Ang Lee on Creating 'Life of Pi'

The 3-D epic, more than $100 million in the making, is nominated for 11 Academy Awards.
3:00 | 02/14/13

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Transcript for Ang Lee on Creating 'Life of Pi'
Talk about ethics there are 3000. People credited at the end of -- 3-D Oscar nominated film life of -- It was shot in locations around the world including a specially designed water tank on the runway of an abandoned airport in Taiwan. This film is made over half a billion dollars already. But the visionary director behind it tells me it almost never got made at all for our series Oscar confidence. Okay okay and took -- world of Oscar winning director -- Lee. And be prepared for earnings Hannibal -- he has to act like the tigers -- freezing over his shoulder. Nominated this year for his 3-D epic life of pi. Cast a teenager -- never acted before and the tiger. The real one and a digital creation. So expertly woven together that it's impossible. -- police spent four years in this film a year it is editing in this very room. Obsessing over every detail. Is that real and that. It looks so -- -- not. What. You don't miss you run -- hot at that time you let it type but hey you know this movie playing by the campaign and it takes those -- The movie is. The spiritual journey of a sixteen year old Indian boy hurtled into an amazing adventure when -- shift back leads him to fend for himself on a raft. -- the only other survivor. A Bengal tiger. The two drifted into the -- with only each other and gone for company not exactly blockbuster material. You and initially gonna do -- I -- -- has the tent. I was lawyer hasn't is definitely know when -- read the book has a great read very inspiring and he mind boggling. Just as a filmmaker. I didn't see -- as a movie. But. Because that -- can -- mean his passion paid off. The film is up for eleven Academy Awards including his nomination for what could be his second Oscar for best director. The -- a monster -- eight years ago. Border wars Brokeback Mountain in one shot thing you're going on there. -- -- -- business -- the Oscar win topping off a string of hits from the tender British period drama of Sense and Sensibility and more diagnosed the world. The -- and convince a person -- a CNN who like into the you know. And I can to the pitch perfect rendering of 1970s suburban America. In the ice storms. I don't particularly feel the need. This masterpiece as -- tiger hidden dragons. Swept the Oscars in 2000 and still ranks -- the highest grossing foreign language film ever released in America. He even dabbled in an action film -- -- unlike. Whenever. Our name is mentioned people quickly say how does the same man creates such different morals for -- has a chance to some extent have they released from the. He said the same thing to me say you know you really that you really and actor. If you can't -- Most of factories and asked them I think they want to play many cars I understand that your parents wanted -- to be a teacher. Yes more acceptable. -- filmmaker. Lee admits to not being much of the student in those days and to the humiliation they came with failing his college entrance exams. Twice I was always in San. That I could now focus on books. But how their father was my high school principal -- paved -- those bad -- -- so. I really felt him he ended up in acting school and I follow along with -- in my life as transcendent. Says his English wasn't good enough for acting directing called. But even -- dollars success his father withheld his approval. My father was saying about. At this rate I think spending your age of fifty may be a win an Oscar maybe you can be satisfied and decide to do something real. But now what happened. We decided to take this tiger by the -- he told the studio did have to. -- hundred million dollar budget is that right. More and a bit more and then. What it was like that but then I had this idea two and 3-D so another 25 million for the 3-D yeah. So fox had to take a big gamble on. You and on your zen vision for this -- -- gamble paid off I mean you've now made over half a billion dollars. Apple would -- now. Now we really carry that anxiety furlough time once it get to this journey. You've become the movie you're making black tie himself. -- -- Through his journey across the Pacific with a tiger. But was still leaving for surviving. -- you have to believe that it's going somewhere. Game is five. It's so grabbed him. Why didn't I -- divine. This was shooting for ticket fine moments. We couldn't resist letting me in on a few of the film's secret option of these are not real -- and -- Those loses Texas except that that -- his -- them. Guys really know that the Raddatz Arredondo. Anything holding that rap yet -- what. The missile -- is that he's just holding a blue sand bag and throw it before. When -- in the boat and when we see the film we see that tied it with him. Actually there's nothing there is thinner now that was some -- I could for the tigers but I think it's. -- -- -- Nobody really sure -- in -- I recommend that you had to go proved it to the Indian government that you hadn't actually abused a tiger had to show them that it was CG has seen his step -- step. -- it's very hard to -- -- -- -- -- -- How much you want at this time how much you want the Oscar for best picture. I wanted to because only -- finishes but what the movie -- -- money meant to the world. For people who. Spent four years of their life devoting to this grand illusion and you know let it be great to win and for that I wanted to be the best pitcher of the year. -- lovely man and it just might happen you can watch the Academy Awards right here on ABC Sunday February 24.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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