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How ‘Life of Pi’ makers attracted audience to the movie

The director of Oscar nominated 3D fable wanted to offer his viewers a unique experience when they headed to the theaters to watch ‘Life of Pi’ , a story about an Indian boy who got trapped on a boat with a tiger. A Chilean American cinematographer, ClaudioMiranda helped him do so. Here is how he did it.

Claudio Miranda who himself has been nominated for an Academy Award on Sunday is a veteran of 3D filmmaking. According to Claudio Miranda making out a movie out of Yann Martel’s novel was no easy task to do. As per Claudio, a boy and a tiger can never be put on a boat together ever. Visual effects have to be used creatively to portray the effect and at the same time, it should not look like a cartoon.


Life of Pi is the second movie after Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” that has received highest number of Oscar nominations. The film has received 11 Oscar nominations in total including those for best director, cinematographer, best picture and best adapted screenplay among others.

Recreating the world of Pi was no easy task. The story revolves around an Indian boy who is stranded on a boat with a Bengal tiger in the Pacific Ocean after a shipwreck. To recreate the scene, the movie makers had to build a huge water tank that measured 90 by 30 meters. The tank was built in Taiwan.

Building the huge water tank was the only viable option as per Claudio Miranda. The tank helped the creative team control the light and create a real life situation as to how the waves would be moving. Claudio Miranda was of the view that the ocean in itself was a character in the movie. The team had a big challenge in the way that they did not know as to how the audience would react to a 3D movie in which a major challenge was to make the water itself look in sync with the 3D effects.


3 D movement of water was a challenge in itself as it involved a range of editing and horizon choices. The hard work the creative team put in made the film stand apart among others in the league. ‘Life of Pi’ earned mixed review from reviewers and critics and all were unanimous in praising the movie for its stunning visuals too.

Claudio Miranda had words of praise for Ang too. The Taiwanese born director Ang has already been a best director award winner. He had won Oscar award for cowboy romance “Brokeback Mountain.” As per Claudio, “Ang is very experimental” and this strategy seemed to have paid well in “Life of Pi” too.

Claudio gave his share of appreciation to Ang. The success of Claudio’s cinematography was partly due to the decision of Ang to experiment with the 3D approach. Ang decided to break some rules that are imperative in 3D shooting and added his own innovative touch, thus making the visual effects more appealing.

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