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Comic-Con 2013: ‘Gravity’ Panel

Gravity Comic-Con 2013
Legendary/Warner Bros.

Legendary brought out an impressive number of titles from its upcoming slate for its Comic-Con 2013 panel. Aside from the much-hyped ‘Godzilla‘ was Oscar-bait ‘Gravity,’ starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock.

Starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, Alfonso Cuaron’s ‘Gravity’ sees a medical engineer (Bullock) and veteran astronaut (Clooney) on a routine spacewalk. When things go completely awry and the shuttle is destroyed, the two find themselves tethered only to each other as they tumble deeper into open space.

Alfonso Cuaron came out to introduce the first film in the Warner Bros.-specific portion of the panel, ‘Gravity,’ starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock.

The story is about two astronauts on a mission in space, he said, and throughout the film you only see primarily those faces, that of Clooney and Bullock. When debris from an exploding satellite collides with their craft, the pair are thrown into open space with no communication with their home base.

“It’s a very intense film. It’s very immersive,” he said. “With that we played with different themes and issues,” though never giving up on the action.

He notes that while in the trailer there’s an explosion in space, that sound doesn’t occur in the film. “The film is composed of mostly extended takes,” he said, and the footage debuted was one single, approximately-five-minute-long shot, featuring the first interaction.

David Heyman and Sandra Bullock both came out following the debut of an extended scene from the film.

“They didn’t know if it was gonna work or not. There was no improvising, this was the brain child of all these people working together,” said Bullock.

“It was a very intense experience for Sandra, I must admit,” said Cuaron. “It required for her to be isolated” in a cube of LED lights. “Outside there were robots holding the camera, in some instances the robot would be holding the lights.”

“Sandra was completely insulated in that cube,” he continues, “Sandra chose to just stay in there between takes … as Sandra said, it was very mathematical.“

The camera would rotate around and would stop on a dime literally an inch from her nose, said Heyman, so she couldn’t inch forward.

“What Alfonso forgot to mention,” said Bullock, “they had me locked in this grid … so you would oscillate, so if the robot decided to zoom into her face she couldn’t get out of the way.

The first idea the team had to create the floating experience was through a vomit comet. Bullock, though terrified, was mentally preparing to use this method, though she was told semi-last minute that they tossed that idea out the window.

“They had me strung up on wires for eight to nine hours a day,” she said. “If you were in pain, either use it, or, I learned how to meditate. Alfonso gave me boxes of CDs with sounds … anytime I was in a place, he would just play music for me.”

“It sounded very Cirque du Soleil for me,” she continued, “I just wanted my body to get my core to accomplish whatever they wanted me to do…. I wanted the look to be as androgynous as I could get her,” because, as she says, her character suffers a great loss in her life and wanted to distance herself from that.

“You depend on a lot of great people to make ’Gravity’ with extended shots,” said Cuaron, though “it’s not difficult for me. It’s difficult for everyone else.”

‘Gravity’ is set to premiere on October 4.

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