The space movie Gravity has swept the technical awards at the Oscars. Much of the groundbreaking work on conveying space and weightlessness was done at London's Framestore. As Melanie Ralph reports the UK is leading the the way in the field of special effects.
REPORTER: Blockbuster Gravity reached new heights - not only in the award stakes, but technical achievements too. Despite the very convincing end product the space needed to shoot this movie was a lot less than you'd think. In fact, much of the magic was produced here in London at this production company nestled in the windy streets of Soho. It's hard to believe that most of what you see in Gravity on the big screen was done on a small screen from behind a desk. Framestore's Alexis Wajsbrot was the Effects Supervisor on Gravity.
ALEXIS WAJSBROT, FRAMESTORE EFFECTS SUPERVISOR: ''One of the main things about Gravity is it's full CG, so the cloth, the suit, the body, the helmet, everything is CG, and then the thing was to put back the face into our 3D software, so we had full freedom to control the arms, the legs and reanimate everything.''
REPORTER: Although they may have saved on the studio space, they certainly didn't scrimp on the staff. It took 400 people more than three years before Gravity was ready for the big screen. Gravity isn't the only blockbuster movie that Framestore's been involved with. Harry Potter, James Bond's Skyfall, and Robocop are just some of the other films that this London-based firm have been involved with, proving that London is still one of the top locations for creating movie visual effects. London has led the way in film and animation for many years. Framestore's CEO William Sargent thinks London's talent offers unique qualities to movie making.
WILLIAM SARGENT, FRAMESTORE CEO: ''The UK is very good at innovating. If you look at a lot of the innovations in film making, Gravity being a very fine example, that the process isn't just technology innovation but production processes have been innovated. The UK's very good at that, and so we were the first people to apply computers to making commercials, television and films.''
REPORTER: It's not just the talent that attracts the blockbuster movies to the UK. London's film businesses are all located close to each other, making the job that much easier. Sohonets' Ben Roeder.
BEN ROEDER, CTO, SOHONET: ''You have companies such as The Foundry, Film Light and Kodak Digital, that are some of the main powerhouses of the industry these days, and provide the tools, and they're also based in London, within spitting distance of the visual effects companies.''
REPORTER: For the producers of Gravity, the making of the movie is already in the distant past, having finished the project a couple of years ago. But no doubt the success of the movie has left its makers feeling on top of the world.
IDIOMS & WORDPLAY
1. To reach new heights - to reach a better or greater level of something.
2. On top of the world - very happy or proud.
3. Within spitting distance of - very close to.