Andy Nicholson: Gravity

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Gravity is Alfonso Cuarón’s story of lone survival (by Ryan Stone/Sandra Bullock) amidst disintegrating technology in space. Where space used to be depicted in movies as gleaming and futuristic, now it is filled with space junk and a disintegrating International Space Station. For Andy Nicholson, production designer, creating the sets for this film involved the same level of intense, detailed research and photorealistic recreation as he would apply to creating the backdrop for a “period piece.” He talks about delving into a huge on line archive of images of past space flights, and finding not only fascinating facts about spacecraft – like just how useful Velcro is – but also just how brilliantly engineers over the past 50 years have designed every aspect of a spacecraft, adding up to purely functional non-design design.

Andy Nicholson is nominated for an Oscar for Best Production Design, along with Rosie Goodwin and Joanne Woollard for set decoration.

Once he and his team created the set, they were recreated in CGI by the company Framestore.