Gravity has seen phenomenal success across the board, particularly in the visual effects category. In his BAFTA acceptance speech Emmanuel Lubezki thanked “All Framestore nerds for making this adventure possible.”
Lars Erik Eriksen, who worked as a Paint & Roto artist on the film, said: “Being involved in a film that has won 6 BAFTA Awards including Visual Effects is an absolutely amazing feeling. It is a feeling that inspires me to work harder than ever in this tough but wonderful industry. And getting to work alongside some of my fellow AUB Alumni directly after graduating just goes to show what can be done when people like Jon Turner (Framestore) is allowed to run with their ideas. This is something I could only have dreamed about when studying at the AUB. During my last year I was doing more and more VFX related work so when I heard Framestore were setting up an outpost on campus I had to jump at the amazing opportunity. It was the steepest learning curve I’ve ever had and such an amazing opportunity to be working on a Hollywood movie right on [the] AUB campus.”
Alfonso Cuarón’s blockbuster space thriller also won the BAFTA for Cinematography, Outstanding British Film, Director, Sound and Original Film Music. In addition gravity has 10 Oscar nominations so there is definitely more noise awaiting this pioneering movie.
“I think it’s the best space photography ever done, I think it’s the best space film ever done, and it’s the movie I’ve been hungry to see for an awful long time.” – James Cameron
Work on the movie was led by world-leading visual effects (VFX) company, Framestore. Much of the film is photo-real CGI, with the only real elements often just Sandra Bullock and George Clooney’s faces. AUB Graduates that worked on the film include: Hollie Taylor, Natalie Young, Alex Cameron, Stefan Ash, Jakub Jezek, Olga Valenta, Alena Nikitina, Lars Erik Eriksen, Juila Zahner and Sasha Izadpanah
Sasha Izadpanah spoke about how the course prepared him for the role on Gravity: “My specialism on the Film course was editing and I was extremely lucky to have tutors like Bill Diver and Jonathan Turner. I had a well rounded experience – from the technical to the theoretical and I would not be where I am today were it not for the education they provided. I was lucky enough that during my second year Framestore opened up an outpost office on the AUB campus. Knowing this to be a great opportunity I spent a lot of my spare time getting as much experience in visual effects as I could during my third year to prepare me for the role they had. The precision and level of detail that Framestore were working too on Gravity was incredible. I joined in the Paint and Roto department which also involved dimensionalisation, the first step to 3d conversion. I have since transferred into the editing department at Framestore after being in paint and roto for a year and working on other films like the secret life of Walter Mitty and Robocop. The one thing I have learnt is that nothing teaches you more than experience. Get a camera, make films and make mistakes so you can discover what really works.”
Arts University Bournemouth, with Framestore, is strengthening this innovative partnership by building a bridge between industry and education. With funding from The Higher Education Funding Council for England, The Arts University and range of industry partners, including Aardman Animation and Nexus Production are establishing a graduate talent pipeline, providing specialist training to those already in the industry and enabling academics and industry practitioners to exchange ideas.
The Project, named Building the Bridge, is part of an initiative with The National Centre for Computer Animation that aims to establish Bournemouth as a centre of excellence for visual effects and animation. The partnership will enable students and graduates to have the support of world-class professionals while making the transition between academic study and a commercial working environment.