25 years' most memorable moments: Gravity

BY: Crystel Newman |

CATEGORIES: interview, jobs, rising sun pictures, rspvfx

GRAVITY [2013] - With Ian Cope 

What did RSP do on Gravity?

RSP created the climactic re-entry sequence at the end of Gravity, where the space station Tiangong makes an uncontrolled descent in to the earth’s atmosphere. It meant a fully digital environment including CG space station, re-entry pod, earth, flames, plasma, destruction, and as Director Alfonso Cuarón always said, lots of PERIL! 

GRAVITY_ian-01Ian Cope, VFX Producer 

What was your role in this film?

I was the visual effects producer for RSP’s sequence – working with VFX Supervisor Tony Clark and the amazing team at RSP to create the sequence which spanned across 17 shots and two and a half minutes in stereo!  

What was your most memorable moment working on this film? 

One of the first conversations I had with Tim Webber, the film’s VFX Supervisor, was about some YouTube videos he had seen. These involved people strapping cameras to weather balloons and sending them in to the sky, reaching extraordinary heights into the stratosphere. The outcome of that conversation was RSP working with a local group called Team Horus to do exactly that - this allowed us to gather photographic evidence of the planet that helped our artists recreate sections of the background for the re-entry sequence. Off the back of this, Tony and I were interviewed for the DVD/Blu-Ray special features, which was a nice touch! 


How long have you worked at RSP?

19 years. 

What is your most memorable moment while working at RSP?

Being onset for The Wolverine, where they had converted the car park at the Sydney Olympic site in to a Japanese village, complete with fake snow, ninjas, and Hugh Jackman on a motorbike! They even had Japanese drinks in the vending machine. Love the high quality production values and our ability to transform a seemingly mundane location to a kick-arse action sequence with ninjas and Wolverine! As an aside, I always thought the view of 5 ninjas talking together, drinking a cup of tea between takes, was quite amusing.  

There are plenty more moments, such as designing the Goblet of Fire for Harry Potter, or coming up with a Dumbo-themed out-take for the credits of George of the Jungle 2, or travelling through Asia to show off RSP’s work – that reminds me why I’ve worked here for almost 20 years! 

What do you enjoy most about working at RSP?

The people, that every day is different, the amazing work, and that we can do it here, in South Australia.  

Discover more about Gravity

To find out more about what RSP did on GRAVITY visit the project page.


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