Futuristic Design for the Sci-Fi Hit Movie Divergent

As UFO fanatics, we are also fans of great science fiction. We recently saw the Divergent movie and did some further research on the movie production and concept art style. Enjoy!

Filming of the Divergent commenced on April 16, 2013, and a great portion of the science fiction action movie was shot in the city of Chicago. Most of the interior location shots were taken at the Cinespace Chicago Film Studios. At the 17th Church of Christ, Scientist on East Wacker, downtown Chicago, the movies’ “choosing ceremony” was filmed.

The entire area of the Navy Pier Ferris Wheel in Chicago was treated with rust and dirt to achieve the dystopian look that is prevalent in the movie. Filming came to a close on July 16, 2013.

The Divergent movie was directed by Neil Burger. It was produced by Lucy Fisher, Douglas Wick, and Pouya Shabazian. The production companies involved in the Divergent were Red Wagon Entertainment and Summit Entertainment.

The Divergent premiered in Los Angeles on March 18, 2014, and was showcased to a global audience on the 21st of the same month. It was distributed by Lionsgate. The source material for the movies was the popular young adult book series by Veronica Roth. The Divergent series, and subsequent digital adaptions such at the divergent audiobook version enjoyed significant success and were the driving factor behind getting the movie to the big screen.

Concept Art on The Divergent Movie

City view

The dominating theme and concept art that prevails in the movie is one of a futuristic and dystopian metropolis. The movie is based on Veronica Roth’s series of novels sharing a similar name. The setting of the movie and the basis of the concept art is a futuristic Chicago with divisive community factions, disconnected from the rest of the world. Andy Nicholson, the Divergent production designer, settled on using the abandoned industrial spaces of Chicago for filming the Divergent movie.

Divergent Movie Design And Movie Set

Nicholson, an Oscar nominee, and the Divergent production designer found the photo location challenging at first. He said it was like trying to work through a Chicago that had been isolated from the rest of the world for a century. The Divergent is set 150 years into the future, and the implication is everything has been stagnant for 100 years. This means that the society depicted in the Divergent has to be living in an insular, entirely sufficient way. The main question that plagued his mind was how it would all fall into place.

To demonstrate to the Divergent movie audience how the dystopian and futuristic city was powered, Neil Burger, the movies director settled on the use of wind turbines set on some building tops.

The Divergent movie team decided from the onset that Chicago would not be depicted as a decrepit city in ruins and shambles. The first installment in Roth’s novel series did not give readers any insight into the events preceding the city’s isolation.

The Divergent movie team decided that there would not be a lot of destruction depicted in the movie. This can be seen in the pathetic buildings in the Divergent movie that are still standing.

Nicholson also identified well maintained industrial spaces in North America for shooting the Divergent. He settled on Pershing Road primarily because of the 1920s and 30s architecture, synonymous with the movies’ theme. Incidentally, one of the most important scenes where the Dauntless jump from a moving train onto a rooftop was shot here.

There was also an empty steel mill that has just been stripped where Dauntless fighting sequences were shot.

No Cars or Vehicles?

Well, not really. There are a few solar powered cars, the most distinct belonging to Jeanine Mathews, the Erudite antagonist played by Kate Winslet. The main reason there are a few cars is that of Chicago’s harsh winters. The wintry conditions in the Divergent have broken up the road infrastructure rendering them impassable.

An Imposing Barrier

Nicholson wanted to use the fence depicted in Roth’s novel in a metaphorical sense. He wanted its magnitude to give audiences the impression that it was not built just to keep dark forces out, it could jam radio signals. Consequently, a wall with a height of between 300-500 feet can be seen in the background of the Divergent.