Dubai: Ang Lee has revealed that he was drawn into Yann Martel’s award winning novel ‘Life of Pi’ the first time he read it.
The 58-year-old director visited Chennai with Tabu, Irrfan Khan and newcomers Suraj Sharma and Shravanthi Sainath to promote the film to Indian journalists at Sathyam Cinemas, a popular multiplex in the city.
“I was drawn into the story the first time I read it,” the Gulf News quoted him as saying.
“This is a wonderful adventure story with a philosophical message. It haunted me for a long time,” he said.
When Fox Star Studios approached him to direct the film, Lee said that he thought, “how do I crack this book?”
“As a movie it became more challenging than writing since it relies on realistic images and total illusion. I thought, here is a story of a small boy, tiger and water, why not make it in 3D?” Lee said.
“But we did not know much about 3D when we started, so that became a challenging material. I am an avid filmmaker and more challenges make it more seductive.”
“Three and a half years ago, I made a decision that I wanted to make this movie into a special cinematic experience. It is spiritual and a fantasy story,” he said.
Lee shot portions of the film in two locations in South India, Puducherry and Munnar, Kerala, while the scenes depicting the sinking of the ship were shot in Lee’s home country of Taiwan.
“The weather conditions were right,” Lee said.
“In my homeland I am the golden boy where they will do anything for me and I can pull things off. Hence I brought Hollywood to Taiwan. We set up a studio in an abandoned airport in Taichung.
“We created a wave tank, something that has never been done before. It simulates the Pacific Ocean and that made this ocean movie possible,” he revealed.