Creating Miniature Effects for The Day of the Doctor

For those of you who may not know it, the BBC has an Academy where they offer internships and courses aimed at creating the next generation of, well, everything needed to make television really. As part of this the website regularly posts interviews with various people talking about the work they do. At the moment one of those interviews is with Mike Tucker.

Mike is the man responsible for the effects work, specifically the miniatures, used on The Day of the Doctor. This entails being responsible for supervising the design and construction of the models and their associated rigs, booking the stage, the camera crew, the electricians and then act as miniature effects director on the actual shoot days. “Effectively it’s like being a second unit.” says Mike.

The main focus of Mike’s work on the special was the opening battle sequence on Gallifrey.

“An added complication to our work was that the show was going to be made in 3D. Up to that point no one had tried a high-speed miniature shoot in 3D for a British drama production before.”

Interestingly, because of the limited availability of the high-speed 3D camera rigs, the team ended up shooting out the model sequences in advance of the main unit shooting the full size battle scene, quite the opposite to the usual way these things are done.

The whole interview is filled with little interesting snippets and there are links to other related Day of the Doctor articles detailing the making of the episode and an in-depth study into the shows 3D elements.

What are your views on the use of miniatures on Doctor Who; are you old school and think there should be more, or are you more inclined to having more computer generated effects? Perhaps you are a miniatures maker yourself and would like to weigh in with your thoughts on the subject? Whatever your views let us know them in the usual way below.


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