Catching Fire premiere

A Weekend at Catching Fire Fan Camp

In order to score spots in the prestigious fan camp area of the Hunger Games: Catching Fire red carpet, I, along with the rest of the staff of Welcome to District 12, stayed two nights on Chick Hearn Ct. outside of the Nokia Theatre in LA Live.

Saturday started at 5:30AM, leaving early to make it to our 8:30 check in time with all of our stuff.

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Our fansite friends, including fellow Victor’s Village staff members The Girl With The Pearl and Them There Eyes, arrived soon.

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Good thing too since Willow Shields and Stephanie Leigh Schlund came to sign posters for fans.

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There was also that Kindle Fire booth from the mall tour where we could take our pictures with Katniss.

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After grabbing dinner, everyone took their camping chairs and blankets from the camping area to the square to watch the first Hunger Games movie. It was a pretty cool way to watch this movie we’ve seen so many times, considering it was a Saturday night and they were playing the movie in the midst of people heading to clubs and fancy restaurants.

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The next day proved to be a big one, with even more Catching Fire people coming to sign posters for fans. We got to meet Sam Claflin, Jena Malone, Jeffrey Wright, Josh Hutcherson, and Francis Lawrence, who are all awesome.

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Throughout the day, the KIIS FM booth ran contests and giveaways, even a scavenger hunt that cause a kid to run up to us frantically asking for a belt (we thought at first he was trying to sell us one). The day ended with a dinner with the fansite runners that was delicious and fun.

At 5 AM the next day, we were all woken up by security to pack up and vacate at 6AM so they could set up completely for the red carpet later that day. Overall, the weekend was a lot of fun, and I would definitely camp again. It was great to be with the fans and to bond with others excited about The Hunger Games.

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Catching Fire Premiere: “The Village Is Livin’ in the Hood”

We won’t talk about the movie! We won’t talk about the movie! Won’t talk about it! Won’t! But OH MY GOODNESS, WE WANT TO TALK ABOUT THE MOVIE. Some of you are seeing it right now (!!!!!!!!) and others are on their way to the theater soon, so we’ll keep our mouths zipped until then!

So let’s talk about something awesome, but also less spoiler-y. We attended the freaking Catching Fire premiere!

The title quote came from a teenage boy we encountered while walking from our hotel to Nokia LA Live, where Catching Fire Fan Camp was held, in our Victor’s Village t-shirts. We were less than a mile away, but apparently if you’re less than a few blocks away, you’re in an interesting section of town! Who knew? However, it may have been worth it for that quote!

Without getting into too much detail (because other VV writers will later), Fan Camp was a blast! I met both Them There Eyes and Twiffidy, along with several other fansite friends, for the very first time and all of them were incredibly fun! It feels so good to geek out with others who understand what it’s all about.

And then… PREMIERE DAY!

Prep team hard at work!

Prep team hard at work!

Let’s preface this by reminding everyone that I am from Boston. The city may get referred to as “Hollywood East” thanks to all the recent filming in the area, but what happened on November 18 felt just about as far from my hometown state-of-mind as I could get.

For starters, we had our own prep team! We headed to Capella Salon in Studio City, where Tate, Brendan, and Tina, the very talented friends of Amie and Sheila from HG Girl on Fire, made us premiere ready. It was all very Capitol, which I chose to embrace it for the day and just allow myself to get girly! Mostly because it’s kind of nice to have someone mold your unruly hair into perfection and then declare it “so Hunger Games.” I HAVE MY WEAKNESSES.

This was quickly followed by that dress I begged my fashionable friend to help me shop for before leaving and my killer red heels– No seriously, when I woke up to catch my flight home on Wednesday, I was pretty certain I would being losing my right foot in the name of the Catching Fire premiere.

On the Red Carpet!

On the Red Carpet!

We were asked to take part in the Yahoo! Catching Fire livestream, which seemed really cool even though we didn’t quite know what it entailed. Turns out not having your phone on the red carpet for security purposes and not knowing exactly where to meet Lionsgate reps to go on air don’t mix well, but after half-running around a building in said killer heels, we made it into the red carpet! There’s I proceeded to do the “I don’t know what to do with my hands” dance in front of an international audience at about the 7 minute mark. The questions were mostly what I expected them to be, which is pretty simplistic as to not be spoiler-filled. It’s hard not to look like a vapid fangirl when answering those types of questions, but we pulled it off okay!

SKIPPING THE MOVIE. Because because because I have to. I’m doing this for your own good!

The after party. It was something out of this world. Them There Eyes always says “If you’re going to go Capitol, GO CAPITOL.” Well, they listened. The party took place in a giant tent with the Mockingjay symbol lit up on top. The entrance was a red carpet surrounded by timpani drummers like those used during the Tribute Parade scene. Lights shined down and danced around the room. White roses floated in massive glass columns and lined the walls in fancy bouquets. For a better visual, check out this video!

Francis Lawrence

Francis Lawrence

I spent most of the after party gawking alongside Arianna and Aldrin of Down With The Capitol. At one point, we realized we were a few feet away from Francis Lawrence. We wanted to thank him, but there’s this funny thing in Hollywood where almost everyone but us had no real problem interrupting his previous conversation to grab him and start a new one. We literally stood two feet from Francis for about 20 minutes before getting a chance to say something without completely interrupting a previous conversation, which could have been with studio reps, for all we know. We thanked him for the what he did with the movie (we think we will too, once you see it!) and he seemed so genuinely pleased to hear we liked it, which was brilliant.

Also stopping to have a brief chat with Francis was Alan Ritchson. To confirm all your suspicions: Yes. He is, in fact, a real life Ken doll. It’s like he’s right out of Life-Size, guys!

Bruno Gunn

Bruno Gunn

We caught Bruno Gunn by the bar, where he was drinking water and I was drinking liquid courage. He talked to us about loving the books and why he chooses to be so active among the fans. It comes down to this: This man really recognizes what a wonderful, unique experience this is and he wants to delve into every moment of it. He was so enthusiastic about the fan base that it kind of blew my mind. It’s not something you see everyday.

Then we saw the crowd. There were two couches forming a circle and in the middle of it all, Sam Claflin. But not just Sam! He was accompanied by Stef Dawson, who will play Annie in the Mockingjay films! For the record, Stef is so small and adorable. She looks so young that I maaaaaay have mistaken her for some rich execs’ little daughter at first. Shhhhhh! But she was just about the sweetest thing ever and now we’re even more excited to see her in Mockingjay!

Sam Claflin and Stef Dawson

Sam Claflin and Stef Dawson

It took a lot of patience, but eventually we were able to snap a photo with them and talk. Poor Sam was obviously exhausted, but he handled the social aspects like a champ: Talking about the movie, giving love to the fanbase on behalf of the whole cast and telling us how bummed he was that we couldn’t meet the other leads (who were whisked away to promotional gigs on the other side of the country almost immediately after finishing with the red carpet). He joked about not being hot enough, to which Amie calmly replied “I’m going to give you a minute to take that back.” I admitted to him that some parts of the movie had me physically shaking (a bit embarrassing, in hindsight) and he cheered “Then we did our job!”

We know that celebrities are just people, but they’re people who don’t normally talk to me. So it was really freaking cool and also surprisingly intimidating, even though they’re all really nice.

We didn’t find out until after the fact that Suzanne Collins was also in attendance. From wherever you are reading this right now, you can probably hear our hearts breaking into a thousand tiny pieces. She’s the one person we REALLY need to thank, since she inspired all this from the very beginning. We think she already knows, though.

We get jaded about the fandom sometimes, we’ll admit it! It’s not perfect, for sure, but we are so damn lucky to be a part of it. Not just because of “perks” like these, but because the fansites were able to share it all together. This fandom has so many amazing people in it. Some of them are (semi) untouchable actors, sure. But some of them are you and I.

Thanks For Always Making This Worth It,
The Girl With The Pearl

P.S. There’s a couple more after party photos under the cut!

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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Premiere Ticket Giveaway Winner

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a #TickTock11 winner!

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We had an amazing amount of participation of our Catching Fire Premiere Ticket giveaway, but there could only be one winner! We chose the winner at random (Good thing, too! There were too many great entries to choose just one!) and we’re thrilled to announce the winner!

CONGRATULATIONS, ANNIE B.!

Annie has won two tickets to the US Premiere of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire in Los Angeles, courtesy of Lionsgate and Victor’s Village!

Though the pick was random, Annie’s entry was really inspiring. Take a look!

To me The Hunger Games means second chances, a new beginning and hope. Before I found the trilogy I was really struggling with life. Nothing made sense, I was so unhappy and angry and sad all of the time. Come to find out I had a rare form of depression. It only got worse after that, I felt like I was a freak and i became even more sad and angry to the point where life had little meaning to me. Finally while sitting in study hall almost 3 and a half years ago I picked up the first book and my life changed from there. Every aspect of my life has changed since reading those books. It gave me hope and strength and reason to keep living no matter how hard life gets. I will find myself in various situations and I will tell myself to be Katniss, be strong because you know, know small task is to much to handle. To see Katniss and Peeta and the rest of the victors come out of the experiences so scarred both emotionally and physically showed to me that hope is not lost. I will forever be so grateful to Suzanne Collins and the entire film organization for creating the world that save my life.

#TickTock10: International Catching Fire Lovefest

The clock has struck once again! And this time, it’s all about international love.

TT10_OffSiteTileWhile we still don’t love that the World Premiere is in London, it seems Lionsgate is trying to make amends with the US and Canada by offering fans a chance to attend one of the FIVE European premieres happening before the Catching fire crew comes stateside.

“HOW?!” you ask! Simply tweet about the premiere using the hashtag #TickTock10 and the hashtag for the premiere location of your choice by midnight PST on October 11th:

#CatchingFireLondon

#CatchingFireBerlin

#CatchingFireMadrid

#CatchingFireRome

#CatchingFireParis

Lionsgate tends to be a little Twitter-centric and not everyone is thrilled about it, but given how active fans are via that social network medium, we’re not entirely surprised. Also, it takes about two seconds to create an account and no one’s saying you have to tweet status updates everyday, so seriously… Tough cookies!

Don’t panic, international folks (yeah, we noticed some of you getting flustered all over Twitter)! There’s even more chances for YOU to win via the links on the bottom of this page!

In case you missed the premiere schedule, it goes as follows:
London, November 11th
Berlin, November 12th
Madrid, November 13th
Rome, November 14th
Paris, November 15th
Los Angeles, November 18th

Lionsgate did have some ‘splainin to do in Europe after numbers weren’t as grand as expected for the first film, so we are glad that they’re reaching out to those audiences though we wish it wasn’t in that order. Still, it’s nice to see The Hunger Games fandom love is now more available everywhere, not just to the folks who were harder to impress the first time around.

We Can Play Hard To Get, Too!
The Girl With The Pearl

#TickTock11: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire US Premiere News and Your Chance to Win Tickets!

THE #TICKTOCK11 CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED!

 

And you thought it was just another Thursday!

Welcome to #TICKTOCK11!

TT11_V4The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’s #TickTock Countdown is getting fans prepared for the film’s release on November 22!

First, let’s recap: #TickTock12 brought some very important news for fans who want to make it to those midnight premieres. The on-sale ticket date for the movie is October 1! You can sign up for a reminder email from Fandango by clicking here. We also got to hear Coldplay’s Atlas, the first song released off The Hunger Games: Catching Fire soundtrack, accompanied by a chance to win the original lyrics sheet, and saw TONS of new character stills!

Now, with #TickTock11, we are very pleased to announce the date of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire premiere in Los Angeles, CA will be…

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 18!

Thanks to Lionsgate, we also have the extreme pleasure of offering you a chance to be part of it. Victor’s Village is thrilled to announce that we are one of 75 sites offering up a #TickTock11 contest in honor of the 75th Hunger Games. One lucky fan here at Victor’s Village will win A PAIR OF TICKETS FOR THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE PREMIERE!

To enter, just leave us a comment answering this question:

“What does The Hunger Games mean to you?”

Quick Version of the Rules:

  • This contest is open to international fans, but…
  • The winner will ONLY receive the tickets, which must be picked up at the event location. No other expenses, travel costs, or accommodation costs will be paid.
  • One comment per person. Double entries will be disqualified. We’re keeping track.
  • The winner will be announced on September 30.

Please click READ MORE and check out the full official rules below the cut.

As previously mentioned, you can enter for a chance to win premiere tickets 74 more times from other fansites and media outlets. Go here to see the full list of contests! You can also check it out on Facebook.

Best of luck, tributes!

Remember, you can find ALL the #TickTock moments on The Hunger Games Explorer.

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The Not-So-Premiere Change

Ladies and gentleman, we are LESS THAN 100 Days away from Catching Fire! We know so, because Lionsgate started its 100 Days to Catching Fire Countdown a couple days ago! Also, you know, because we follow this stuff somewhat obsessively.

Not say that the city and the arena aren't really nice, of course!

Not say that the city and the arena aren’t really nice, of course!

With the launch of 100 Days to Catching Fire came some other big news: THE WORLD PREMIERE OF CATCHING FIRE IS HAPPENNING… in London.

Yup, London.

It’s not that we have something against London. I’ve been there, loved it dearly, and would not be opposed to just up-and-moving there under the right circumstances. We know there will still be other premieres all over the world, but… Why is it in London again?!

We’re sure someone will turn around and accuse us of being pigheaded Americans who just want everything for themselves, so let us explain it this way:
When the Harry Potter films were premiering around the world, no one ever expected the World Premiere to be in the United States, because they were British films. Despite being fantasy films, they were in large part based off British culture and society, so Britain gets to go first on the premiere list. The same goes for any other popular foreign franchise. We consider it a respect thing.

The Hunger Games is set in the future, but it’s based off North America. We are the precursors to the Capitol and the Districts. People are happy to made the comparisons. Panem is the result of our failings and DAMMIT, WE WANT OUR FAILINGS TO BE RECOGNIZED! .. Oh, you get what we mean!

Many fans have discussed the possibility that Lionsgate is starting things off in London as part of a larger marketing strategy geared toward Europe, where the first movie was well-received, but didn’t do as phenomenally as it did in North America. We hope not, because that seems like a poor marketing strategy.

It's about MORE than this.

It’s about MORE than this.

See, the whole idea of marketing is to draw in a NEW audience, where premieres cater specifically to the existing audiences. There will be media coverage, but said media coverage isn’t going to magically differ because you stick the word “WORLD” in front of a premiere. So really, you’re marketing to the people who are already going to see the movie in hopes that their fervor will spread to new audiences because they got first dibs?

Call us bitter, but we do feel a little taken for granted. The US responded extremely enthusiastically to The Hunger Games and will likely be even more enthusiastic for Catching Fire. “So let’s give them the middle finger and get around to them later, because we’ll get the money and attention we want from them no matter what!” That is beyond a sting! Straight. up. BURN.

Yes, this news is still new. Yes, we’re kinda whiny. But you know what? We think it’s pretty justified. Again, it’s meant to be a special nod to the film’s country of origin and it’s being put aside in the hopes of impressing some more people. C’mon!

I’m Sure There Will Be An Article Opposing This POV In Like 3 Days,
The Girl With The Pearl