9 Secrets About The Making Of “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1”
Get an exclusive first look at behind-the-scenes pics and audio commentary from the creators of The Hunger Games.
1. The film starts off with a period of time that didn’t originally exist in the book.
“In the beginning of this adaptation, you’ll see that we made a jump from the book. The book opens with Katniss walking through the ruins of District 12, and we kind of only hear in her thoughts the backstory of her time in District 13. Pretty quickly we knew that wasn’t going to work and we were going to have to see Katniss getting acclimated to District 13 and meeting President Coin for the first time as opposed to jumping in the middle of the action.” —Francis Lawrence, director
“Coming off of Catching Fire we had the question of, where do want this story to begin? And we made the choice to have it begin one or two weeks after she had been lifted out of the arena.” —Nina Jacobson, producer
2. Jennifer Lawrence and Philip Seymour Hoffman had a ton of fun improvising together.
“We had a lot of fun shooting this scene. Jen and Phil [Seymour Hoffman] had so much fun improvising and playing off of each other.” —Jacobson
“We had a lot of different versions of this — very broad comedy versions and very serious versions. And it was a lot of fun to see Jen ‘act’ poorly.” —Lawrence
3. Not wanting to have a film without Effie Trinket, they replaced the character Fulvia in the book with Effie’s character on film.
“For fans of the book, they know that Effie’s role [in Mockingjay] was basically given to a character named Fulvia, who became Plutarch’s assistant. It just seemed impossible when we were doing Catching Fire that we wouldn’t have Effie Trinket here. There was a little convincing of Suzanne Collins, but after seeing Catching Fire she said… —Lawrence
“‘Fulvia who?’ (laughs). But it was a big decision what to do with Effie, and what we thought was most interesting was to see her forced into this role of rebel, forced to leave the Capitol and the things that she’s held dear but that she’s clearly questioning at the end of Catching Fire. —Jacobson
4. The actors shot inside an actual replica of the hovercraft to make the scene as realistic as possible.
“We built the interior of a hovercraft that would be attached to a large crane with our actors inside, lifted up 60 feet in the air. It would actually land so you could see them get dropped down and walk into our location while the hovercraft lifts off, helping to create the reality that these hovercrafts really exist.” —Lawrence
5. The hospital scene was a turning point for Katniss, making her realize that she had what it took to be the Mockingjay.
“The hospital scene in District 8 was an important one. It’s kind of an anchor for Mockingjay — Part 1, because it really solidifies Katniss’ position as taking on the role of the Mockingjay. She doesn’t really believe that she’s going to be able to help or truly mean anything to them, but here she starts to see that she can make a difference.” —Lawrence
6. Jennifer Lawrence and Woody Harrelson were pretty much always goofing around.
“The scenes with Jen and Woody were always so fun.” —Lawrence
“Hard to get them to be serious, though, because they like each other so much and they goof around a lot!” —Jacobson
7. They got to destroy a real factory when they demolished District 12 on-screen.
“The production designer and location manager found this factory about an hour outside of Atlanta that was being demolished. We got permission to put a hold on the work and they let us do the demolishing for District 12.” —Lawrence
8. One of the first scenes screenwriter Peter Craig pitched was showing how the other Districts were responding to the message of the Mockingjay.
“When we first hired Peter Craig to write these movies, this was one of the first scenes he pitched in our first conversation. The idea of finding a way to see the impact that Katniss has on the other districts and how they respond to her message. So in addition to the whistle, we had the repeat of her words (‘if we burn, you burn’).” —Jacobson
“We did a lot of research of loggers in the Northwest that can run up these trees. We found this pine farm two hours south of Atlanta.” —Lawrence
9. The movie Das Boot inspired the way President Coin showed strength and courage during the bombing scene.
During the bombing attack on District 13, “it was a big priority for Francis that you really see President Coin’s intelligence and her posture as a leader. To see her psych out the Capitol and not just survive the attack through luck.” —Jacobson
“One of the things that Peter, the writer, and I talked about a lot in this sequence was a Wolfgang Peterson movie called Das Boot. There’s a great scene where the submarine gets stuck in sink mode and goes further and further down, and while everybody panics, the captain keeps swearing that the sub can take it even though it’s passing the limits for how deep it can go. Peter and I liked the idea that Coin would show real strength here by saying, ‘You know what, we’re being bombed, but don’t send out the fleet, don’t shoot our guns — hide and let them bomb us, we can take it.’ And that it would be horrible and it would be scary, but she has such confidence in her decision and in the way District 13’s been built. And it had the same claustrophobic feeling of being in a sub 300 feet below the surface of the ocean.” —Lawrence