Welcome!

News Feed Item

Q&A: Claudio Miranda on Filming the 'Impossible' Film

CAMERON | PACE Group talks to the award-winning cinematographer about his Oscar-nominated work on "Life of Pi" and the remarkable storytelling potential for 3D.

BURBANK, Calif., Feb. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- "The Life of Pi," the story of a young man adrift in a life raft with a Bengal tiger, was no simple cinematic endeavor. Logistical hurdles, among other challenges, led many to conclude that "Pi," based on the 2001 novel by Yann Martel, might never make it to the screen. Even director Ang Lee struggled with what he called an "impossible" film. But Lee eventually concluded that the richness and dimensionality of 3D would deepen the story and advance his unique vision.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130131/LA52533LOGO)

Lee tapped Chilean-born Claudio Miranda as his cinematographer, in large part because of his work with 3D on "Tron: Legacy" and digital on "Benjamin Button." "Impossible" "Pi" has gone on to become a critical and financial triumph worldwide. The film is nominated for 11 Academy Awards, including a nod to Miranda for best cinematography.

CAMERON | PACE Group was integral to "Pi's" 3D artistry from pre-production to screen, lending both expertise and patented technology to the project. Miranda collaborated closely with CAMERON | PACE Group (CPG) Co-Founder and Co-Chairman Vince Pace on both "Tron" and "Pi." The CPG team was on location in India and Taiwan, where a 1.7-million gallon tank was constructed for water scenes. "Pi" earned CPG Certification, a seal of approval that ensures the highest quality of stereoscopic production and 3D media experience possible.

In the first of its "3D Showcase" series of interviews with leading creative and technical talent around the world, CPG spoke with Miranda at his home in Los Angeles three days before the Academy Awards.

CPG: So have you rented your tux?

Claudio Miranda: Actually, I own one (laughs). I have to.

CPG: Tell us how you got the job on "Life of Pi"

CM: Probably because of "Tron." And a little bit of "Benjamin Button." Ang (Director Ang Lee) had seen both films. "Button" is a good-looking movie full of digital effects, and "Tron" is a good-looking 3D movie. I really didn't imagine Ang being a 3D guy, since his other movies had been shot on film and in scope (the same aspect ratio as CinemaScope). But he knew he had to shoot digital for 3D, so I think that's why I got picked for the job.

CPG: Was "Tron: Legacy" your first experience with 3D?

CM: Yes. There's always talk about doing the 3D in post-production using conversion. There were so many real sets on the film that we felt we should just do it in the camera.

CPG: You worked closely with CAMERON | PACE Group (CPG) on that film. How was that experience?

CM: Just great. Vince (Pace) was there for me in the beginning in Vancouver, along with some other guys from CPG. Vince gave me the basics. Once he saw that I had the hang of it, I carried on.

CPG: We heard that before "Pi" you and Ang Lee educated yourselves about good 3D by studying bad 3D.

CM: Ang and I learned some important lessons from one particularly bad movie that I won't mention. For example, they used a really tight shutter angle that caused strobing (a staccato effect in the motion of the film). It's not a great feeling when you're watching it in the theater. The tighter the shutter, the more crisp each frame. It's like when you're taking a still photograph and you want to capture your kid in mid-air without any blur so you use a very fast shutter speed. But with 3D, in-camera blur can be your friend because the blur between frames makes for a more fluid motion. It eliminates that kind of stutter on the screen and makes the 3D experience less hyperactive. With "Pi" we definitely preferred a faster frame rate and a longer shutter.

CPG: Clearly, the 3D in "Pi" is visually amazing. But it also plays an integral part in the storytelling.

CM: Ang was very sensitive to not overdoing it. Any time characters or objects started to look miniaturized as a result of the 3D, we veered away from that. But there are some cases where it can help with the storytelling. There was one scene where we wanted the lifeboat to look really small so we did spread the eyes (the distance between the two lens centers) to cause a miniaturizing effect. It made the boat look almost like a little toy. This was in service of the storytelling, to reinforce the idea that Pi was alone, a speck on the ocean. We wanted to play with the 3D to reinforce plot and character. When a character is being aggressive, you can get his head out in front, so it feels like he's in your space. Ang loved the idea, too, that in the scene of the sinking ship, Pi is on the viewer's side of the screen. He's watching the ship as it sinks on the inside of the screen. So there's a big visual separation between this new world that's all to be his, and his past, represented by the sinking ship. The 3D really reinforced that part of the story.

CPG: Did you learn anything on "Pi" about 3D that you didn't know before?

CM: For me, "Tron" was really about making good 3D. I didn't really connect it to the way the audience would respond to the story. So doing it from point of view of a story was really something new. I had to think about how to set the 3D up and to stage it. Not just as far as people walking in and out of a room, but also how their placement would affect the emotions of the audience. We also experimented quite a lot with how different lenses might make the audience feel: Is it personal? Is it more intimate? Is it aggressive or passive? Those were new ideas that we played around with.

CPG: James Cameron (co-founder and co-chairman of CPG) said that "Pi" has shown that 3D can be used for smaller, more intimate films. Do you agree?

CM: Ang feels like "Pi" was the first art house movie to be shot in 3D. We felt like we had to explore this new medium. We had to try to figure it out.

CPG: Did shooting "Pi" in 3D affect the decision of cameras you used?

CM: No. We used the Arri Alexa™. We tested with a bunch of cameras. At the time, it held water highlights the best. Cameras are always improving. There will always be a new test to see which one is best for what you need, every time you do a movie.

CPG: Why did you pick CPG for "Pi?"

CM: They get me everything I need. I knew I needed a really good underwater 3D rig. They know the Alexa that would be housed in the rig. I couldn't think of anyone else who could do that, so I didn't even test with anyone else. I talked to Vince and said "I really need this camera rig; we need this thing built." So they did it and it was great. It was my first opportunity to shoot underwater in 3D.

CPG: You also had CPG experts on the set in Taiwan?

CM: We had a number of guys there from CPG, including stereographers who offered advice on the 3D.

CPG: Did you notice any big changes in 3D technology between the time you shot "Tron" and "Pi?"

CM: Vince has shown me some of the newer rigs (smARTrigs ™) and there's a huge improvement in those. They're simpler and easier to use. So even in the short time since we shot "Life of Pi," this equipment has come a long way.

CPG: Did you consider post-production conversion for "Pi?"

CM: No. We had high hopes of keeping a lot of the ocean in the film. I just didn't see how you could cut up and convert water moving away from the camera or rolling toward you or sideways or capping. How do you chop that up and separate that for the conversion process? It just wouldn't have been the same. What I had seen of conversion didn't convince me. I didn't see it happening for either "Pi" or "Tron."

CPG: Do you have a favorite 3D scene in "Pi?"

CM: I think the ship sinking was a good 3D moment. I loved the water in general, how it looked. I did quite a lot of 3D testing for the water scenes-- how it felt when the surface of the water is at the top third of the screen versus the bottom third. It's very interesting. If the water level is halfway up the screen, audiences might have an emotional reaction to that, almost like you're drowning. It's unsettling.

CPG: Do you think "Pi" would have been made without 3D?

CM: Ang really felt that the movie had to be made in 3D. For him it seemed like it was the only choice. Obviously, I've seen this movie in both 3D and 2D. You know, you really do miss some things. The water has this flatter look to it in the 2D. It feels a lot different. With 3D you just have a lot more texture, which was very important in "Pi."

Ang loves 3D. So do I. He will always try to shoot in 3D. He was very excited about the results. He's always talking about creating another language for film, another way to tell the story. So in this impossible story to tell, he felt like 3D would give it another dimension. We still feel like there's so much more to learn from 3D, that there are so many places we can go where we haven't gone.

ABOUT CPG
CAMERON | PACE Group (CPG) is the industry leader in 3D technologies and production services from SLATE2SCREEN™. Led by founders and Co-Chairmen James Cameron and Vince Pace, CPG delivers the highest quality 3D through its technology products, solutions, and creative tools engineered for use across all media channels. Supporting filmmakers, broadcasters, studios, networks and creative teams globally, the company has unparalleled expertise in helping content producers realize the full potential of 3D as a powerful and immersive medium. CPG's easy, efficient, and cost-effective 3D solutions have supported productions generating more than $8 billion in box office, supported 31 3D feature films, close to 300 3D broadcasts, and multiple 3D media experiences in all formats. CPG-supported films and broadcasts have won numerous Oscars® and Emmys® for both technical and creative achievements. For more information about the company, please visit: http://www.cameronpace.com/.

In August 2012, CPG launched CAMERON | PACE Group China in the northeastern port city of Tianjin, just outside Beijing. CPG China is uniquely positioned to support a market that has seen exponential growth in 3D entertainment in the last five years, in large part due to the enormous popularity of CPG co-founder James Cameron's "Avatar" and his recent "Titanic 3D," which scored the biggest box office opening in China's history when it premiered last April. China's pursuit of 3D technology is unparalleled and CPG's Total Solutions technologies will be an integral part of that growth.

SOURCE CAMERON | PACE Group

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
"We are a monitoring company. We work with Salesforce, BBC, and quite a few other big logos. We basically provide monitoring for them, structure for their cloud services and we fit into the DevOps world" explained David Gildeh, Co-founder and CEO of Outlyer, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
The Internet giants are fully embracing AI. All the services they offer to their customers are aimed at drawing a map of the world with the data they get. The AIs from these companies are used to build disruptive approaches that cannot be used by established enterprises, which are threatened by these disruptions. However, most leaders underestimate the effect this will have on their businesses. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rene Buest, Director Market Research & Technology Evangelism at Ara...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Silicon India has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Published in Silicon Valley, Silicon India magazine is the premiere platform for CIOs to discuss their innovative enterprise solutions and allows IT vendors to learn about new solutions that can help grow their business.
Join us at Cloud Expo June 6-8 to find out how to securely connect your cloud app to any cloud or on-premises data source – without complex firewall changes. More users are demanding access to on-premises data from their cloud applications. It’s no longer a “nice-to-have” but an important differentiator that drives competitive advantages. It’s the new “must have” in the hybrid era. Users want capabilities that give them a unified view of the data to get closer to customers and grow business. The...
Amazon started as an online bookseller 20 years ago. Since then, it has evolved into a technology juggernaut that has disrupted multiple markets and industries and touches many aspects of our lives. It is a relentless technology and business model innovator driving disruption throughout numerous ecosystems. Amazon’s AWS revenues alone are approaching $16B a year making it one of the largest IT companies in the world. With dominant offerings in Cloud, IoT, eCommerce, Big Data, AI, Digital Assista...
The current age of digital transformation means that IT organizations must adapt their toolset to cover all digital experiences, beyond just the end users’. Today’s businesses can no longer focus solely on the digital interactions they manage with employees or customers; they must now contend with non-traditional factors. Whether it's the power of brand to make or break a company, the need to monitor across all locations 24/7, or the ability to proactively resolve issues, companies must adapt to...
"Loom is applying artificial intelligence and machine learning into the entire log analysis process, from start to finish and at the end you will get a human touch,” explained Sabo Taylor Diab, Vice President, Marketing at Loom Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo taking place Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 21st International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is ...
After more than five years of DevOps, definitions are evolving, boundaries are expanding, ‘unicorns’ are no longer rare, enterprises are on board, and pundits are moving on. Can we now look at an evolution of DevOps? Should we? Is the foundation of DevOps ‘done’, or is there still too much left to do? What is mature, and what is still missing? What does the next 5 years of DevOps look like? In this Power Panel at DevOps Summit, moderated by DevOps Summit Conference Chair Andi Mann, panelists loo...
Cloud applications are seeing a deluge of requests to support the exploding advanced analytics market. “Open analytics” is the emerging strategy to deliver that data through an open data access layer, in the cloud, to be directly consumed by external analytics tools and popular programming languages. An increasing number of data engineers and data scientists use a variety of platforms and advanced analytics languages such as SAS, R, Python and Java, as well as frameworks such as Hadoop and Spark...
"MobiDev is a Ukraine-based software development company. We do mobile development, and we're specialists in that. But we do full stack software development for entrepreneurs, for emerging companies, and for enterprise ventures," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
A look across the tech landscape at the disruptive technologies that are increasing in prominence and speculate as to which will be most impactful for communications – namely, AI and Cloud Computing. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Curtis Peterson, VP of Operations at RingCentral, highlighted the current challenges of these transformative technologies and shared strategies for preparing your organization for these changes. This “view from the top” outlined the latest trends and developments i...
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.
For organizations that have amassed large sums of software complexity, taking a microservices approach is the first step toward DevOps and continuous improvement / development. Integrating system-level analysis with microservices makes it easier to change and add functionality to applications at any time without the increase of risk. Before you start big transformation projects or a cloud migration, make sure these changes won’t take down your entire organization.
Automation is enabling enterprises to design, deploy, and manage more complex, hybrid cloud environments. Yet the people who manage these environments must be trained in and understanding these environments better than ever before. A new era of analytics and cognitive computing is adding intelligence, but also more complexity, to these cloud environments. How smart is your cloud? How smart should it be? In this power panel at 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, paneli...