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Professor Brian Cox talks Gravity

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Professor Brian Cox talks Gravity

Post by ... on Sun 10 Nov 2013, 10:19

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By Louise Donovan 08 November 13

Given the film's otherworldly visuals, it's not difficult to see why Alfonso Cuaron's extraordinary Gravity has already raked in over $123.4m at the box office. The camerawork and CGI is so gloriously nauseating that you feel like you're being dragged straight into the centre of Sandra Bullock's breathless panic as she spins into space. But how realistic is the film? Speaking last night at the Mayfair Hotel, the film's visual effects guru Tim Webber (the man behind visuals for Avatar and The Dark Knight) and physicist (and former GQ Man Of The Year) Professor Brian Cox discussed space debris, science fact and the possibilities of filming on a reduced gravity aircraft (also known as a "vomit comet") . Here's a rundown of their best quotes from the Q&A:

Why they couldn't actually film it in zero gravity
"Sandra Bullock had been in, I think, two plane crashes, so getting her to go up into an aeroplane that dives thousands of feet every so often would have been a big ask." (Tim Webber)

Why Einstein would have loved Gravity
"I wish Einstein could have been in the vomit comet. Unfortunately for this film, he said gravity doesn't exist. Free fall is the natural state of things and there are no forces acting in that state, according to Einstein. Therefore if you put something in front of you when you're in free fall, it won't move. And that's the thing that hit me in the vomit comet - you understand viscerally what Einstein meant about there being no such thing as gravity. It's a geometric force and its gone. You see that beautifully depicted in this film." (Brian Cox)

The science behind what you see on screen
"This concept of space debris being a threat (which is not a spoiler because you've seen the trailer) is absolutely real. I was speaking to NASA a few weeks ago actually who were saying things move very fast in space and the energy that even flecks of paint have are like bullets. So something even about as big as my hand can take out a space shuttle and absolutely destroy a space station." (Brian Cox)

Why everything is relative when it comes to filmmaking
"I mean the film didn't really take four and half years [to make]. It depends how you look at time." (Tim Webber)

How Alfonso Cuaron takes more time than Ron Howard
"Apollo 13 was filmed in a vomit comet, but they had the advantage of wanting a shot that lasted four or five seconds. Alfonso loves the long shot and you get only get 15 seconds or so of weightlessness in the vomit comet, so it didn't really work out." (Tim Webber)

The role of science fact:
"The other science fiction film I worked on was Danny Boyle's Sunshine. The first phone call I got from Danny was: 'Right so the sun is going to stop working and you're going to go fix it.' I said right stop there, there is nothing I can do for you." (Brian Cox)

Gravity is out now.

...
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Re: Professor Brian Cox talks Gravity

Post by Atalante on Sun 10 Nov 2013, 16:01

I've seen Sunshine, mmm, yes .. Laughing 
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Atalante
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