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The virtual and real cameras in "Gravity"

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Mark Suszko
The virtual and real cameras in "Gravity"
on Oct 9, 2013 at 8:43:47 pm

This may be the most unique film release of the year, and I highly urge you to see it in 3d, preferably IMAX as well...

Out of hundreds of really unique shots in the film, though, one that grabbed me most was a slow, subtle push in with the camera to a tight single of Bullock's face inside the space helmet, which continues at a glacial pace, on and on and thru the "glass" of the CGI Visor, on into the interior of the helmet, in there with her, along her face, turning to give us the in-helmet POV, and coming back out again...

I could look at this shot over and over and never get tired of marveling at it. Even knowing how the effects are achieved, the moment is so engrossing, you just ride along with it without questioning it.

Of course, if all a shot does is call attention to how cool it is, without conveying story or emotion, it isn't doing it's proper job, but this one, REALLY does carry the emotional tone of the scene all the way thru, involving the audience in a way I obviously found very unique and singular.

The conventional means to get this scene would have been cuts between a helmet exterior establishing shot, and a specially-rigged interior prop helmet POV shot, then a cut back out to the wide shot, and yes, that "gets you there", fast and easy, but Quaron's measured, dallying, unflinching, un-blinking continuous rolling camera stands the shooting and editing convention on it's head in this case. That's why the film feels like nothing else you'll see this year.

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