Capitol

Fandom– Recognize

credit to - turntherightcorner.com

credit to – turntherightcorner.com

San Diego Comic Con 2014 is in full swing, and the Internet is a buzz with all things Benedict Cumberbatch, Marvel, Hobbit-y, Game of Thrones-y and oh yeah– Lionsgate-y. I’m one of the sad few who is not attending the convention, and frankly will probably never attend, because crowds of that magnitude give me the heebie-jeebies, and trust me when I say this– you don’t want to be around me when I have the heebie-jeebies. Anywho, Comic-Con is a place of fandom-wide fun and excitement, and just all out nerd-gasmic heaven.

Y’all like cupcakes, right? I betcha do! Why not, they’re delicious, and fluffy, and if they’re made right they are moist (not in the naughty way), and light, and put a smile on your face with their fondant, and they’re butter cream goodness. Lionsgate apparently likes cupcakes too, or baked goods if we’re speaking in broad terms. I know this because this weekend at San Diego Comic-Con, part of the fun and festivities are baked goods, including cupcakes. That’s right folks, they have a sleek-looking, Capitol-esque bakery set up on display for the burgeoning public to ooh and ah over. This is awesome for all intents and purposes, ’cause everyone and their glutton tolerant aunt likes some free baked goods every now and again. The only fly in the ointment of this sweet, little gesture is the slightly glaring fact that who ever, or whatever marketing firm chose the designs for some of these goods, well– stole them.

That’s right folks, I just used the S word, and it’s not the shit kind. Nope, I call foul on who ever, or whatever person, or group of people who decided stealing other people’s ideas is an acceptable business practice!

Crystal Watanabe has been a staple in this fandom for years, she’s involved more than a random fan as well– and on top of that she’s got more than a life outside of her endeavors involving The Hunger Games. Crystal used to pretty much run Mockingjay.net, now she’s the founder, and head at Jabberjays.net. Crystal is a master at bento, as well as artisan baking. Which brings me to the previously used S word. Crystal’s designs for two Effie Trinket themed cupcakes are being used without her permission right now at one of the biggest entertainment themed conventions in the world, and all of this is going down without what’s probably most important— credit where credit is due.

I’m just going to say it, but this is not cool! I know that the big guys on top of the money-making machines that supposedly dictate our lives, wholly believe that taking a “little persons” ideas and shilling them as their own, is acceptable. But damn it all to hell– it’s not! I know they’re just cupcakes, but even cupcake designs are things that deserve to be credited to the originator, the designer– who in this case is Crystal Watanabe.

So Hunger Games fandom, if you think it’s cool to steal other people’s ideas– by all means eat up. But if you don’t– say something, that’s what the Internet is for– other than porn of course. This credit issue could be easily remedied with a simple piece of card stock going up on display in that bakery set up. Simple, concise and easy, because this is potential revenue lost to an artist.

Effie Trinket cupcakes designed by Crystal Watanabe of Fictionalfood.net.

Them There Eyes

Top 5 Things We Learned From The Digital Look at Mockingjay

FINALLY, FINALLY, FINALLY!

He's in a bunker and NOW he needs a hat?!

He’s in a bunker and NOW he needs a hat?!

Lionsgate is done holding out on the fans and they’re making up for the wait in big ways!

Feast your eyes upon TheHungerGamesExclusive.com, which in its first incarnation includes..

  • Six Mockingjay Set Photos
  • A Video Interview with Julianne Moore
  • A Roundtable with Francis Lawrence, Nina Jacobsen, and Peter Craig
  • A Page from the Script (That You Can Win!)
  • The Hunger Games Franchise Motion Poster

THIS. This is the glorious stuff we were looking for when we found ourselves totally underwhelmed with the sheer consumerism of Capitol Couture! Not that the fashions aren’t cool, but it’s great to see that there’s some more tangible facts about the themes and overall filmmaking processes this time around.

In that spirit, let’s discuss the five most important things we learned today!

Look at that wonderful REAL PERSON who will be featured!

Look at that wonderful REAL PERSON who will be featured!

1) Plutarch Heavensbee will not be a freaky animation!

We were seriously concerned with rumors immediately following Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death that stated he would be added into his final scenes via CGI. It just seemed wrong and… what’s the word? CREEPTASTIC. Thankfully, it’s just a rumor!  Francis and Nina revealed that for PSH’s non-dialogue scenes, previously recorded footage of the other was cut into the scene (thank you, consistently monotonous D13 uniforms!) and his dialogue was written out, with some lines occasionally given to Haymitch or Effie when appropriate. There’s no mention of him missing out on a *major scene* as suggested in early reports.

2) Effie Trinket is in District 13, bitches!

Fulvia who?! Rather than work in Plutarch’s assistant, the script was repurposed to include Effie Trinket in District 13, at the request of Suzanne Collins! But don’t expect Effie is be a punchline– the filmmakers make it clear that while she brings some levity, Effie is NOT adjusting well and is not there for a higher moral purpose. We’re so glad with get more than one or two scenes of Elizabeth Banks in action!

3) The Capitol tunnels are NOT in Paris (at least not totally in Paris!)

In the intro to the roundtable, the indoor Atlanta set is described as being in part “filled with dingy tunnels”. And here we thought filming was going to Paris for the tunnels! It’s set possible that they will utilize the Paris tunnels to a degree, but it looks like a hefty part of that sequence is coming off a soundstage!

Yes! TELL ME YOUR SEEEECRETS!

Yes! TELL ME YOUR SEEEECRETS!

4) Danny Strong ain’t the only screenwriter up in here!

It turns out Danny Strong was not as involved in the Mockingjay films as we thought! Scripts go through multiple drafts and it looks like Strong only wrote draft numero uno. Obviously, that’s a damn important draft, but after that, things went into the hands of Peter Craig, novelist and screenwriter most famously known for his work on The Town. Not only did he finalize the script, he’s been a near constant presence on the set and works with Francis to help the script change and evolve as needed. In case you didn’t know, this almost NEVER HAPPENS. It’s like spotting a unicorn!

5) District 13 probably ain’t so techie in the film version!

In her interview, Julianne Moore described District 13 has a bomb shelter in which the citizens barely manage, which sounds like a far cry from the tech-savvy District 13 from the books. Sure, the look is minimalist and food rations are puny, but Book!D13 is still slick with both food and weapons technology. Movie version seems a bit bleaker, but we suppose they can develop double exploding bombs either way, right?

Now When Do We Get MOAR Mockingjay News?!
The Girl With The Pearl

The Hunger Games Cosplay Character Crisis

Effie Trinket may be one of the most cosplay-able characters in the world. Got bright hair, frilly dress, outrageous accessories, and an excess of makeup? BOOM! EFFIE! You can do it a million times and never look quite the same, yet still be distinctly Effie.

Effie, Effie, Effie!

Effie, Effie, Effie!

Which is why we’re not totally surprised that when the a Hunger Games Capitol cosplay contest cropped up in the UK, it essentially turned into “the running of the Effies”! Girls. Guys. EVERYONE got their Effie on. It was originally thought to be a fan gathering, but later reports specified that our cosplayers were in it to win tickets to the Mockingjay: Part 1 premiere.

Two things crossed our minds:
1) Wait… They’re already doing premiere giveaways in the UK?!
2) Why does the Capitol always get the cosplay love?

Sure, the Capitol is a little more fun and sparkly. And as mentioned, it’s essentially the easiest. Katniss either in The Hunger Games arena outfit or midway through her Mockingjay dress transformation seems to be in second place. But a badass rendition of ANY Hunger Games cosplay is appreciated.

Remember the Caesar Flickerman cosplay at Comic Con that was so good, not-so-obsessed fans actually thought he was Stanley Tucci? Or that time Kristen Bell admitted she and husband Dax Shepherd were Clove and Cato one Halloween? Why can’t we get some more of that?!

OMG LOOK!  A Peeta!

OMG LOOK! A Peeta!

Why does NO ONE cosplay Haymitch?! You get to act drunk all day, perhaps even BE DRUNK, depending on your circumstances! Why is Peeta so underutilized? He got dressed up in Capitol outfits too! Even our lovely Finnick and Johanna don’t get enough cosplay love.

Seriously, we’d be far more impressed with anyone willing to venture into these characters than just another Effie. It takes a little more planning, but it also makes a bigger impression. We love anyone who’s willing to play up The Hunger Games! We just want to see the character love spread.

So there’s our dare to you, convention attendees of the world!
The Girl With The Pearl

Operation: Staging Mockingjay’s Rescue Scene

We’re infiltrating the Capitol, peeps!

Mockingjay Capitol rescue set The Hunger Games

Ah, the secrets of a film set!

Not too long ago, we featured a great guest post about things that could be expanded upon now that Mockingjay is being worked into two movies. As The Hunger Games and Catching Fire have shown us in gradual doses, through scenes like Gamemaker planning and Snow’s interaction with his granddaughter, there is a lot we can get out of a scene that wasn’t specifically in the books.

When Robert Knepper was cast as newbie Minister to the President, we knew we’d get some more not-quite canon fill-in moments… BUT THAT’S NOT ALL FOLKS.

It started with a couple innocent photos of a Capitol set at the Marriott Marquis in Atlanta, complete with twelve pillars featuring the names of victors from each district (some of which were pretty damn amusing, like Mags being given Lynn Cohen’s surname and the inclusion of Ron Stafford, the actual name of an actor who has an uncredited role in Catching Fire as a past Victor). But then… BUT THEN… People started rappelling out of the sky! Well, from the ceiling!

Yup, it’s true! It looks like we will actually see at least some of Peeta and Johanna’s rescue! There’s been so many hopes about getting those tumultuous in-between moments in the Mockingjay movies, as long as they don’t overtake the whole narrative. And this one is the freaking Mac Daddy of them all!

We’re not getting too excited, though. Remember, there are a couple ways this could turn out:

Liam Hemsworth The Hunger Games Mockingjay set Capitol rescue

Hemsy in the house!

Quick Cutaway – For all we know, this could be the whole shebang. As someone (probably Haymitch or Plutarch) tells Katniss that they’re going to get Peeta back, we see the team land on the balcony, take out a few guards, and enter. The rest is implied.

Full-blown Action Scene – Mockingjay Part Two will probably feature the bulk of the action, so this bit (which will likely be in Part 1) would be a smart way to keep the beginning heart-pounding and fierce!

Hijacking Awareness Session – It seems that Gale and the other knew something was wrong with Peeta before he got back to Katniss. What happened during the rescue?!

On The Cutting Room Floor – This doesn’t seem likely, but Francis Lawrence named quite a few things filmed for Catching Fire that didn’t make the final cut (some of which were also featured in movie stills). There are no guarantees!

But Gale and Boggs (aka Liam Hemsworth and Mahershala Ali) were there. And DAYUM, do those District 13 uniforms look way too form-fitting for a functioning soldier! At the very least, we remain thrilled with the knowledge that we’ll see more of that!

Hopefully, this opens us up to all sorts of spectacular looks at things that happen in canon when Katniss isn’t around. Because as much as we love hearing about thrilling events occurring off-screen.. Oh wait, we totally don’t!

Belay On, Hemsy!
The Girl With The Pearl

What The Hunger Games Movie Could Have Been

Everyone has their complaints about The Hunger Games movie, most of them being silly grudges surrounding the fact that it isn’t an exact replica of the book.

Now Kevin Tancharoen, another director who was considered for The Hunger Games before Gary Ross got the job, has released his pitch for the film… and hopefully, we all now realize how much worse it could have been.

For those of you who aren’t familiar, a pitch film is pretty much a fan vid made by directors. They splice together ideas and actors from films they would use for inspiration to create an original trailer for the series.

Here’s Kevin Tracharoen’s pitch for The Hunger Games:

Considering that directing Mortal Kombat is his claim to fame, it isn’t much of a surprise that he was basically looking to turn The Hunger Games into your stereotypical futuristic fight film!

Let’s break it down, shall we?

District 12 – There’s only a few shots of what Kevin envisioned for the district, but it involves SEEDY PEOPLE EVERYWHERE. Because if you’re poor, that essentially makes to a creeper, especially if you trade at The Hob.

The Capitol – Dark and spooky fortress. These people are the pinnacle of power and class, but apparently they don’t believe in lights?

Capitol Citizens – Only in one shot of “Effie” do we see any color or signs of wealth. Other than that, it appears that The Capitol has been overrun by a highly organized prison gang.

“Can you believe that guy?!”

Tributes – Most of the clips feature adults, which isn’t surprising given the lack of “children killing children” movies, but no real signs of The Careers. Just a bunch of people hiding and crying on national television, which Katniss notes as a quick way to become an easy target.

Voiceover – The ultimate “telling the story with good acting and solid direction” copout!

Appealing to Young Adults – Apparently, if you include clips from Harry Potter and Twilight that really don’t have any place in the storyline, every young person in the world will love it?

Casting – Kevin said these were just his basic ideas, but besides that amazing moment when we said “OMG HE HAD AMANDLA STENBERG FOR RUE TOO!”, the rest was all fan service, fan service, fan service. Seriously, dude? ZAC EFRON? You can fancast any young actor in the world! At least pick someone who can act!

So next time you want to complain about Gary Ross and his vision of The Hunger Games, kiddos… Remember: It could have been WAY WORSE.

He Even Used The “ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?” From Gladiator…
The Girl With The Pearl