Studio pressure is one of the biggest movie killers out there. It can strip the creative power away from a director, making the final piece a pandering mess. But Alfonso Cuaron – whose film Gravity has stunned wherever it has played – wasn’t about to let that happen.

Sandra BullockSandra Bullock in Gravity

"With making a film it's like trying to create a tune in the shower while you have a hundred people singing around you. You have to focus yourself in on the tune that you're trying to create. Because you have hundreds of people singing different songs at the same time around you," he explained, via The Guardian

Gravity tells the story of Dr. Ryan Stone – an astronaut stuck within Earth’s orbit after her craft is ravaged by debris. The level of claustrophobia, felt even in the trailer, despite the thousands of miles of space in every direction, is startling; compelling.

But to achieve such a paradigm, Cuaron had to resist the demands to cut back to mission control – Houston – so the mission might undertake a time-frame. "You need to cut to Houston, and see how the rescue mission goes. And there is a ticking clock with the rescue mission," Cuaron said.

Luckily, Gravity borrowed certain nostalgic elements from Apollo 13, but not all of them. In addition, there were people suggesting Cuaron should carpet Dr. Ryan Stone’s life story with flashbacks, and even a love interest back at mission control.

Watch the trailer for Gravity

"You have to do flashbacks with the backstory." Then there was the suggestion that Bullock has "a romantic relationship with the Mission Control commander, who is in love with her," explained the headstrong director, who maintained the creative integrity of his film despite increased pressure – much like the kind exerted by gravity – by studio bigwigs and financial investors.

Gravity - which has accumulated a staggering 97% on Rotten Tomatoes from 226 critics - is out in the U.K on November 8th.