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INSURGENT

Defy Reality: Inside the SIMs
"The stakes are higher in The Divergent Series: Insurgent," says 2nd Unit Director/VFX Supervisor James Madigan. "Tris is in real jeopardy when she goes into the SIMs the first movie, she could just say 'this isn't real' and crack the code, but in The Divergent Series: Insurgent, if she dies in a SIM, she actually dies."

In order to open the box, Tris must pass the SIMs for Dauntless, Candor, Abnegation, Erudite and Amity by demonstrating bravery, honesty, selflessness, intelligence and peacefulness.

Creating the simulations required a combination of live-action footage involving elaborate stunts and practical effects and spectacular post-production visual effects. "We started our conversations on this film talking about the SIMs, because they are the hardest puzzles to solve, but also the greatest opportunity," says Hammond.

"The first movie gave the audience a glimpse of what the SIMs could be; but now with Erudite's radical tactics, they've become fully evolved," states Waldman. "The amazing part of working with visual directors like Robert Schwentke is that they take reality up to level 10. You want the audience to sometimes wonder if it's real."

The Amity SIM begins with Tris falling midair through the city center. Everyone has those falling dreams where you're falling in a way that is horrifying but also slow and never-ending," comments Madigan. "When we started exploring different ideas in pre-viz, we realized the SIMs gave us a great opportunity to relay the emotional content needed inside fantasy elements. We knew the SIMs were a great chance to show Tris' emotional struggle and take a deeper look at what she was internalizing. There are no rules here, just her emotions and her struggle to survive."

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