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Axis All Areas

Grant Hewlett discusses the role axisVFX played in creating the visual effects for Flatline and The Husbands of River Song.
Grant Hewlett is a CG supervisor and visual effects supervisor for axisVFX.

“Doctor Who is different every time. That’s the fun. You want that fear, you want that, ‘Oh God, how the hell are we going to do this?’ – because that’s the exciting part.”

Last winter, this was the philosophy that helped to motivate visual effects supervisor Grant Hewlett during 21 consecutive days of arriving home from work on the wrong side of midnight.

The company’s pitch for the 2014 series of Doctor Who included these illustrations for Into the Dalek.

In 2013, he and Howard Jones founded axisVFX, the boutique visual effects division of animation studio Axis. The company is based at Bristol’s Bottle Yard Studios, home to the recent Sherlock Special The Abominable Bride, plus Poldark and Deal or No Deal, among others.

The following year, the company made its Doctor Who début with Flatline, directed by Douglas Mackinnon. Then, in late 2015, the team was reunited with Mackinnon on the Christmas Special, The Husbands of River Song. Both episodes would test the cumulative skill and endurance of the axisVFX team.

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About Doctor Who Magazine

Special effects can transport audiences to alien planets, render familiar surroundings unrecognisable and bring terrifying monsters to life. Doctor Who has been at the forefront of such television trickery for more than 50 years. This richly illustrated publication celebrates the series’ greatest effects and meets the people who created them. From the trailblazers of the 1960s to the digital artists of today, here is the story of Doctor Who’s journeys into the impossible.