Divergent VFX Team Reveals Visual Effects Details


FlickeringMyth has posted a very interesting article where Divergent production visual effects supervisor Jim Berney, visual effects producer Greg Baxter; and visual effects supervisors Matt Dessero, Marshall Krasser, and Berj Bannayan, are interviewed about all the visual effects tricks and techniques used in order to bring a dystopian Chicago to the big screen. In this interview, the following details about Theo (Four)’s Fear Landscape are revealed:

“They were a hodgepodge of ideas,” remarks Jim Berney when discussing the drug-induced Fear Simulations.  “You go into the fear landscape by yourself.  You go into your own head.  There’s a beat where Tris and Four [Theo James] go into his fears which are height, closed spaces, killing an innocent and his dad.  It starts off with height so they’re up on top of one of these cables which are strung between buildings.  That environment is one of the few all CG because that location would have been impossible to shoot.  We LiDAR scanned that aspect of the city as well as everywhere around there.  They go into a hole of a building and it’s a confined space of a small metal box that is shrinking which is all practical. They come out in this really beautiful one shot where you see them then the camera swings around to a gun. Four picks up the gun and you swing onto him.   All of a sudden you see an innocent girl sitting in a chair and swing onto Tris who is at a different location.  We come back around his head and the innocent girl becomes Tris; he pulls the trigger and then she is on the ground but you don’t really see her.  Four turns around and walks into a house where Tris is there and he meets his fourth fear which is his dad.  There are five Marcus surrounding him.  It’s all camera work and compositing.  That one flows nicely.”

“It is creepy through editing,” observes Berney.  “It is not through weird effects.  When Four punches Marcus he falls down.  Marcus doesn’t turn to ash and flutter away as a butterfly.  None of it is in your face effects.  When we go from the innocent girl to Tris that’s a compositing thing and when you see multiples of Marcus that was multiple passes of Ray [Stevenson], the actor who plays him, and compositing.

Four confronts his father Marcus in his fear landscape

Four confronts his father Marcus in his fear landscape

There are tons of more details revealed in this lengthy interview. If you are a Divergent fan, I recommend that you visit the original source to read the entire interview. It is VERY interesting to say the least and you will learn tons of details about how very important scenes were actually brought to life.