The Midnight Sky: How George Clooney Made His Emotional and Timely Sci-Fi Movie


“It would have been really hard to do it the other way around,“ he says. “The beauty of it is for us, literally, we only shot my stuff first and then we only shot their stuff afterwards. There wasn’t this sort of crossbreeding that can make things really difficult and hard to do. It’s hard to jump back in an actor’s chair where you’re directing yourself. So I had a great advantage by being able to schedule it that way.”

Another member of the solid, Felicity Jones, was additionally going by means of her personal bodily transformation of kinds whereas capturing the film: she was pregnant along with her first baby. But moderately than deal with that as an obstacle, to be filmed round or ignored (or worse, used as a cause to exchange the actress, like a studio might need executed within the previous days), Clooney got here up with a greater resolution: Jones’ being pregnant was written into the script, including one other layer to the stakes going through the crew of the Aether.

“It’s extraordinary, when you look at the list of actresses who’ve been pregnant while shooting, you’d be surprised that in some of the most iconic films in history, the leading actress has been pregnant,” says Jones. “But for the most part, pregnancy has been something that has been CGI’d out or disguised. So it felt revolutionary. It did feel very special that in a film of this scope and scale, having a pregnant astronaut is pretty spectacular and it was a testament to George’s modernity that he wasn’t scared of it, that he embraced it, and saw how it could benefit the storytelling.”

Indeed, the concept Jones’ character Sully, her unborn child and her fellow crew members may very well be the final people left alive is probably much more profound now, 9 months right into a pandemic that appears to point out no indicators of ending, than it was when Clooney and firm first began capturing the film. “We finished shooting in early February,” the director says. “We came to LA to start the editing, and immediately we were told to lock down. I wasn’t able to see my parents, we weren’t able to see our family, like we just talked about.”

But as Clooney and his group started modifying the movie, the space-based, post-apocalyptic thriller took on a special tone. “It became clear that it was a story about our inability to communicate, our inability to be home, our inability to be near the people that we love and hold them and touch them,” Clooney explains. “We were able to, in the editing, lean into the elements that say that we didn’t understand until you took it away how important our ability to communicate is.”

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