‘Pi’s’ Claudio Miranda wins for best cinematography
Ang Lee’s masterpiece joins a trio of 3D films to win the award
CAMERON | PACE Group has been the main provider of 3D expertise and patented technology on all three projects
“Life of Pi,” the masterful rendition of a young man’s terrifying journey across the Pacific, won four Academy Awards for Best Director, Best Original Score, Best Visual Effects and a Best Cinematography Oscar for Claudio Miranda at the 85th Academy Awards Sunday night in Los Angeles.
“Pi” joins a select group of only three films shot in 3D to receive the Oscar for cinematography. The trio (“Avatar,” “Hugo” and “Pi”) share a singular provenance: CAMERON | PACE Group (CPG) has been the main provider of 3D expertise for these Oscar-winning films. All three employed CPG’s patented technology to empower production.
” Claudio Miranda ‘s work on ‘Life of Pi’ stands as the best example of native 3D cinematography to date,” says director James Cameron , CPG’s co-founder and co-chairman. “And his Oscar win is a milestone in the acceptance of 3D into the creative process of world class filmmakers. I’m proud that ‘Life of Pi’ is CPG Certified, and of our CAMERON | PACE Group team for supporting this great work of cinema art and science.”
CPG supported “Pi’s” 3D artistry from pre-production creative input to post-production finishing, lending both expertise and technology to a project that has reaffirmed the artistic and financial potential of 3D filmmaking. The film’s triumph on Oscar night also underscores CPG’s leadership in 3D technology and production.
A Global Triumph
Pi” was considered by many to be unfilmable because of its daunting logistics (for one, a Bengal tiger in the confines of a small life raft). “I thought, ‘this was an impossible project,’” recalled Ang Lee , who won his second Best Director Oscar for the film. A 2010 visit to CPG facilities in Burbank helped convince the director that 3D could play a pivotal role in bringing his singular vision to the screen.
Lee and cinematographer Claudio Miranda, who won his first Oscar on Sunday for best cinematography, were determined to get 3D right. The filmmakers collaborated with CPG Co-Founder and Co-Chairman Vince Pace to identify the best equipment and methodology for the project.
“Pi” marked Miranda’s second collaboration with CPG, having worked previously with the company on “Tron: Legacy.” Both in Burbank and on locations in Taiwan and India, “Pi’s” production team had constant access to CPG’s equipment and world-leading experts in stereoscopic filmmaking. This included patented camera rigs, a comprehensive process for on-set 3D dailies, and special technology to let the above-water “dry” 3D cameras capture the movie’s highly praised storm sequence. The CPG team also constructed specialized camera housings to film in the 1.7-million-gallon water tank used to stand-in for the Pacific Ocean.
The result, according to critics, is one of the most intimate and visually compelling uses of 3D ever captured on film. “Lee sets out to astound the viewer with the hitherto untapped properties of 3D,” observed Richard Corliss in Time Magazine. “‘Pi’ builds on the triumphant innovations in James Cameron ‘s ‘Avatar,’ and the advances in motion-capture technology evident in ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes,’ to create a tactile, spectacular world of wonder.”
Adds Vince Pace , “With Ang’s movie, you connect so well. You feel you’re in the middle of that ocean and isolated from civilization.”
“Pi” has garnered almost $600 million in worldwide ticket sales, a global tally that far surpasses any other best picture nominee this year. The film also triumphed in China, where CAMERON | PACE Group China is constructing an extensive production infrastructure to support the country’s top creative talent.
Miranda’s Oscar win for Best Cinematography follows his award in the same category from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts earlier this month. The film was also lauded this year by the International 3D Society, picking up awards for live-action feature and live-action stereography, and “3D Moment of the Year” for the remarkable scene in which flying fish appear to engulf the film’s small lifeboat.
In 2012, Peter Travers of Rolling Stone named “Pi” one of the top three 3D films ever made. His choice for the other top two were “Hugo” and “Avatar.”
“‘Pi’ is visually amazing, inventive, and it works on you in ways you are not really aware of,” says James Cameron . “I feel like the technology we have created has contributed to a masterpiece.”