Entertainment News

  • 3 March 2014, 6:15

Oscars: Gravity Showcases British Film Talent

Outer-space thriller Gravity will lead the charge for Britain at the Oscars in Los Angeles tonight.

The film has an American cast of Sandra Bullock and George Clooney but was shot at Pinewood and Shepperton Studios in the UK.

The animation, which makes up 80% of the film, was done in central London as was the conversion from 2D to 3D.

Gravity's producer David Heyman told Sky News: "It is without question a British film and it's a celebration of what the talent in this country can do.

"We have crews and people working within both production and visual effects that are as good as anywhere else in the world.

"That's why people are coming here from all over the world to make films."

The film's director Alfonso Cuaron - a British resident for 13 years - is the hot favourite to win Best Director.

None of the other Best Picture contenders have had the worldwide commercial success of Gravity, and no other film can boast such technical accomplishment.

Another Brit expected to pick up an Oscar for his work on Gravity is sound designer Glenn Freemantle.

His challenge was to design sound effects for a film set in space where there is no sound.

The solution he came up with was to record vibration.

He told Sky News: "We even had an acoustic guitar in a tub of water. The vibrations go through it, so we thought it was a good idea to try it.

"So we put that in the water, we put contact mics on the guitar, we put them on the sides of the bars, we put hydrophones inside it and then we would rub, touch, all different things against the bodies of the guitar or the bowls to get the sounds that you hear in the film."

The pioneering methods used to shoot Gravity are likely to change cinema forever, which means the film could well clean up in the more technical Oscar categories, such as Best Visual Effects and Best Production Design.

"There has been a huge amount of investment that has gone into visual effects in the UK," says Sarah Mackey of the UK Screen Association.

"It grew on the back of a very healthy commercials visual effects market and then accelerated quite dramatically when the Harry Potter franchise came to the UK, so that was a fantastic opportunity for a lot of people to learn skills and to develop over the period of that franchise, which was filmed over 10 years."

The prestigious Best Picture Oscar is widely predicted to be a two horse race between Gravity and 12 Years A Slave.

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