ve neill

The Unsung Heroes

We’re REALLY HYPED as the Mockingjay Part 2 and 4-Film Collection Blu-ray release date approaches– that would be March 22nd, in case you’ve been living under a rock. A big part of that is the obvious: Deleted and extended scenes, cast shenanigans, commentary. But a big part of it is also because home video releases often introduce us to the unsung heroes behind the film projects we love.

Yes, everyone wants to fangirl over the cast because they are spectacular and Francis because he’s the leader of the pack. But if you’ve ever watched a movie with crap make-up and effects, you know that no amount of acting skill or good intentions can save a movie that just doesn’t have all the elements.

For that, we turn to people like Ve Neill, Nikoletta Skarlatos, and Glenn Hetrick. You probably don’t know their names (unless you’re really into makeup as an artistic medium,) but you’ve got a lot to thank them for if you love this franchise– along with lots and lots of other people, of course.

In anticipation of the home video release, we’re seeing some full-length interviews with the three and they are so freaking endearing. We talk a lot about The Hunger Games “family” and the fandom, but people who work behind the scenes don’t get nearly enough credit and THEY ARE A MAJOR PART OF THAT FAMILY.

We couldn’t help but smile when we watched Ve and Nikoletta’s interview quickly go awry and the wild giggle fit that followed, because this is what we do with the people we love. Plus, they were so honest and sweet about feeling at home and embraced on The Hunger Games franchise.

Glenn Hetrick, on the other hand, talks about how competitive the field of special effects makeup is and how hard it is to brush the ego aside sometimes. But working on a major motion picture franchise with tons of moving parts teaches humility and helped make him part of a team.

So yes, these movies are special for the cast and Francis and the fans. But some people built (or at least seriously fattened up) their careers around this franchise behind the scenes. Even though we don’t know them, they’re a bigger part of the family than we’ll ever be. And we owe them tremendously!

Every Effie Trinket Cosplayer Out There, Raise Your Glass!
The Girl With The Pearl

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Scars (Or Lack Thereof)

As we wait for the Blu-Ray/DVD release of Mockingjay Part 2, there are some more BTS featurette clips to tide us over in the meantime. One of the clips shows the work makeup designer Ve Neill and her team did for the movie.

No doubt Katniss has a rough time in Mockingjay Part 2, and the makeup team did a great job making the neck and chest bruising very believable. And it sounds like the team went to a lot of effort on the burn makeup as well. Only those burns (and the inevitable scars) barely made it on screen, and we think that was a mistake.

Don’t get us wrong. We didn’t WANT to see more damage done to our favorite character really. Our poor girl is strangled, shot, and then the massively burned, and it’s awful that she endures that. But the physical hurt she experiences is a part of the Mockingjay journey, and part of the lesson of Mockingjay. We were disappointed at how Katniss’s injuries were glossed over, because it took weight out of the story’s message.

burned katniss

First of all the fire completely misses her face, in an “amazing” stroke of Hollywood luck. Then there’s the magical Capitol burn medicine that seems to fix everything in a flash (to be fair on that point, we don’t know how long Katniss is in the hospital, but the movie’s quick cuts make the recovery FEEL too quick). Was the burn makeup deemed too intense to be given more than a few seconds of screen time? What was behind the decision to make Katniss look physically well so fast?

Beyond the magic of the complete burn recovery, the moment that really seemed out of place was when she returns back to 12, goes hunting and Katniss’s gorgeous hair is blowing in the wind. She looks beautiful. She looks physically healthy. But accelerating her physical recovery SO MUCH faster than her mental one was a change from the book that felt a little too much like Hollywood being afraid to show a woman with physical imperfections. After 2 hours of trauma, suddenly seeing “shampoo commercial Katniss” took me completely out of the movie.

We love it when Katniss is allowed to look real. No wonder critics and fans alike thought the Buttercup scene was great. Give us the slobbery ugly cry! That looks like a real person in despair, and Jennifer Lawrence OWNS that scene. After all that Katniss physically goes through, no one expects her to look perfect. (And if they do, screw them).

We love you, scars and all, Katniss

JJ

 

 

Awards and Money

Booya y’all! I mean, didn’t you hear, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire has officially, and I mean officially made an ass ton of money, and yes m’dears… we are in part to, well, um blame for that? Perhaps blame is the wrong word to use, but I’m gonna use it, ’cause I think it makes this post sound punchy! It’s true though, even I can attest to having seen Catching Fire in a theatre more than once, and two of those times I paid with cold hard cash money, or my debit card, whatever, and the other time I paid in tears, ALL THE TEARS, I’m talking about going to the LA premiere people! Anyway, it was made official this week that The Hunger Games: Catching Fire not only made an ass ton of money, but it is to date the highest grossing film of the fiscal year.

So, what do we do with that knowledge? Do we throw a party, buy a cheap bottle of Champagne, which is actually Brut, because real Champagne only comes from Champagne, France– or perhaps it’s actually Prosecco, which gets you tipsy just as quicker anyway! Oh, yeah what are we doing again? Ah yes, throwing a The 85th Academy Awards® will air live on Oscar® Sunday, February 24, 2013.party for Catching Fire doing exactly what a whole bunch of us said it would do more than a year ago, and that is make tons and tons, and tons of money! I feel like I should be tossing hundred-dollar bills in the air, doing my best Jordan Belfort as interpreted by Leo DiCaprio and Marty Scorsese, and possibly objectifying some women, and doing so much blow that I crash a helicopter and don’t even care! Alas, I cannot do that, because I really don’t want to, and all I’d rather do is have Catching Fire do more than make money, and what is is that I wish it would do? Well, win awards, yo!

What kind of awards though? Well, as covered by The Girl With The Pearl The Magical Internet Pony awards are likely in the bag for the franchise. We do have a rather large fandom, and I’ll bet money that any number of them would gladly sit around clicking “vote! vote! vote” for probably all of those pony giving out awards shows. However, because I’m sadly living in the dark ages, and I am secretly an old white man, I wish Catching Fire would get nominated for, and win awards at such serious non-pony related awards shows like, the big one, the Academy Awards. But I think we all know that that’s not going to happen, at least not in the categories that your average citizen cares all that much about. Me, I’ll be hell-a proud if the sound editors, and the sound mixers, the visual affects team, Trish Summerville and Ve Neill and co get nominated, perhaps Coldplay will get recognized for Atlas, or maybe just maybe Jo Willems will be nominated for his work as the director of photography. All of the above would make me happy, but will it happen? I unfortunately doubt it.

Oscar nominations will be announced Thursday the 16th, so stay frosty! Crossing fingers, toes, and eyes for the technical awards! And who the hell knows, maybe Mockingjay Part One and Two will be like The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King? Saving the best for last so to speak, and finally getting the recognition for the series that it wholly deserves.

Them There Eyes