Long before Gravity came around, Stanley Kubrick was the one that wowed moviegoers with a groundbreaking interpretation of space in film. In order to portray weightlessness in space, Kubrick attached his actors to wires that were positioned at the top of the set. Since the bodies were blocking the wires in camera, it created the illusion that people were actually floating. For the “centrifuge,” Kubrick commissioned the construction of a rotating set, which helped give the film a heightened sense of realism. Rotating sets are still used today, most notably for the hotel fight sequence in Inception.
2001 also introduced the motion control camera system, which allowed filmmakers to save precise camera moves to a computer and repeat them if necessary. Used primarily for photography of small-scale models, this revolutionary technique was instrumental for several films that followed. While the practice is rare today, there are some who still use it to film their effects as realistically as possible.