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Connecticut Grad Wins 2nd Oscar Sunday for 'Life of Pi'

Brookfield High School grad wins big at Academy Awards amid bad news for his production studio.

 

Included in Sunday night’s Academy Awards was a second Oscar for 1986 Brookfield High School (BHS) graduate Bill Westenhofer for his work as visual effects supervisor for "Life of Pi."

Westenhofer and his production company, animation and visual effects studio Rhythm & Hues, won for Best Visual Effects, the second for Westenhofer and the company, which took the same category in 2008 for "The Golden Compass."

"Life of Pi" was nominated for 11 Academy Awards this year, winning four Sunday night, taking Best Cinematography, Best Direction and Best Original Score, as well.

In a post on Digital Trend, reporter Rick Marshall pulled together interviews with Westenhofer from The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and others about how he and his team were able to create the lifelike Bengal tiger that shares a small boat with the title character.

Westenhofer was also interviewed on industry website fxguide podcast, which can be heard here.

According to a report on The Guardian’s website, Westenhofer was cut off during his acceptance speech before being able to speak about Rhythm & Hues, the visual effects studio where he was VFX supervisor. The company filed for bankruptcy earlier this month.

According to the report, members of the visual effects union protested the Oscars Sunday, asking for “a piece of the Pi.”

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