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Calling the Shots
Calling the Shots

Calling the Shots

Behind the Scenes at the New Doctor Who


192 Pages, 7 1/2 x 9 1/2

Trade Paper, $27.95 (US $27.95) (CA $30.95)

Publication Date: September 2007

ISBN 9781905287413

Rights: US & CA

Reynolds & Hearn (Sep 2007)

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Twenty-one years after he last worked on the original series, Graeme Harper was asked to return to the revived and reimagined Doctor Who. Here he demystifies the world of a modern television production, revealing how to create an alien invasion on a limited budget.

The scripts have been delivered . . . what happens next? When Harper returned to Who, he found himself directing a very different show than the one he remembered, and rose to the challenge of bringing back the most popular monsters from the series’ past—the Cybermen and the Daleks. Beginning from day one when the scripts arrived, fans are led through every stage of preproduction, including brainstorming creature and set designs, scouting locations, dealing with casting, figuring out the sheer mechanics of filming, and planning for some of the most complex effects shots the series had ever attempted. Attention is also given to the process of assembling footage, dubbing, scoring the music, and adding computer-generated effects—all done while time becomes tighter and the broadcast draws near. Every anxiety, challenge, and ultimate solution is covered through diary accounts and simple explanations from Harper’s point of view. Illustrations show how storyboards transfer to the screen, diagrams detailing camera positions reveal how action scenes are covered economically, and shooting schedules illustrate how scripts are blocked to utilize any given location in the most effective way. Above all else, Graeme Harper conveys the excitement and challenge of making Doctor Who, revealing the answers to viewers' awed question, "How did they do that?"

Author Biography

Graeme Harper is Professor and Director of The Honors College at Oakland University, Michigan.