The Life of Pi creative team will get together to discuss the 3D and visual-effects work employed on the Ang Lee-directed fantasy adventure on Monday, May 6, at 7:30 p.m. at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. “Deconstructing Pi” will be hosted by Academy governor Bill Kroyer (The Green Mile, The Monkey King), and will feature film sequences and “making-of” clips, in addition to an onstage chat with Academy Award-winning visual-effects artists Bill Westenhofer, Erik-Jan De Boer, and Donald R. Elliott; Oscar-winning cinematographer Claudio Miranda; previsualization supervisor Brad Alexander; and Oscar-nominated film editor Tim Squyres.
“Thinking in 3D really helped me make this movie," Ang Lee is quoted as saying on the Academy’s website. "…I think that put me in a position to conceive and make this movie somehow differently.”
Well, Lee’s "different" way of thinking apparently worked. Life of Pi has earned $608.56 million worldwide (nearly 80 percent of that figure outside North America), and is the winner of four Academy Awards: Best Director (Ang Lee), Best Cinematography (Claudio Miranda), Best Original Score (Mychael Danna), and Best Visual Effects (Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R. Elliott).
Adapted by David Magee (Finding Neverland, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day) from Yann Martel’s novel, whose basic setting was inspired by Moacyr Scliar’s Max and the Cats, Life of Pi tells the story of a young Indian man (Suraj Sharma) adrift at sea. Keeping him company in a small lifeboat is — no, not Tallulah Bankhead in a fur coat, but another sort of furry creature: a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker.
Life of Pi Oscar nominations
Besides its four wins, Life of Pi was nominated for Oscars in the following categories: Best Picture (Gil Netter, Ang Lee and David Womark, producers), Best Adapted Screenplay (David Magee), Best Film Editing (Tim Squyres), Best Original Song (“Pi’s Lullaby,” Music by Mychael Danna; Lyric by Bombay Jayashri), Best Production Design (David Gropman; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock), Best Sound Editing (Eugene Gearty and Philip Stockton), and Best Sound Mixing (Ron Bartlett, D.M. Hemphill and Drew Kunin).
Life of Pi cast
Along with Suraj Sharma, the Life of Pi cast includes Irrfan Khan, Rafe Spall, Adil Hussain, Gautam Belur, Gérard Depardieu, and Andrea Di Stefano.
For more information on the Academy’s Life of Pi evening, click here.
Life of Pi tiger photo: 20th Century Fox.