"Bullock's working day on the shoot sounds more like a complex medical procedure than an acting gig. She describes it as a "morose headspace". She was strung or strapped inside the lightbox for up to 10 hours a day. She was usually in complete silence, save for instructions coming through an earpiece, and observed only by a camera on the end of a robotic arm. It was as if she was acting in total privacy, she says: "The only people I'd see was if someone came in to adjust the rig or fix something. Everything else was behind this black curtain on this vast black sound stage. Often I would just stay in whatever apparatus I was in because it was too long to get in and out of it. You learn to zone out. I don't know if meditation is the right word but it was that principle. I would either play music or just close my eyes and stay where I was – until the end of the day where you'd put your own head back on and go outside and have the benefit of sunshine."
At least it was an asset in the "adversity" department. "My situation was somewhat like the situation the character was in," she says, laughing. "There's no one around, you're frustrated, nothing works, you're in pain, you're lonely, you want someone to fix everything for you but they can't – all those things I was feeling."
Film With Gravity soon to be released on shiny disc and hopefully receive the best picture award at the Oscars, The Guardian has an interview with Alfonso and Sandy. Eyebrows have been raised and I've seen some bemused commentary on the number of nominations and awards Bullock's received generally from people who're a bit uninformed about the production process. Perhaps they should read this piece about what an average day for the actress was like on the set: