LONDON- In a London basement, cutting-edge technology is being used to make a computerized Sandra Bullock climb into her rocket. But the team who put her there in “Gravity” have spent the morning working with more basic tools of the trade — syrup, cheese and chocolate.
“We’re trying to create a melting flesh effect for the new Tom Cruise movie,” said Richard Graham, visual effects project manager at Frame store, the British company that has helped “Gravity” collect 10 Oscar nominations.
“Golden syrup and chocolate make really good blood if you mix them with lots of red food coloring,” Graham told AFP in an interview at Frame store’s sprawling studios, behind the facade of an ordinary-looking office block in the Soho district of central London.
“We’ve also been blow-torching different cheeses to make them bubble. Burger cheese didn’t work that well because the fat content’s not high enough. Mature English cheddar was a lot better.”
The sticky mess of foodstuffs will appear for only a fleeting moment, grafted digitally onto the actors’ skin, in the forthcoming movie “End of Tomorrow”.
But that’s nothing unusual for Graham and the other visual effects (VFX) artists who spent a painstaking three and a half years creating the stunning computer-generated space vistas of “Gravity”.
Frame store staff toiled for a year building a digital replica of the International Space Station (ISS) — and then tore their hair out trying to work out how to blow it up.