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The Making of Life of Pi: A Film, a Journey Hardcover – October 30, 2012


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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Diversely illustrated with 275 photographs and illustrations, The Making of Life of Pi tells the inside story of how renowned Academy Award-winning director Ang Lee brought Yann Martel's international bestseller to life as a 3-D film.

With a rich, entertaining text and a wide variety of facts, anecdotes, visual portfolios, and sidebars sure to delight readers of all ages, The Making of Life of Pi follows the making of the film from pre-production through final cut. Of course, you'll meet Suraj Sharma, the sixteen-year-old unknown Indian high-school student who won the part of Pi although he had no acting experience and didn't even know how to swim—yet in the end performed all of his own stunts. You'll learn about the massive wave tank, custom-built for the film that replicated a vast, stormy ocean in all its moods, thanks to a complex and specially devised menu of wave and wind combinations, some really powerful machinery, and tons of water. You'll get to look inside the fifty-page fully illustrated "survival guide" that shipwreck survivor Steven Callahan created for Pi to consult on his raft. And you'll read about King, Themis, Minh, and Jonas, the four Bengal tigers used in the film—and discover how visual effects were able to create a seamless 3-D image of the tiger Richard Parker.

A foreword by Yann Martel, an introduction by Ang Lee, and an incredible range of visual materials—fine art, vintage archival imagery, and commissioned portfolios by photographer Mary Ellen Mark and artist Alexis Rockman—supplement the film's storyboards, sketches, and stills, rounding out this highly experiential book for lovers of the novel and film viewers alike.

About the Author

Jean-Christophe Castelli worked as a magazine editor and freelance writer, publishing articles in Vanity Fair, Esquire, and Filmmaker, before moving into film. For seven years, he was the story editor at the independent production company Good Machine. There he developed many film projects and began a long working relationship with Ang Lee, first with the cultural research on The Ice Storm (1997), followed by the story development of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000). While pursuing his own writing projects, Castelli has continued to do development and research for Lee, most recently as associate producer on Life of Pi (2012). He lives in New York City with his wife and twin sons.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Design; First Edition ~1st Printing edition (October 30, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062114131
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062114136
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.7 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #696,799 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Parka TOP 50 REVIEWER on November 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Length: 1:06 Mins
This is a beautiful movie companion to the film Life of Pi. It's a 160-page hardcover with surprisingly thick paper stock.

The book looks behind the scenes at the film making process. There are stories on how filming is done in India and Taiwan, scouting and looking for locations, how the wave pool was created, when and how the computer graphics are used, the animals, etc.

The more interesting section is on filming in India where it's so busy and there's this huge difference in culture. There aren't much written about Taiwan, the country itself, but there's a lot on the wave pool that was built at an old deserted airport provided by the government.

Interestingly, Ang Lee is not one who uses storyboards for film-making, so there aren't a lot of art in the book. He likes to go with the flow, so to speak. There are plenty of photos on set and on their scouting trips.

Nice movie companion for the film.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Thomas E Beach on January 31, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Anyone as interested in film-making and in love with this movie as I am was bound to be disappointed by this book. (Basically, I wanted to know everything!) In the end, I really enjoyed the details it provided, the numerous productions stills and the excellent design and layout. While I might have liked even more narrative detail, I am grateful to Mr. Castelli for provided the best source I've seen so far in covering the effort that went into creating this wonderful movie.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A.C. on March 4, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
A behind the scenes look at how the movie is made. If you are interested in movie making, or like me, in love with this story, this book is an excellent reference to better understand the world of Pi.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cloggie Downunder on August 27, 2013
Format: Hardcover
The Making of Life of Pi, a film, a journey by Jean-Christophe Castelli is a lavishly illustrated book that examines the steps leading up to the production of the Ang Lee movie, as well as the actual filming and post-production. Each section is enhanced and supported by a myriad of glossy colour images. There is a forward by Yann Martel, author of the book inspiring the movie, a preface by Castelli and an introduction by the movie director, Ang Lee. The how, when and why of 3D is explained; there is plenty of technical detail. The process of making a computer graphic tiger, hyena and storm are explained. This book is full of fascinating facts that will give the reader an appreciation of the talents of the cast (especially Suraj Sharma) and the crew, and, although it does remove some of the mystique, it will make the reader want to see the movie again. Fascinating and beautiful.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Diane on January 25, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After reading the book and seeing the movie, this was a wonderful companion as to how the movie was made. CG at its best!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jen on July 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Considering the amazing feats (which resulted in an Oscar win), I would have preferred if this movie covered a bit more of the VFX, specifically the tiger. It was interesting to read about the adaptation of book to screenplay to film, locations, casting, and shooting, but the real magic lies in all of the CG wizardry, which without it, would have made this film worthless. Concept art and such would have been appreciated.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ravenscroft on July 22, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was a look behind the scenes at the people, the places, the magic, and all that goes into making a masterpiece movie. It is a fascinating and compelling story; a personal journey and the journey made by all involved in making this beautiful movie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By zorisfriend on March 29, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the first behind the scenes book I have ordered for Kindle, and I give it four stars only as I feel the paper version may render the photos better. That aside, it was still an amazing and detailed retelling of how this movie came to be. I had to watch the movie again to truly appreciate what went into it's creation.
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