After stunning the world with the long takes in «Children of Men,» director Alfonso Cuarón’s next feature film, «Gravity,» brought along the long-take approach but cast aside the commitment to doing as much of the film practically as possible. Even more of the film was executed as full CGI than one might expect, with somewhere around 95% of any given shot being entirely computer generated. For many shots, Sandra Bullock’s face is the only real element on screen as even her body was frequently recreated in CGI.
Gravity’s impressive opening shot lasts for about 17 minutes before cutting, but handling so much of it via computers made the sequence much, much easier to capture, with the trade-off of the special-effects work being far more taxing in post-production instead. One of the shorter but arguably even more memorable shots from the film was dubbed the «womb shot» as Bullock’s Ryan Stone removes her space suit and curls up into the fetal position in zero gravity. This was one of the only times in the entire film that her body wasn’t completely replaced with VFX. Even for this de-suited shot, her back leg still needed to be digitally replaced to remove the brace that held her in place to simulate her zero gravity movements. Instead of Bullock actually rotating in space, the camera and lights rotated around her while she remained upright.