Having a strong story vision and a strong producer are of paramount importance when trying to guide a film through the studio machine. Without those elements, any given story can fall prey to different visions, or to the fear executives have of working with the unusual or unproven, or (worse) an idea they can’t quite visualize for themselves.
When faced with such things, the typical approach is to shoehorn in tried and true elements to make the story in question look more “normal.”
Alsonfo Cuarón has recently explained just how studio execs’ need for safety and easy visualization nearly came together with his new film Gravity. If Cuarón and his team had been less solid, the film might have fallen prey to the studio impulse to make things softer and safer. We might have seen flashback scenes, or a love story subplot, or even a male version of Sandra Bullock’s character. Cuarón explains below. Read More »
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Posted on Tuesday, October 8th, 2013 by David Chen
Dave and Devindra praise the brilliance of Short Term 12, chat about the incredible making of Wadjda, and debate whether or not rewatchability equals excellence. Special guest Tasha Robinson from The Dissolve joins us for this episode.
You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Also, like us on Facebook!
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Almost all modern films rely heavily on sound to make an impact. With Alfonso Cuaron‘s Gravity, however, the things we don’t hear are just as important as those we do. Taking place entirely in space, with scenes set in the vacuum between spacecraft and within those crafts themselves, the film features a more realistic type of sound design than we’ve seen in most space-based films.
So while we hear dialogue transmitted through suit audio and some sounds of interaction channeled as vibrations through space suits worn by Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, some of the big events in the film go down without the typical booming movie sound effects. Seeing spacecraft disintegrate in near-silence turns out to be far more effective in some ways than the same scene would be with standard effects — could we see Gravity effecting any big change in how certain films are soundtracked? Here’s hoping.
Regardless, there’s a lot to talk about with respect to the creation of sound effects in Gravity. The great Soundworks Collection has a ten-minute video on the subject, which you can enjoy below. Read More »
Posted on Monday, October 7th, 2013 by Angie Han
Alfonso Cuaron‘s Gravity landed with a huge splash this weekend, earning near-unanimous critical praise and exceeding all box office predictions to become the biggest October opening in history. Much of the appeal lay in the film’s verisimilitude. As several reviewers put it, Gravity is the closest that most of us non-astronauts will ever get to space.
But wowing general audiences who don’t know the first thing about actual space travel is one thing. Passing muster with experts is quite another. While astronaut Buzz Aldrin wrote that he was “extravagantly impressed,” astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson took to Twitter to point out everything the movie got wrong. Hit the jump to see what they had to say.
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Even Quentin Tarantino will tell you his taste in movies is far from in line with any one person. Much like his movies, Tarantino has a very unique and personal sensibility, which is part of the reason why his movies are so unique. The Pulp Fiction and Django Unchained director recently put those tastes on display by revealing his ten favorite movies of 2013 (so far). Some are expected: Gravity, This is the End, and Before Midnight. But there are some very curious entries. One in particular, in fact: Gore Verbinski’s The Lone Ranger. Read More »
For years we’ve heard that Alfonso Cuarón, director of Children of Men, wanted to make a space-set film like no other. Gravity has been the subject of rumor almost from the start, about how it would feature a very long unbroken “shot” as its opening sequence, about how a mixture of practical photography and CG would be combined to create an immersive and realistic vision of being stranded in space.
Unlike most rumors, most of the ones about Gravity were true. The film follows two astronauts, played by George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, and tracks Bullock’s character as a fairly routine spacewalk turns to disaster. It was shot with unusual methods and features an atypical soundtrack to create the sensation of being in space. And the general reaction to the 3D in the film has been very enthusiastic, especially when seen in IMAX. Our contributor Laremy Legel loved the film in Toronto, and now you have the chance to see it for yourself. So let us know; what did you think about Gravity? Read More »
A genius filmmakers has a brilliant idea. But there are problems: it’s going to cost untold millions of dollars to realize, and he has no clue how to make it happen. Enter a great producer.
This is what happened with Alfonso Cuaron‘s latest film, Gravity. From the outset, the small space-set movie was incredibly ambitious. No one knew exactly how to make it feel and look like the action was happening in space. So even with two A-list stars attached, the movie was a gamble. It took the watchful eye of a man Warner Bros. truly trusted. That man was David Heyman, the producer primarily responsible for bringing a little franchise called Harry Potter to the studio and making them billions. He’d previously worked with Cuaron on Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and was Cuaron’s first phone call when looking for someone to help make his near impossible vision a reality.
/Film had the opportunity to speak to Heyman about this gargantuan task. We asked how Cuaron approached him, how he approached the studio, how you budget a film that is literally inventing technology and what one tiny change took two and half months right under the wire. Check it out below. Read More »
Director Alfonso Cuarón is finally back, and he’s showing us truly amazing things.
Gravity is a technical marvel, an optical treat of the highest order. However, it can also lay claim to being one hell of a narrative, combining genius-level visuals with a taut script; the end result coming together as something really special. On the face of it, it’s the story of two NASA astronauts on a mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope, and the obstacles they’ll have to overcome to survive in space. Really, Gravity is the age-old set-up in which humankind attempts to operate in an environment designed to kill. Indeed, though a far different film than Children of Men, both thematically and in terms of scope, Cuarón has created another film with weight, resonance, and a strong sense of style.
George Clooney and Sandra Bullock easily carry this briskly paced film, Bullock in particular (as Mission Specialist Ryan Stone). She turns in a remarkable performance, more textured and compelling than anything we’ve seen from her prior, including The Blind Side. Making the hostile setting of space the focal point of a film certainly comes with a huge element of risk, but I’m pleased to say everyone involved pulled it off. They’ve made a 90-minute cinematic gift for us.
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