Eye on the Oscars 2013: Art Direction

Life of Pi
Production designer David Gropman on set decorator Anna Pinnock


“We had collaborated before and I didn’t think of anyone else.We met, I explained what (director) Ang Lee wanted and his vision, showed her all my research, then she began her ‘mission.’ Once she’d acquired all her research, I showed Ang and off we went. Our biggest challenge, strangely enough, was creating the interior of the adult Pi’s Montreal apartment. That’s because Ang didn’t want the audience to know too much about Pi’s life too soon — that he had a family, was married, or even had a pet cat. So we had to be almost anonymous in the choices we made for the apartment, even though it cuts in and out of the story.”

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