It’s the dream of many creatives: you self-initiate a personal project involving a much-loved character or TV show, post it on social media, receive plaudits and lots of attention, and out-of-the-blue you get approached by the makers of the real thing to work on it.

This is what happened to Leeds-based motion graphics artist and animator Billy Hanshaw, who worked primarily on corporate and TV spots. He created an animated title sequence for Doctor Who, which has been seen over 700,000 times since he posted it to YouTube last September – and which led to him being contacted by the show’s executive producer Brian Minchin and asked to help develop into the titles for the 2014 series, which sees the debut of Peter Capaldi as the eponymous Doctor.

While newspaper coverage has portrayed him as a Doctor Who superfan who produced the sequence for his own please, Billy actually created it as a way to showcase his skills and to show to potential clients to pitch for titles work.

Billy developed his sequence to be more in line with the plot and graphics language of the new series of Doctor Who, which was then built by BBC Wales’ own VFX team using Maya (Billy created his versions in Cinema 4D and After Effects).

I caught up with Billy by email on a rainy Bank Holiday Monday, two days after the first episode of the 2014 series debuted on TV. Read on for our exclusive interview.

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