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Film Studies 101
Feature
Before And After: A Look At Life Of Pi's Visual Effects
Six steps to the perfect storm

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2. Start Early

Rocheron, working out of MPC's Vancouver base, was responsible for the film's two set-piece storm sequences. The first is seen below, a cyclone that leads to the sinking of the Tsimtsum, the freighter transporting Pi and his family from Pondicherry to Canada, and is followed by an even more cataclysmic tempest known as 'The Storm of God'. The VFX man and his team started work plotting their shots before Lee went anywhere near a camera or the film's specially-constructed wave tank in Taiwan. A year of pre-viz lay ahead.

"We needed to make sure Ang had the flexibility to design his shots [and] there was a lot of preparation involved. Pi was a very technical shoot – one shot required 1½ billion water droplets to be simulated – and the technology needed to simulate oceans is very complex. Everything was shot in the tank or against blue screen so we needed to know where each shot would be, where the sun would be, the composition and the angles, so when filming started [cinematographer] Claudio Miranda knew where to put the camera and where to place the lights."

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Your Comments

1
I saw this film last week at a special screening and i thought it was amazing! by far, one of the best films of the year, visuals to story were amazing! thankyou Ang Lee for bringing this great story to life! More

Posted by Armani88 on Saturday December 22, 2012, 10:27

2
It's easy to forget while watching it just how much time and effort people have put into creating every single shot. Impressive. More

Posted by Whistler on Friday December 21, 2012, 15:00

3 Nice to see some honesty
It is refreshing that the production company have allowed the work done by VFX to be recognised in the publicity, rather than the usual BS and lies about "we shot it for real" or all the actors did their own stunts that usually comes out. More

Posted by iwantbitty on Friday December 21, 2012, 12:17


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