GRAVITY (Read time 1:27) — It’s the invisible force that keeps us centered & grounded.— It’s the irresistible attraction that keeps drawing us toward our impossible dreams.— It’s our own personal “tug of truth” that is in constant battle with our relentless resistance.The Movie:I think showbiz artists & entrepreneurs will respect and appreciate this film more than the general public, simply because of your understanding of the creative process and the various challenges it takes to pull off such a production. However, as of this writing 10/19/13, it has already grossed $200M world wide since its 10/4/13 U.S. release, (it cost $100M to make). I'm impressed by the tremendous risk and $$$ that Kevin Spacy brought forth to “exec produce” this film. Here’s what hooked me>>>— Only Two (Physical) Actors: Sandra Bullock and supporting actor, George Clooney.  I wasn’t a big Sandra Bullock fan. I'm just a big fan of real life, hi-tech, computer-driven movies. However, I'm now a big Sandra Bullock fan. Her acting was such that she convinced me that she wasn’t Sandra Bullock, she was a real medical engineer/astronaut, sacred out of her wits. It was her acting alone that carried the entire movie—it had to, she was (almost) the only one in it! Cool Fact: There are a few voiceover actors in this movie but a key voice part comes from Ed Harris, who is guiding the astronauts through space from Mission Control in Houston. It's a particularly cheeky choice, since Harris played John Glenn in The Right Stuff and NASA flight director Gene Kranz in Apollo 13. He also played the “Christof” the god-like character in The Truman Show.— Great Soundrack: Steven Prices’ score is so unique (reminiscent of Danny Elfman) that it's hard to imagine the film working as well as it does without his creative composing. It’s also a good stand-alone album for background music while you’re putzing around the house. I listened to the entire album as I was writing this blog.— Only One Set: The entire movie was shot on one set, using green screen, CGI and plenty of VFX.— Great Special Effects: 80 percent of the film was hand-animated on an Apple computer. It’s a tightly shot film with a very small set. The special effects make us believe we are entrapped in the entire universe while at the same time experiencing its violent wrath. Director of Photography Emmanuel Lubezki invented a "light box" set made of 196 panels, each containing 4096 LEDs. The entire rig was 20 ft. tall and 10 ft. wide. Imagine yourself as Sandra Bullock, hanging on an intricate 12 ft. wire rig like a puppet, inside a small box made of flat-screen TV's flickering light in your face. The UP-side? One of the TV’s was actually showing the scene to which Sandra was reacting to.— Great Direction: Alfonso Cuaron had to convey his eccentric vision to his (two) actors, via drawings, miniatures, playbacks, and…well…plenty of (Spanish) hand gestures! There was no other outside action for the actors to react to.— Great Script: Took five years from story idea to theatrical release. Cuaron co-wrote the screenplay with his thirty-year old son Jonas—this was the first collaboration between the two of them. It was Jonas’ idea. Truth is, it doesn't get any more challenging for a writer then to create a believable dialog with only two characters, without boring us to sleep. Truth is, one of those characters ultimately carries ALL the dialog for 3/4 of the movie. Truth is, from what I've heard from actual "crew-talk" a lot of this script was re-written on the fly. In fact, Clooney contributed one of the movies major pivotal transitions. (It’s the scene that’s so unbelievable).— Great Message: Never give up. Even if the odds are absolutely, positively against you and you only have a .0001% chance of making it, never give up on your big impossible dream. Follow your own personal “Tug of Truth” in the direction IT want’s to go.
J Michael Dolan

GRAVITY (Read time 1:27)

— It’s the invisible force that keeps us centered & grounded.
— It’s the irresistible attraction that keeps drawing us toward our impossible dreams.
— It’s our own personal “tug of truth” that is in constant battle with our relentless resistance.

The Movie:
I think showbiz artists & entrepreneurs will respect and appreciate this film more than the general public, simply because of your understanding of the creative process and the various challenges it takes to pull off such a production. However, as of this writing 10/19/13, it has already grossed $200M world wide since its 10/4/13 U.S. release, (it cost $100M to make). I'm impressed by the tremendous risk and $$$ that Kevin Spacy brought forth to “exec produce” this film. Here’s what hooked me>>>

— Only Two (Physical) Actors: Sandra Bullock and supporting actor, George Clooney.  I wasn’t a big Sandra Bullock fan. I'm just a big fan of real life, hi-tech, computer-driven movies. However, I'm now a big Sandra Bullock fan. Her acting was such that she convinced me that she wasn’t Sandra Bullock, she was a real medical engineer/astronaut, sacred out of her wits. It was her acting alone that carried the entire movie—it had to, she was (almost) the only one in it!
Cool Fact: There are a few voiceover actors in this movie but a key voice part comes from Ed Harris, who is guiding the astronauts through space from Mission Control in Houston. It's a particularly cheeky choice, since Harris played John Glenn in The Right Stuff and NASA flight director Gene Kranz in Apollo 13. He also played the “Christof” the god-like character in The Truman Show.

— Great Soundrack: Steven Prices’ score is so unique (reminiscent of Danny Elfman) that it's hard to imagine the film working as well as it does without his creative composing. It’s also a good stand-alone album for background music while you’re putzing around the house. I listened to the entire album as I was writing this blog.

— Only One Set: The entire movie was shot on one set, using green screen, CGI and plenty of VFX.

— Great Special Effects: 80 percent of the film was hand-animated on an Apple computer. It’s a tightly shot film with a very small set. The special effects make us believe we are entrapped in the entire universe while at the same time experiencing its violent wrath. Director of Photography Emmanuel Lubezki invented a "light box" set made of 196 panels, each containing 4096 LEDs. The entire rig was 20 ft. tall and 10 ft. wide. Imagine yourself as Sandra Bullock, hanging on an intricate 12 ft. wire rig like a puppet, inside a small box made of flat-screen TV's flickering light in your face. The UP-side? One of the TV’s was actually showing the scene to which Sandra was reacting to.

— Great Direction: Alfonso Cuaron had to convey his eccentric vision to his (two) actors, via drawings, miniatures, playbacks, and…well…plenty of (Spanish) hand gestures! There was no other outside action for the actors to react to.

— Great Script: Took five years from story idea to theatrical release. Cuaron co-wrote the screenplay with his thirty-year old son Jonas—this was the first collaboration between the two of them. It was Jonas’ idea. Truth is, it doesn't get any more challenging for a writer then to create a believable dialog with only two characters, without boring us to sleep. Truth is, one of those characters ultimately carries ALL the dialog for 3/4 of the movie. Truth is, from what I've heard from actual "crew-talk" a lot of this script was re-written on the fly. In fact, Clooney contributed one of the movies major pivotal transitions. (It’s the scene that’s so unbelievable).

— Great Message: Never give up. Even if the odds are absolutely, positively against you and you only have a .0001% chance of making it, never give up on your big impossible dream. Follow your own personal “Tug of Truth” in the direction IT want’s to go.

COMMENTS


Posted By Astronauticollins
THIS IS
heartstrings & soul tugs Johnny's Dark Shadow .0001=100.0


Posted By William Mesa
big Industry
I thought the film was just ok, until I read your blog. Your POV coming from being a showbiz person really opened my eyes to the entire film making process. I've been (successfully) stuck in the music biz for so long, that I now want to to shift my energy to other areas of the entertainment industry.


Posted By Rachel
It all has value...even...$.000000001
Staying centered, makes pottery beautiful. Value is perceived from so many different view points, I,m sure, everything looks different from space. $.ooooooooo1 has this much value...but maybe in space...it's the other way around:-) I always love film, movies and the brilliant minds that create them. What a great art form for all of us to enjoy. Thank you Michael:-) rachel


Posted By J Parker
"Tug of Truth"
Thanks JMD for another exquisite inspiration essay! I love your words about ".0001% chance"and "Tug of Truth." Such brilliant writing. Thanks again.


Posted By joe
awesome
thanks michael.. i benefit most when you write don't give up articles.. a jazz musician stuck in the alps of switzerland where the farmers don't relate to jazz.. i need your encouragement to continue the struggle sometimes!


Posted By randy
Grounded
You made so many good points in this writing, J. Michael, as does this incredible 90-minute film. I especially liked your final one -- "Even if the odds are absolutely positively against you...." That will stay with me for a long long while.


Posted By Chico Fernandez
Gravity
Plan to see it tonight or tomorrow.... I like your analogy to entrepreneurism. Thanks Michael!!


Posted By Michele S.
Gravity
I love the fact they called it Gravity even though it appears that there is absolutely no gravity in the entire movie. But that’s not true, it’s filled with it, if you read between the lines.


Posted By Robert Mann
Cool fact
Here’s another cool fact: As strongly as Bullock performs in the film, she was actually the third choice behind Angelina Jolie and Natalie Portman. Robert Downey Jr. was first choice for Clooney’s part. And that’s showbiz!


Posted By Cindy
No drifting
Special effects dominated this film. It definitely gave me the experience of aloneness, which was in one of your recent blogs. It made me feel how crucial every decision is when I am alone, in my creative “space.” Every act of Sandra’s moved toward survival—well almost every act. And in taking one step after another, she DID survive. It made me think that every act I take toward creativity brings me that much closer to what I want to achieve, and I can start to see progress even if I feel I am drifting along, aimlessly in space.


Posted By Andrea
Don't bail out
Truth is, the only Gravity was the Gravity of the situation Sandra Bullock’s character found herself in. And it challenged her character to finally decide if she belonged on Earth or not. Who hasn’t asked themselves, “Why am I here?” She decided she disliked space more than earth and that epiphany awoke in her a desire to survive, to live even. As I experienced this movie, I recommitted to my purpose in life, to my creativity and to my gifts. And NOT to bail out.


Posted By Beth Marcus
No Gravity?
I love the fact they called it Gravity even though it appears that there is absolutely no gravity in the entire movie. But that’s not rue, it’s filled with it, if you read between the lines.

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• DEAR PRUDENCE (read time :43)
• COMPLAIN ALL YOU WANT! (read time :23)
• IMAGINE (read time :57)
• WEEKENDS (read time :33)
• PIXAR LETTER (read time 1:03)
• RESISTANCE CAN KILL (read time 1:37)
• AMATEURS vs. PROS (read time :57)
• REQUIEM FOR A HONEYMOON (read time 1:09)
• CAN YOU FEEL IT? (read time 1:47)
• BRANCUSI'S VICTORY CRY  (read time :57)
• SAIL AWAY (read time :43)
• ARTISTS RULE! (read time 1:23)
• USE IT OR LOSE IT (read time :53)
• START HERE (read time 1:27)
• UNCERTAINTY (read time 1:19)
• STOPPED BY CALAMITY (read time 1:37)
• ART (read time :57)
• AUDACIOUS & UNSTOPPABLE (read time 2:37)
• WRITERS BLOCK (read time 1:47)
• BLOW AWAY DISTRACTIONS (read time :31)
• WAY OF THE CREATIVE WARRIOR (read time :27)
• GOOD BYE LADY LUCK (read time 1:53)
• CONFIDENCE IS EVERYTHING (read time 1:23)
• DEADLINE OR DIE! (read time 1:53)
• THE WIZARDS CLOCK (Read time :47)
• CREATIVE PRIVACY (read time :43)
• THE KOBE IN ME (read time 1:13)
• READY, SET, GO! (read time :47)
• EVE OF DISTRACTION (read time 1:29)
• KEEP YOUR FEET UP! (read time 1:09)
• JUST ONE MORE FOOT (read time 1:57)
• MY MUSE DOESN'T CARE (read time :39)
• MISUNDERSTOOD (read time 1:19)
• DUMP IT! (read time 1:19)
• IS IT WORTH IT? (read time :49)
• THE 24 HOUR RULE (read time 2:21)
• MONK ON THE MOUNTIAN (read time: a lifetime)
• “IT” (read time 1:37)
• BORN TO SHOW (read time 3:37)
• THE STING OF REJECTION (read time 1:13)
• LESSON FROM A ROCK STAR (Read time 0:27)
• THUMB POWER (read time 1:59)
• EXPOSING THE WIZARD (read time (1:13)
• HEY, WHAT’S THE BIG IDEA? (read time 1:37)
• THE WAITING WARRIOR (Read time 0:41)
• PLAY AT YOUR OWN RISK (read time :57 sec)
• AUTONOMY HIGHWAY (read time :35 sec)
• LIMPIDITY (read time :45 sec)
• WHY I MEDITATE (read time 1:00 min)
• YOUR SHADOW AGENDA (Read time 0:59)
• WHY I SOLD MY BUSINESS (read time 6:33)
• BARENAKED PROBITY (read time 1:47 min)
• THE FANTASIES OF POSSIBILITY (read time 4:17 min)
• THE TUG OF WAR (read time 5:09 min)