On October 4th, US audiences are going to be introduced to Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón's new space film Gravity. Starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, this film enters into the scary reality that one venturing into space can end up being alone and trapped. In addition to Bullock’s performance of a harrowing experience, the movie divulges best what life in space is like. Cuarón partnered again with his longtime cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki and visual effects supervisor Tim Webber, along with a crew of many more in order to create this much anticipated and talked about film.
In normal space-based films, typical visual effects are usually enough to convey a sense of realism and awe to audiences. But with Gravity, Cuarón wanted to take a different approach. Due to the fact that the film doesn’t always take place in the spacecraft, where it’s easier to display the zero-gravity effect, a lot of new technologies had to be tested. While these many new technologies were all very different, they shared one common component; they used computers and robots and they were all painful for the actors. This led to Tim Webber creating a contraption called “The Lightbox”, a 20-foot-tall, 10-foot-wide box filled with LED lights that lined the walls, ceiling, and floor. Inside was something like a cherry picker that picked up the actors and could spin and tilt them in all different directions. The camera was mounted on a robotic arm that had the capability of shooting above, below and could come in at many different angles. Together, these two elements mimicked the illusion of tumbling through the stars. As described in a Gravity review by Latinos Post, Bullock is pulled at the limbs by puppeteers who had her tied up like a marionette in order to best display gravity-defying movements.
Another important aspect to Gravity is the 3D used in the film. Critics have said that it’s the first movie since Avatar where seeing the movie in 3D is essential. Normally, 3D movies are argued as being unnecessary and high tech 3D is seen as being too computerized and unrealistic. That’s not the case with Gravity as every scene is impeccably crafted and life-like. The immense amount of detail that was put into creating Gravity is almost flawless. It is argued that it will be one of the best works of art in film this year.