Yes, of course I’m going to write about Gary Ross today, what else would I write about?! Last night I was sad about the news, even shed a few tears, it literally felt like someone had died to me. But now, oh now — now I’m just angry. I thought I would write an article today about who I think would be a good replacement for Ross, but I’m kind of too pissed to do that right now, so no fantasy director lists will be blinding your retinas all thanks to me today. Nope, today it’s about hissing, and biting, and railing and wondering one thing, one tiny fucking thing (oh yeah, there might be swearing today), if time = money, and money = time, and Lionsgate has all the money — why can’t they just make more time?
No matter who takes the helm on Catching Fire it’s my opinion and many others, that they will not have enough time to make the kind of film Catching Fire deserves to be made into. The schedule is this: Four months for pre-production, that includes casting, concept art, set building, location scouting, legalities, permits for special effects — like pyrotechnics, transport, lodging, story boarding, costuming, training of actors and stunt people for action sequences, rehearsal time. Oh, and the most important thing — finalizing a script. That’s right people, they don’t have a finished script yet, they have a first draft, and no film ever gets shot with a first draft of a script. Production is slated to begin in late August, and they have to be done by December so Jennifer Lawrence can travel to England (I assume it’ll shoot in England again), to work on X-Men in January. That’s four months to shoot Catching Fire. Do you know how long it took to film The Hunger Games? 5 months. There’s not enough time in this schedule to make a truly quality film, a film that deserves to be the visual representation of this installment in The Hunger Games series.
Shylah Addante of DownWithTheCapitol.Net proposed an interesting idea, that I personally think would solve a lot of these scheduling problems. First it involves pushing back the release date by four months, so instead of having a November, 2013 release — it would have a March, 2014 release. The filming schedule would have to be altered, or blocked, or divided into even wider blocks of time, i.e. shoot the District 12 scenes in the autumn of 2012, disperse the cast and crew until summer of 2013, and then shoot the Arena and the Capitol scenes. Productions do disperse for months at a time, it has been done — so don’t think this idea is odd, please. I know it’s a long shot, but a petition has already gone up about this, we’re asking people to tag Tumblr posts with “CatchingFire2014”, your tweets with #CatchingFire2014, and if you’re so inclined — make youtube videos declaring that you’re willing to wait a few extra months for Catching Fire, and urge Lionsgate to simply push back the release so the story can get the treatment it deserves, not a rushed slap up job it may turn out to receive. Also, pushing back the release means Gary Ross, who has bowed out, could potentially come back to direct if he wants, and this time with enough time to make something consistent and quality. He has the notes now, the fan reviews, the professional reviews, he knows what people think he did wrong — and he can correct it or take it into account.
This is really about making this film into what it should be, even if Gary doesn’t come back to direct — giving the new director enough time to make something truly amazing is key.
Them There Eyes