Space man Jon takes off with Gravity

The awe-inducing spectacle served up in the award-winning blockbuster “Gravity” owes a small part of its success to a Burnley whizzkid.
SPACE MAN: Jon Hartley, the assistant technical director on "Gravity"SPACE MAN: Jon Hartley, the assistant technical director on "Gravity"
SPACE MAN: Jon Hartley, the assistant technical director on "Gravity"

Jon Hartley, brought up in Cliviger, was the assistant technical director on the hit film, which recently scooped six BAFTA awards and has been nominated for 10 Academy Awards.

The 34-year-old who works for Framestore, a visual effects company based in London, worked on the model of the space station featured in the film which starred George Clooney and Sandra Bullock.

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Jon, who attended St James’s Primary School in Lanehead, said: “It was really cool being involved in such a big film.

“I’ve worked with Framestore for around four years and this is the first feature film I’ve been involved with.

“We worked for around a year and a half problem-solving and working with the lighting and look development.

“I was involved with the modelling for which we used a huge image library from NASA as a reference point.”

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Jon, whose father Neil is a well-known Burnley tailor, is now working on the Marvel feature film “Guardians of the Galaxy”.

Jon, a keen drawer since childhood according to his father, landed his dream job after completing a BA in computer visualisation and animation at Bournemouth University, securing one of only 50 places from hundreds of applicants.

And, after working for more than a year on Gravity, Jon had the special privilege of seeing it on the big screen in a private screening for cast and crew at the Odeon in Leicester Square.

“It was a real buzz seeing what started out for us as something small ending up so huge and impressive in the cinema. I was thrilled at the BAFTA success and I hope it goes on to pick up some Oscars. It is a real boost for the British film industry.”