As
more details emerge about Alfonso Cuaron’s science-fiction epic Gravity,
it’s becoming clear that it’s one of what is sure to be many films that
have been empowered by or conceived as reactions to Avatar (I’m
thinking empowerment here). The Playlist ran across a notice from
effects house Framestore (who have done notable and Oscar-winning work
on several films including Avatar and Children of
Men
) that indicates Cuaron is
looking to apply his seamless, deliberately paced vision to what is
described as a “60% CGI feature.”

Children of Men
astounded audiences (the ones lucky or wise enough to see it) with
impossibly long shots that captured incredible amounts of scattered
action. Long fluid shots and impossible camera moves are not unique to
the film, but few (if any) films have managed to apply the technique to
such impeccably blocked action and grounded the camera work so well.
With an opening shot that is “slated to last at least 20
minutes”
Cuaron obviously
feels energized by the Avatar-style workflow/production model to
continue developing his edit-adverse sensibilities with Gravity.

There
is still a bit of vagueness concerning the “lead” star. Angelina Jolie
was originally slated to play the character that the film focused on,
with Robert Downey Jr. more of a periphery figure. Jolie left the
project when it moved from Universal to Warner Brothers. Now there are a
few conflicting, or at least unspecific, reports of Robert Downey’s
role, and whether he has taken over Jolie’s former spotlight, or if
there is still important lead-star re-casting to be done.

Have
a look at Framestore’s complete rundown of the film (from the VisFX
perspective) and watch out for more about this fascinating project as it
comes.

Framestore is about to
embark on one of its greatest challenges yet, Gravity is the next Avatar
in terms of ambition. There are many innovative and visually stunning
aims for this project.


The
entire film will be made here at Framestore. In effect the film, as
Avatar was, is 60% CG feature animation with the balance being hybrid CG
and live action elements.


Starring
Robert Downey Junior, the film is a contemporary survival thriller that
follows a woman as she attempts to make her way back to earth after a
satellite crash sets off a chain reaction of further crashes. Because
it’s set in space, most shots require every element to float in
zero-gravity.


But
then factor in that this is a stylish Cuarón flick, directed
with his trademark languid feel, and you begin to realise the full scale
of our challenge. Cuarón’s long and fluid style (the opening
shot alone is slated to last at least 20 minutes) leaves no cut points
to hide behind. In short, this is a hybrid of a fully animated,
photo-real feature film with a blockbusting visual effects movie.


Fortunately, having worked
with Alfonso before on Harry Potter and Children of Men, we know one
another extremely well. Now we are looking for the best talent in the
world to help us realise this massive and beautiful film. Over the next
few weeks we are interviewing and looking at reels of those in-house who
want to join in as well as making trips to the US, Canada and
Australia.


This
is CG feature animation meets real world on a large and beautiful
scale.


Source | The
Playlist


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