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The Amazing Making of the Movie Gravity
Usually, from the time a script is packaged and several production houses have signed on, actors are chosen to the final edit, your typical movie can take a year to be ready for the public. Some movies can be made in short order- say, six months.
Gravity is not one of those. It took four years of work. The movie is in 3-D and at the simplest level is about two astronauts in space encountering some serious problems. Yes, it has been done before but not like this. For instance, the movie opens with a 12 minute scene of an extended shot that took that many years to complete. Of course, making an outer space movie requires computer simulation and CGI and a soundstage where the actors actually act. This film used robotic machines, like those in auto assembly plants, to hold cameras and actors into positions, each weighed two tons.
Gravity was first created entirely in a prevised state, or, completely in the computer minus actors. It is an advanced storyboard process commonly used in laying scenes in the a movie before being shot. The movie resembled a Pixar animation but in a very realistic manner. As the making of the movie advanced, some scenes were entirely CGI but for the actors face. Even the space suits the actors are not real but CGI effects. The movie set only had a few actual spaceship mockups for actors to interact with and the third astronaut in the movie is all CGI but for his voice!
The computer software used used cameras within the computer. Many times, lighting effects were done after the scene was shot using CGI. Unlike other films with excessive CGI and actors use green screens, in Gravity, the actors were actually looking at computer animation of the scene they were in, such as the space station. This helped actors "act". Many scenes required the actors to in a 10x20ft. lightbox in harnesses as the action moved around with colored lights casting shades. This gives the illusion that Sandra Bullock is hurling through space. She's not moving much at all!
For Sandra Bullock, this movie pushed her personal comfort zones about flying. She has a fear and phobia about airplanes and originally, the director wanted to shoot in an aircraft in flight, Bullock was so in fear, the scene was filmed on ground but in a airplane. Also, the movie tested her acting ability because most of the movie is about her being lost in space and her rescue. George Clooney is only in about 20 minutes of the movie total. Thus, like Tom Hanks in Castaway, the movie is carried by Bullock. Success or not depends on her.