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November 7, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Director Ang Lee has told a news conference that his greatest challenge in shooting Yann Martel’s Life of Pi was to make it appeal to general audiences, not just those attracted to art-house fare. “As an art house film, you can explore the philosophical issues,” Lee told the news conference in Taipei. “But for a popular film, we also need to make the audience feel touched, and that was the difficult part.” With a budget of $100 million, Lee obviously realized that it was imperative to attract more than an art-house audience. Shooting in Taiwan, he said, allowed him to think “outside of the Hollywood box … to try new things.” He also indicated that he felt less restricted in his homeland. The water sets were built at an airport near the city of Taichung. (Most of the film concerns a boy adrift on the sea with an orangutan, a hyena, a wounded zebra and a Bengal tiger.) The props were built in the city of Kaohsiung. “Right after we hopped on the high speed bullet train on an inspection trip, my colleagues started to feel that the United States is the Third World,” Lee quipped.