Maria Jackson's picture
By Maria Jackson

Happy Hunger Games! Vol. 1, Issue 41

Check out this amazing Catching Fire poster (for IMAX) by Kris Kuski! Just incredible. Definitely one I’d love to own.

Kris Kuksi obsessively arranges characters and architecture in asymmetric compositions with an exquisite sense of drama. Instead of stones and shells he uses screaming plastic soldiers, miniature engine blocks, towering spires and assorted debris to form his landscapes.The political, spiritual and material conflict within these shrines is enacted under the calm gaze of remote deities and august statuary. Kuksi manages to evoke, at once, a sanctum and a mausoleum for our suffocated spirit.


Fantastic Realism is the genre in which he works, and writer Jen Pappas has described Kuksi’s style as “a study in timelessness and intricacies, reminiscent of lost civilizations, deities and ruins – perfectly preserved.” All of that says Panem to me, a civilization built on the ruins of an old one, using the debris of the old to make something new and strange and screwed up. (thehob)



See HQ screencaptures here


Check out these new stills!


People Magazine is coming out with its Collector’s Edition for Catching Fire! With over 150+ photos, this issue will run you $9.99 and will be released on November, 1. (thehob)


Variety has released a trickle of interviews from their Catching Fire issue (which includes a slideshow of promotional images). The latest set of interviews are with Suzanne Collins and Chief Marketing Officer Tim Palen and focus on the marketing campaign for the film.

Suzanne analyzes marketing strategy to promote Catching Fire through regular tactics – trailers, posters, etc – and compares those with the online promotions set in the world of the Capitol

“I’m thrilled with the work Tim Palen and his marketing team have done on the film,” Collins told Variety via email. “It’s appropriately disturbing and thought-provoking how the campaign promotes ‘Catching Fire’ while simultaneously promoting the Capitol’s punitive forms of entertainment. The stunning image of Katniss in her wedding dress that we use to sell tickets is just the kind of thing the Capitol would use to rev up its audience for the Quarter Quell (the name of the games in “Catching Fire”). That dualistic approach is very much in keeping with the books.”

Tim Palen talks about the strategy behind the marketing campaign, and how they listened to the fans to help guide their ideas.

On Catching Fire being the brightest of the trilogy

Pretty much every element of the sequel’s campaign is bolder than its predecessor. Where the first installment relied on a more subdued look to capture Collins’ bleak, oppressed world, Palen and the author felt this was his chance to brighten things up.


“This is the book and the movie of color,” he says, having consulted closely with Collins before designing the campaign. “This is the moment where we can actually have some fun and explore some opportunities that we might not get to have later,” he added, referring to the final book in the “Hunger Games” series, which Lionsgate is splitting into two movies, “Mockingjay — Part 1” and “Part 2.”

On the Victory Tour poster that was released

The first teaser shot of Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson together in the sequel also played up the Capitol theme, with the two dressed in stark white formalwear standing next to a silver sculpture piercing the sky — a take on Leni Riefenstahl’s propaganda posters from the 1930s.


“People who read the books know (“Catching Fire”) kicks off with the Victory Tour, and we wanted to reassure fans that we’re going to stick close to the books. And the costumes and scope of the second movie takes everything to the next level,” Palen says. “It’s a lot to ask of a single image, but this was a very efficient way to say all of that.”

On avoiding the Katniss-Gale-Peeta love triangle

Also proving beneficial to the campaign: listening to the fans themselves. Palen’s team has been careful not to show Lawrence, Hutcherson and Hemsworth together in posters, magazine covers or even at events, after “Hunger Games” devotees — particularly fanboys — expressed concern that Lionsgate would try to turn the films into another soapy “Twilight” love triangle.


“Romance is part of the story, but it’s not the core of the story,” Palen says. “From the start, we wanted to make it about (Katniss) as a hero.”

On incorporating quotes from the book

Palen also embraced the way fans were using quotes from the books in their social media posts, and he used them as taglines in posters. “They were doing it before we did it,” Palen says. “It was a way for us to talk to them the way they talk to each other.”

You can read the full interview and see final Catching Fire poster – at Variety. (thehob)


The latest style update from Capitol Couture

Keeping Panem safe from threats both external AND internal is a dangerous job! And one needs to look the part. The elite warriors of our nation, The Peacekeepers, just got a major style upgrade from designer Trish Summerville. She's completely upped the intimidation factor in the powerful new Peacekeeper look. Find out all the details in this special report from Capitol Couture:

Just as our favorite clothes speak to our personality, military uniforms telegraph a lot about a country’s political structure or priorities. Think of the Royal Canadian Mounties in their crimson blazers with reflective brass buttons and wide brimmed Stetson hats. The look is festive, approachable. Italy’s Carabinieri or military police wear stylish black outfits with a bandoleer of white leather and purple or red stripes designed by Valentino.  The finery includes a two-cornered plumed hat that originated almost three centuries ago.  

In Panem, the Peacekeepers forego pomp for intimidation. Just recently, the Capitol turned to designer Trish Summerville to help update the look of the gendarmerie. Previously, their white uniforms featured a black stripe and District insignia on the helmet with a transparent visor. Summerville, who often collaborates with Cinna and other local designers, was asked by President Snow to take a more menacing direction with the look of the law.

“I was inspired by insects, particularly the praying mantis,” she says. The helmets—almost triangular and now with a visor of a dark, opaque lens—are just part of the sleek transformation. Now faceless, the Peacekeepers seem almost robotic, even inhuman. If the eyes are the windows to our soul, Panem’s military has no spiritual core.

Summerville also added shoulder pads and spiny, bulletproof armor shields that nod to a new world order—and possibly predicts civil unrest. The once snow-white uniforms, an interesting choice of hue for a military force, are now more of a greyish white. No doubt, the Peacekeepers mean business in the Panem of today. As one citizen anonymously told Capitol Couture, “When you can’t meet eyes with a man, you know that he owes you nothing and that is very scary.” Clearly, Summerville has achieved her goal. (PanemPropaganda)


In the latest issue of Us Weekly, the cast and crew of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay discuss the adaptation of 400 page novel into the two movies, watching war films, how they searched Paris and Berlin for settings as a stand-in for the Capitol and lots more. Spoilers ahead!:


Katniss, Reborn: District 12′s star victor never expected to be the leader of a revolution. But once Katniss loses her home, then a family member, she steps up. “She becomes a warrior, like Joan of Arc,” Jennifer Lawrence tells US. Indeed, both The Hunger Games: MockingJay – Part 1 (out November 21, 2014) and part 2 (November 20, 2015) “are kind of like war movies.”

Before starting the nine-month, back-to-back shoot, the cast and crew did their research. “We watched films like Saving Private Ryan and The Battle of Stalingrad [a 1949 Soviet war epic], ” says production designer Philip Messina. Four-time Oscar nominee Julianne Moore also joined the cast as President Alma Coin of the once-defunct District 13 – a questionable new ally of the resistance.

Bombs Away: First task on the new Mockingjay set: Destroy the old District 12 set. “We used explosions to take down the Hall of Justice,” says Messina, who adds, “I’m not giving anything away! At the end of Catching Fire, they do say the district is gone.”

Then, director Francis Lawrence tells US, “we hunted for cool new locations in Paris and Berlin” to serve as standins for the Capitol. “We’ll really get into the streets, where there are some powerful action scenes. The idea is the Capitol is the new arena. I’m looking forward to filming Katniss in District 8, where there’s a bombing!”

Peeta vs Gale: In Mockingjay, Katniss starts to understand what these two men mean to her. “Gale becomes more of a fighter, more physical, but Peeta’s eloquent about peace and he speaks from the heart,” says Francis. “Their love story becomes very important.” And, er, convoluted. “Peeta loses his mind,” Josh Hutcherson tell Us. “The Capitol captures, tortures and brainwashes him. By the end, he wants to kill Katniss!”

Beating the Odds: No questions: Adapting the 400-page final installment of author Suzanne Collins’ trilogy says Francis, it’s worth it. “These two stories connect seamlessly together.” (hunger-games)


See you next week, Tributes!