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  Alfonso Cuarón's "Gravity" film: mission patches

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Author Topic:   Alfonso Cuarón's "Gravity" film: mission patches
Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-09-2013 10:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Alfonso Cuarón's new film "Gravity" (Warner Bros. Pictures) stars George Clooney and Sandra Bullock as shuttle astronauts. In the teaser trailer released on Thursday (May 9), both actors' characters can be seen wearing a number of mission patches.

The U.S. spacesuits feature a mission patch on the astronauts' chests and another emblem on their right arms.

There is also a Russian pressure suit with its own set of patches.

As "Gravity" nears its Oct. 4 release, perhaps we'll get a better look at the emblems created for the film.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-26-2013 02:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
So, from the three new clips released this week, here is the closest and clearest view of the movie's space shuttle mission patch:

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-30-2013 06:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE
'Gravity' movie mission patches shaped by real space history

You can't have a spaceflight without a mission patch, even if the expedition is fictional.

Warning: The following contains minor spoilers.

In "Gravity," director Alfonso Cuarón's new movie about astronauts (Sandra Bullock and George Clooney) stranded on a spacewalk, the attention paid to mission patches — of which there are several different designs in the film — exemplifies the level of detail that the filmmakers pursued when recreating the look of a real spaceflight.

The film's visual effects, production and costume design teams researched real space hardware to produce faithful digital (and sometimes physical) recreations of the space shuttle, Hubble Space Telescope, the International Space Station, Russia's Soyuz spacecraft and more. The same attention was paid to the astronauts' spacesuits.

But they didn't stop there...

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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posted 10-03-2013 10:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Two questions: On at least the real US spacesuits, wouldn't the emblem be screened onto Beta cloth, instead of using an embroidered emblem? And did the cast and crew get a presentation set of the patches used in the film?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-03-2013 10:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes to the first (though Orthofabric rather than Beta cloth), unknown to the second.

(On edit: Sandra Bullock mentioned to me she had not received anything from the movie, so I guess that would rule out mission patches.)

noroxine
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posted 10-03-2013 04:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for noroxine   Click Here to Email noroxine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In the film, the Russian suit look like a mix between a Sokol and a Strizh (same zip and color configuration, glove looks like real one from Strizh).

Mirror on the right hand is attached with velcro, which is not the standard configuration, this is only an elastic.

What is strange is that those suits (Sokol and Strizh) are not for EVA!

The helmet on Russian suit is definitively not the original one since Russia never adopted the bubble glass version. Great idea... but not real.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-03-2013 04:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The changes to the Russian suit design were for combination of reasons, but from a behind-the-scenes perspective, lighting and artistic license were considerations. According to costume designer Jany Temime:
We dyed it a beige with a hint of green. We went through a long process to find that precise color to reflect the light properly. We adapted it to give it a more feminine silhouette and added two zippers in the front, which is a change to the original.
Based on Temime's comments, I suspect they started with an Orlan and worked backwards to arrive at something closer to a Sokol.

Given what happens in the film, the merging of the two suits was also likely driven by a plot simplification.

Jay Chladek
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posted 10-04-2013 02:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The patches are pretty easy to make out in the film. Glad to see them up close in the article though. It might have made for a pretty bizarre sight gag though if they threw in "The Big Bang Theory" patch as an easter egg inside the ISS.

I also think I know who "Thomas" is on the shuttle mission patch. Andy Thomas was given a technical advisor credit in the film.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-04-2013 10:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Having seen the film again last night, I can amend the mission patches article with one additional tidibit.
In "Gravity," the specific Soyuz mission designation never appears...
In fact, Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) radios ("in the blind") that she is aboard Soyuz TMA-14M.

And for those keeping track, the real Soyuz TMA-14M crew will launch the first crew members for Expedition 42 — the other patch sewn to the Russian suit in "Gravity."

Jay Chladek
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posted 10-04-2013 10:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well, technically while the designation never appeared, it was "heard" in any event. So the article is correct.

JBoe
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From: Edgewater, MD, USA
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posted 01-22-2014 07:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JBoe   Click Here to Email JBoe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For those interested, I found the mission patch on eBay (item 121251570837).

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