Ang Lee’s most recent offering, Life of Pi, scooped up several awards at the 2013 Oscar ceremony in February, including Best Director. The film, which relays the experience of a boy stranded at sea, is based on novel by Yann Martel, and examines several themes pertaining to religion and human interaction. It features a major twist at the end–which won’t be revealed for those who still have yet to enjoy this cinematic delight.
A new site, produced by 20th century FOX, Pi’s Epic Journey, will lend a fascinating glimpse into how the movie was put together, that will amaze both those who have seen the film and those who have not. The site parses CGI from real footage, to demonstrate how the flick was fashioned, and includes useful information, such as how Suraj Sharma, who plays Pi as 16-year-old boy stuck on the boat, learned to swim specifically for his role. It integrates various tidbits about the film seamlessly as the user scrolls down and throws up surprise after surprise. Stunning details like a short video of Suraj paddling around in the studio, reworked to appear like the sea, and another of the ‘storm,’ transformed from studio to real life open water, are also included. Small fact boxes pop up next to these insights, making the site informative as well as beautiful.
However, the magic and success of the film were sullied by protest surrounding the bankruptcy of the VFX studio which produced it, called Rhythm and Hues, and the closing of several others. As The Verge reported, frustrated former VFX artists were, allegedly, vocal about the shoddy treatment they received.