Source: A still from Stowaway
On April 22, 2021, sci-fi movie Stowaway released on the online streaming site, Netflix. The movie, which has topped the most-watched charts worldwide since its release, is penned by Joe Penna and Ryan Morrison and helmed by Penna. As Stowaway manages to grab people's attention by touching upon issues of morality and self-hood in space, let us have a deeper look into Stowaway's gravity issues faced by the crew members of the sci-fi drama.
Recently, in an interview with Variety, VFX cinematographer Jannicke Mikkelsen opened up about achieving the spacewalk scene in the film. She said that the astronauts experience gravity and microgravity on a spaceship in constant rotation around its own axis, and the rotating spaceship is on a high-speed orbital trajectory towards Mars. Thus, she revealed that the entire film crew struggled with the single most confusing challenge of orientation throughout different stages of the scene's production.
She said that they started inside of the Unity game engine and added the 3D module of the spaceship, along with the rotational movement which is approximately two rotations per minute. They added the Sun, Earth, Moon and Mars, and other planets. She revealed she had the creative freedom to position the sun to offer the 'best lighting situation' for the scene. The scene begins with Zoe (Kendrick) and David (Kim) walking on the roof of the MTS and Jannicke following them as they walk towards the tethers.
Working along with DP Klemens, they added a drone-like sensation in the hand-handled camera movement reflecting on the tension in the space, since the truly hand-handled was not working for them. She swiped through several lenses and tested which one worked best for the particular scene. She revealed that to capture the scene, she had the ability to walk anywhere in space but 'didn't specifically have to walk on the spaceship to capture the scene'.
Stowaway features Anna Kendrick, Toni Collette, Shamier Anderson, and Daniel Dae Kim. The film revolves around a three-person crew of the Kingfisher. Anna Kendrick in Stowaway can be seen playing Zoe, the ship's commander, while Toni is seen as Marina, and Daniel is seen as a biologist, David. The trio is set up on a mission to Mars, which is in jeopardy when they discover stowaway Michael (Shamier Anderson) shortly after launch. The VFX cinematography is taken care of by Jannicke Mikkelsen.
Zoe recalls an unsurvivable situation she faced twelve years ago and decides to go against the decision made. Instead, she thinks they should see if there's enough oxygen left in the tank. A solar storm hits and the radiation proves deadly to anybody exposed to it. The storm lasts for hours when Michael voluntarily sacrifices himself to get a full canister for the three crew members' survival.
Zoe notes if he doesn't make it back, 'one of them dies too'. Marina cannot go because of her fracture and David volunteers. Zoe stops him and makes a promise to get back home to his wife and build a family. Zoe heads out to the tethers and manages to get to the oxygen tank. She fills up a canister and brings it back to the ship. Stowaway's ending shows Marina, Zoe sitting on the hull and staring out at Mars as she dies.
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