Despite popular disbelief, deeming the world created by author Yann Martel in his novel ‘Life of Pi’, as “unfilmable”, the guys at Rhythm & Hues Studios have put together a mind blowing piece of cinema that is sure to visually stun audiences around the globe.
Director Ang Lee brought in the help of Rhythm & Hues film division, an award winning global production powerhouse that creates animation and VFX for Hollywood movies, to assist with the majority of digital creative direction.
Having had success creating animals in films such as ‘Babe’ and ‘The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe’, R&H were able to reuse system pipelines, thus investing more time on the intricate details that would really bring these creatures to life. More than 600 digital artists in six international locations have contributed to these details over the course of three years.
Academy award winner Bill Westenhofer of R&H recalls how the team aimed to ‘fool their colleagues… working themselves out of recognition’, as is most often the sign of state of the art VFX. Upon creating Richard Parker, (the Tiger in this tale) Westenhofer noted… “one of my fondest memories on set was when I showed Ang a clip of our first digital tiger test… we laid our digital Tiger over footage of the real animal we had taken in France. Ang saw it and said “Is that King?”, the name of the real tiger Richard Parker is based on. I said “yes it was”, but it was clear he hadn’t realised he was looking at a computer version. As soon as he did he smiled and said “good work”, it was at that point we both realised we were on the road to creating something special’
The film hits 16 selected UK screens on December the 11th, and with work carried out by a plethora of VFX houses including London’s MPC, it is set to be a collage of digital wizardry, and one that shouldn’t be missed. If you haven’t already done so, you can whet your whistle with the cinematic trailer here.