October belonged to director Alfonso Cuarón and his groundbreaking film Gravity. Not only did the film receive universal acclaim for its direction, cinematography, and sound, but it went on to be one of the highest grossing film of 2013, taking in over $650 million worldwide at the box office. Though some time has passed, putting a relieving wedge between us and a movie that forced us to reevaluate our lives as we hung, suspended in the darkness of our minds without the heavy gravitational pull of everyday distractions, the work that was done on the film is still as relevant as ever. The Wrap just uploaded a behind the scenes video that takes us on Gravity’s journey from script to screen.
Cuarón and his team simply wanted to make a film about adversities. This, however, evolved into a strangely simple, yet complex story about rebirth, or as the director put it, a “journey through adversity.” Cuarón explains, the themes of the film, especially “rebirth through adversity”, were communicated using visual metaphors — Ryan in a fetal position in the cabin with the “umbilical cord” wrapped around her, her face’s juxtaposition over the Earth, the frog at the end of the film.
One of the most interesting aspects of the film, at least to me, is the cinematography. Five time Academy Award nominee Emmanuel Lubezki, or “Chivo” was the DP on the project, and had to find (and create) ways to photograph distressed astronauts in open space, in zero gravity. The solution to filming characters in zero g was similar to the process used by Bot & Dolly (you may remember their amazing short film Box), creating a set, or “light box”, using LED panels, and filming the scenes using cameras attached to robotic arms. Ironically enough, David Heyman, the film’s producer, describes Lubezki’s cinematography as not feeling “precious”, but instead very “natural”.
Check out the rest of Alfonso Cuarón Takes Us on a Journey Through Each Stage of Production for ‘Gravity’, originally found on nofilmschool.