“Thank you, movie god,” Life of Pi director Ang Lee said when accepting the Oscar for best director at the Academy Awards. But movie worship is a polytheistic practice and many deities preside over the making of a film. For Life of Pi, Lee said he shared the award with “all 3,000” with whom he created an entire virtual world.
To film what was largely thought to be unfilmable—a philosophical novel that revolves around little more than a boy and a tiger on a lifeboat—Lee and his crew struggled heroically for a solution. Ultimately their prayers were answered by technology in the form of visual effects and 3D filming.
“It was a tough one, but really worth it,” Lee said at a screening of the special features included on the film’s Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, and DVD release. “I’m not just talking about the Oscar but the whole journey. It was really worth it.”
Lee said bringing Pi and the tiger to the screen was difficult, but constructing a visual representation of a philosophical abstraction was even more so. “But five years ago when I was asked, it was tempting; I got seduced,” Lee said. “I realize lately that the projects I choose are those that I could not stop thinking how to make it. I was possessed. Then after about a year of hesitation, I said, let me give it a try.”
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