Gravity's Sound Design Featurette: How Did They Capture The Vacuum Of Space?

By Katey Rich 2013-10-07 11:19:34discussion comments


If you saw Gravity over the weekend, you probably walked out raving about the visuals, the way that director Alfonso Cuaron made it feel like you were actually in outer space, and the incredible technology that went into making Sandra Bullock and George Clooney look like they were floating in zero gravity. But the sound is just as huge an element in making Gravity feel so real, and in this newly posted featurette from SoundWorks Collection, Cuaron and re-recording mixer Skip Lievsay talk about how they captured the sound of the film, and how much the physics of outer space came into play.

You've heard that "in space, nobody can hear you scream." And while the science in Gravity isn't entirely accurate, the fact that sound waves cannot carry in the emptiness of space means that many moments in the film don't have accompanying sounds to go with them. If you've seen the movie you probably noticed this over and over again, from massive explosions that take place behind our characters in absolute silence to objects that don't carry any sound until they bang up against the helmets of our characters. Hearing only what our characters hear is a huge component in the visceral effect of Gravity, and though Cuaron and Lievsay admit that they didn't distort the voices of the actors quite as much as they could have, there's enough realism to put you right in the thick of it.

I haven't seen Gravity yet in IMAX, but I did see it in Dolby ATMOS, the heavily hyped new sound system that really is worth the extra money on a movie like Gravity. If you saw the movie already this weekend-- and obviously many of you did-- go see it again, and in ATMOS this time. Once you've gotten over the stunning visuals, maybe you can pay more attention to the intricate sound design this time.

Check out the trailer for Gravity below if you need to relive some more of the wonder/terror of outer space.


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