How ‘Life of Pi’ makers brought audience into film
| Leila Macor |
LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Director Ang Lee wanted to offer filmgoers an “immersive” experience with “Life of Pi,” his Oscar-nominated 3-D fable about an Indian boy trapped on a boat with a tiger. Claudio Miranda helped him do it.
The Chilean-American cinematographer, a veteran of 3-D film-making who himself is up for an Academy Award on Sunday, says bringing Yann Martel’s philosophical novel to the silver screen was no easy task.
The film is up for 11 Oscars, including best picture, best director, best adapted screenplay and best cinematography, earning the second highest number of nominations after Steven Spielberg’s presidential drama “Lincoln”.
Taiwanese Director Ang Lee (R) and Indian actor Suraj Sharma (L) arrive for the 8th Academy Awards nominee luncheon at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, USA on February 4. EPA
To recreate the world of Pi, who is stranded on the boat with the Bengal tiger in the Pacific after a shipwreck, the crew had to build a huge water tank of 90 by 30 metres in Taiwan.
Miranda says that was the only way to control the light and decide how the waves would move in a film where the ocean is nearly a character itself.
“We just wanted to make it feel immersive. There’s something very different about water and 3-D and how that feels,” said the 47-year-old Miranda, who previously did 3-D camera work on “TRON: Legacy.”
“There was a big concern that they (the public) were going to be sick” due to the 3-D movement of the water, he said. “There’s a lot of editing choices and horizon choices that make you feel less sick.”
The extra work paid off: even though “Life of Pi” earned mixed reviews from critics, reviewers were nearly unanimous in their praise of the film’s stunning visuals.
“Ang is very experimental,” Miranda said of the Taiwanese-born director, already a best director Oscar winner in 2006 for gay cowboy romance “Brokeback Mountain”.
“He wanted to find new ways for storytelling. He felt like really exploring 3-D.”