Gravity took nearly four (and a half) years to make. That means for four years, Alfonso Cuarón had to deflect a lot of not-so-great ideas from the studio that had invested millions into his risky endeavor. Thanks to our exclusive interview with the director, we now know what some of those crappy ideas were.
Warning: Spoilers below, for people who haven't seen Gravity yet.
Gravity is actually kind of a huge destruction porn movie. Everything blows up.
Alfonso Cuarón: Yep.
Did you have to fight for the film to be more of a small, character-focused piece? Instead of focusing on all of the destruction?
When we set up to write the script, it was about that. What we were trying to do was a film about adversity and the possible outcome of a rebirth. All of things that fall apart metaphorically, and in the life of this woman.
So there was no pressure anytime from anyone to focus more on the destruction and less on the characters?
When you go into the process, yes, there are a lot of ideas. People start suggesting other stuff. "You need to cut to Houston, and see how the rescue mission goes. And there is a ticking clock with the rescue mission. You have to do flashbacks with the backstory." But we were very clear that this was the film that we wanted to make.
I can't imagine this movie leaving [the main character's POV]. But I understand people pitch things. So what was the weirdest suggestion that you heard on how to change Gravity?
This is the thing, you will always hear voices. With making a film it's like trying to create a tune in the shower, while you have a hundred people singing around you. You have to focus yourself in on the tune that you're trying to create. Because you have hundreds of people singing different songs at the same time around you. There's always that.
The whole thing of the flashbacks. A whole thing with... a romantic relationship with the Mission Control Commander, who is in love with her. All of that kind of stuff. What else? To finish with a whole rescue helicopter, that would come and rescue her. Stuff like that.
There's always stuff like. But I have to say, with all the people — and we're talking about the studio — in the end, they were all very respectful because they had a clear view of what we were doing. And I understand all this. You have to understand that in this is the process... in many ways I don't know how they did it.
Because they put a lot of money [into Gravity] and they couldn't see absolutely anything for not months, years. And not because I didn't want to show them anything. Just to put together the footage took years.
So while the process goes, everybody gets a little nervous. A little anxious. "Are you sure you don't need this? Are you sure we don't need to pump up the action value, like having an enemy, like a missile strike?" Everybody is just dropping stuff, because they are flying in the blind. Literally that sentence "Houston in the blind," which is something used in the space program. Pretty much, the studio was flying in the blind.
This is just a part of our much longer interview with director Alfonso Cuarón. Read the rest here!