Ang Lee - Life of Pi's Enormous Technical Challenges
Bill Westenhoffer, a visual effects supervisor for Life of Pi said that the film was "one of the most challenging projects [he's] worked on," on a film featurette on YouTube. The challenge is unsurprising when you think about the task he and the rest of the visual effects team had on their shoulders.
Life of Pi is about a young Indian boy who ends up being shipwrecked in the middle of an ocean, stranded in a life boat that's also occupied by a zebra, an orangutan and, most problematically, a Tiger. Naturally, you couldn't have a live, blood thirsty tiger around a young boy all day every day filming, so instead they used a mixture of both a real tiger, and a CGI tiger. Director Ang Lee (who also directed Brokeback Mountain) said that "by bringing in the real animal, you set a standard- this is what you have to match." Indeed, according to Westenhoffer, "[they] had over 15 artists just working on the fur."
The trailer (see below) makes the film look both terrifying and beautiful, and likely to be one of the most visually stunning examples of cinema to reach the silver screen in a very long time, perhaps since Lee's martial arts masterpiece Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. We have high hopes for both its commercial and critical success.
Check out the sheer beauty below: