Filmmakers Factory Fifteen have just released their latest short—it's part of an ongoing project in development with production company Nu-Humana and author Chris Abbot to bring Abbot's novel Xavier of the World to life. The end game is a full length feature film, but to help realize that goal Factory Fifteen were asked to create six designs and a short proof of concept film to visualize Abbot's world. They've just released the film, called Xavier, along with some gorgeous design work.
With a background in architecture and skilled in the art of CGI, Factory Fifteen's films merge intricate and stunning sci-fi landscapes with social and political ideas. This latest work sees them bring to life the world of Xavier Miro, a 17-year-old protester and graffiti artist from the year 2557.
In the dystopian world of the novel the human race is banished from earth and instead lives in a giant space colony close to the moon called The Hive, while mega-corporations keep oppressive control of the people who live there. Further explanation below:
Xavier Of The World is a morality tale that looks into a dystopian future, where vast corporations with a disregard for nature and the ecology of planet Earth has led to mankind’s expulsion. Where humanity has become a commodity to be exported around the universe. Xavier Miro is a new hero embarking on a journey to find the truth about humanity and his own place in the universe.
"I think the vastness of the literal world Chris has created made us think we could create something truly epic here without any kind of restrictions design-wise," explains Paul Nicholls, one of the founders of Factory Fifteen and director of numerous acclaimed short films. "Chris was great at giving us freedom and trusting us. We took references with a pinch of salt and really tried to create something original and not seen before. The world is set so far into the future that it both excited and scared us as a design project."
The Hives is a giant spiky ghetto clustered next to the moon, a "site of assorted space stations, housing projects, assembly lines and factories, mining works and refining plants, chemical platforms and hangars." The aesthetic of this Byzantine structure took inspiration from both manmade buildings and nature: bee hives, nests, ant farms and centipedes along with Andreas Gursky’s city photography, Habitat 67, and The Clusters in the Air for the swarming scales. They also referenced the totalitarian force of Brutalist architecture.
Concept sketches for The Hives
The first instalment of these concept designs also includes Xavier's ship, the graffiti-spraying Aqua Terra, including artwork for both its body and its complex interior full of navigation and communication systems. "We were given a lot of freedom, especially with the designs," says Nicholls. "We read the book and noted the several things we felt the audience needed to visualize the most. We left a lot out but covered the main environment and vehicles. The film represented the first chapter from the original book. I'm not sure it's made the cut in Chris' recent re-write, so I won't spoil anything or give too much else away. You will just have to wait for the rest of the artwork to be released and buy Chris's novel."
Check out their designs and the film Xavier below. For more on the project and dates for when the next designs will be released visit Factory Fifteen's website.
Xavier's ship, the Aqua Terra
Sketch for the interior of Aqua Terra
Interior of Aqua Terra
Inside The Hives
For more on Factory Fifteen, watch our documentary on them below...