects that positively challenge you, are fun to work on and ultimately those you feel passionate about.