The making of 'Gravity'
“I have always had a fascination with space and space exploration,” states Alfonso Cuarón, the director, producer and co-writer of 'Gravity'.
He continues, “On the one hand, there is something mythical and romantic about the idea of separating yourself from Mother Earth. But in many ways, it doesn’t make sense to be out there when life is down here.”
Right now, orbiting hundreds of miles above the Earth, there are people working in a place where there is very little separation between life and death. The inherent dangers of spaceflight have grown in the decades since we first began venturing beyond our own atmosphere…and those increasing dangers are manmade. The refuse from past missions and defunct satellites has formed a debris field that can cause disaster in an instant. NASA has even given the scenario a name: the Kessler Syndrome.
David Heyman, who produced 'Gravity' with Cuarón, attests, “This is a real issue. Every screw or piece of junk that has been dropped or left behind is orbiting at an incredible speed and if, or when, they collide, they create still more debris. It is life-threatening for the astronauts, the spacecrafts and possibly for us here on Earth, too.”
Starring in 'Gravity' as novice astronaut Ryan Stone, Sandra Bullock learned about the problem from those most affected by it. She offers, “I used to think that astronauts wanted to go into space for the thrill and adventure. When I spoke to them though, I was so moved by their deep, deep love of that world and the beauty of Earth from their perspective, seeing the oceans and mountain ranges and the lights of the cities. It’s amazing to realize how small we are in this massive universe.”
George Clooney, who co-stars with Bullock, adds, “I grew up with the space race; I am a child of that era. I have always loved the idea of space exploration and am in awe of the people who do it. They really are the last of the great pioneers.”
But that exploration has also had its consequences. Bullock affirms, “It is heartbreaking to think about not only the destruction of this planet, but also about what we don’t see: the trash that is literally orbiting above us.”
That premise becomes the catalyst for a harrowing fight for survival in 'Gravity', which transports you into the awe-inspiring but forbidding vacuum of space.
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