When I first saw Gravity in the fall, I was immediately struck by the amazing visuals. It reminded me of the story my dad told me about seeing 2001 for the first time, how the images were unparalleled to anything else he’d seen before. With the amazing technology available and the advances made in visual effects over the past 20 years, there really is no limit to what can be brought to the screen. As an audience, we’re spoiled, and we hold the filmmakers to a higher standard because there really is no excuse for bad visuals. So it takes something truly special in today’s climate to stand out, as amazing effects work is commonplace, and that’s exactly what Gravity did. The fluid, extended takes gave you a sense of what it’s like to float in space. I am a huge detractor of 3D, but it’s effect didn’t bother me with this film. And when the first debris storm hit, the amount of destruction on the screen, combined with the stunning camera work, sound design, music, and editing, made my jaw drop (it’s a cliche expression, but that’s actually what I was doing in the theater).
When the movie was over, I said to myself “if that doesn’t win the Oscar for director, cinematography, and special effects, then I don’t know why we even bother?” The Academy agreed and then some. It was wonderful to see a director honored for really pushing the medium of film and what is possible on the screen. My congratulations to everyone involved in the film, the accolades are certainly deserved. I also was lucky enough to attend a special screening at the DGA with a Q/A with the director, cinematographer, production designer, and sound mixer. The film nerd in me was geeking out. Check out this stellar, blurry picture of the event*.
*Clearly, I will not be winning any awards for photography any time soon.