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Exclusive clip: Ang Lee talks concept artwork behind Life of Pi

Creating Life of Pi took the vision of director Ang Lee and the help of some talented concept artists. Lee explains the process of taking this film from concept to screen in this exclusive featurette.

It’s easy to see that director Ang Lee has an emotional attachment to Life of Pi. After all, it’s not exactly the type of book that typically translates well to the big screen.

“I read the book when it first came out. I was fascinated by it. It was also mind-boggling and all of that. It’s not even close to making as a movie; that’s pretty obvious,” he told in December of the story of young Pi Patal and a ferocious tiger stranded together on a lifeboat after a fatal storm.

Eventually, he decided to tackle the project, though it was still a big undertaking.

“The movie relies so much on illusion — how do you give the audience an emotional ride? — Which is not what the book is about,” he added. “It’s a philosophical book. How do you give them an emotional ride and then examine the illusion within the illusion of a movie?”

Lee explains in this exclusive featurette that he eventually figured out the visual process through watercolor paintings created by concept artist Alexis Rockman.

“They showed the studio what we were doing for real,” Lee said.

The result? A stunning, spiritual film that explores the deeper — and sometimes terrifying — meaning of life.

The Life of Pi Blu-ray 3D — on sale March 12 — features over two hours of bonus material, including deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes featurettes, inspirational artwork and more.

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Photo:  20th Century Fox

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