No Word From Our Sponsors

As we head into less than 90 days until Mockingjay Part 2’s release, there’s something a little bit different this year. Something’s missing. We’re not really upset that it’s missing, but it makes us wonder…

Where are all the sponsorships?

Cover Girl Star Wars

Thanks for distracting Cover Girl from THG this year, Star Wars!

THG franchise movie marketing have been loaded with brand cross-promotion. From the early days with China Glaze nail polish and Barbie, to the full on onslaught of Capitol Cover Girl, Subway, Samsung, Doritos, Mazda, Whole Foods, Hallmark, and more. Not that we haven’t gotten hints and rumors so far this year. Tim Palen posted some suspicious Barbie heads on his Instagram and then deleted it. (well “Ken” heads I suppose since they looks like the male characters). The Hallmark holiday ornament catalog has a Mockingjay Part 2 ornament. There may be some Funko action to come. Cover Girl is doing a makeup line with Star Wars so it looks like at least their brand of makeup won’t be tied to Katniss this year (and we are so relieved).

We are relieved on many levels. Because it’s really tough to find brands and cross-promotions that don’t clash with the themes of the series. We’re sure that there will be lots of tie-ins – that’s a crucial part of marketing (and profiting) off blockbuster movies. Hopefully some will excite us and make us happy. There will inevitably be some that are an awkward fit for the themes of the movies, but are done anyway because it makes financial sense for both parties. Even when it is awkward, it can be fun if you just don’t think about it too much. I will confess to liking the Doritos promotion last year, even though a Hunger Games tie-in to snack food is bizarre and uncomfortable. And people had fun those Catching Fire Subway standees we suppose.

As long as no company tries to “buy” the final trailer release we’ll probably be ok. We’ll still make fun of the awkward ones though. It’s what we do.

Watch – there will probably be a press release on the brand sponsors on Monday now.

JJ

Snapping The Mockingjay

Yes, we’ve already complained about how we’re already over the SnapChat element of the Mockingjay Part 2 campaign. And honestly, that still stands! We will take one website reveal of images over twenty 10-second snaps ANY DAY. But today was kind of an exception!

Over the course of the week, the MockingjayPt2 Snapchat has been running various contests to celebrate the five-year anniversary of the Mockingjay novel. Today, fans were tasked with drawing their own version of the Mockingjay cover.

This contest proved something we already knew: The world has waaaayyyy too much time on its hands!

But also, somebody get these kiddos a real art-based program to mess around on, because some of them are pretty good!

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We’re Snapchat amateurs, at best. We can barely manage to add short spurts of text to our snaps. Our drawn in hearts and smiley faces are lopsided like it’s nobody’s business. Yet these damn users created in tact shapes and shading!

Seriously, how long do you have to spend drawing with one finger to get that good at it?! Maybe they just have natural skillz that we don’t. Let’s hope it’s that and not the rabid dependency on the app!

My Mockingjay Would Look Like Tic-Tac-Toe Gone Wrong,
The Girl With The Pearl

Fallen Snow Steals the Show

Five years ago yesterday was the publication of Mockingjay, and to celebrate Lionsgate released a new Mockingjay Part 2 banner.

MJ2 banner

It instantly gave us deja vu of Catching Fire’s “Victors Revealed” banner. Fortunately this time, the whole banner was revealed at once and not a slow 2 week ordeal of one character per day like with Victors Revealed. And yes, each of the characters suffer from a little bit of awkward photoshop placement. But the more you look at it, the more you realize the distinction between this new banner and Victors Revealed. As the title suggests, Victors Revealed was all about the characters. The arena background looked cool, but it was not meant to be the main feature of the piece, the victors were.

However, this new banner, aptly titled “Fallen Snow” is more about the background. The massive, broken statue of Snow is what draws your eye. The image of a dictator’s statue being pulled down is very evocative in the real world, but the SIZE of the statue is what takes it a bit more to the realm of fantasy. The statue threw us off guard because the scale is so large compared to Squad 541. It actually looks a little like Ant Man promotion with Katniss so tiny (yet victorious) on Snow’s arm. While lots of fans eagerly zoomed in to their favorite characters, we don’t see this as a character piece. If it were a character piece we’d be a little disappointed that other members of 541 were left missing and their overall teeny tiny size on the banner.

We see this more as a continuation of the earlier movie posters of the decapitated statue and red Katniss chillin on Snow’s throne. But now it’s not clean. Now there’s fire and smoke and ruin. This collective of small, vulnerable warriors amidst all the destruction. These tiny figures have felled a powerful giant, but at great cost.

This type of snow removal is way worse than the frozen water kind.

JJ

About that Revolution…(pn)

With each new Hunger Games movie, there is (at least) one new website launched that has a cool, in-universe style. From TheCapitolTour.pn (now offline but captured here), Capitol Couture, TheCapitol.pn, to district13.co.in there’s been a whole lot of digital real estate tied to the movies not even counting the “real world” marketing sites of hungergamesexplorer.com (RIP) and the current hub thehungergames.movie.

With this track record, no one was surprised when revolution.pn launched a few months ago. As the official digital home for Panem’s revolution, THE REVOLUTION REALLY WANTS YOU TO JOIN THE FIGHT (by providing your email address or linking your Facebook account) and then sharing the various propaganda of the cause, like the Rhythm Nation-esque propo.

revolutionpn2

We wonder what the future plans for this site are, because they’re spending a lot of time trying to drive people to sign up. At least once a week, there’s a message released on socials about joining the cause. This message is from today.

We spy a new hashtag in that one too. This may be a tease of some new social campaign or a maybe a release of new posters. We hope it means something new content-release wise, because we get cranky when long, drawn out teases result in nada.

Long live the Revolution.pn!

(Well, as long as it keeps pushing out new content)

JJ

Mockingjay Music Goes Premiere

So the coolest opportunity ever for young musicians was held in the UK a while back: James Newton Howard, the composer behind each score in The Hunger Games franchise along with loads of other good films, invited over 2,000 student musicians to submit pieces meant for the Mockingjay Part 2 soundtrack. Then 24 of those pieces were chosen to be featured in the film!

What a scoring session actually looks like!

What a scoring session actually looks like!

Besides being fwatured in an “OMG THIS IS A BIG DEAL!” type of film and having that on their resume for life, there was another prize involved as well. In an interview with a local newspaper (via QQ), one winner divulged she “has been told she can attend the film premiere at either London, Paris or New York.”

NEW YORK, YOU SAY?!

London, we expected. That’s the home base for pretty much any franchise that hits Europe. Paris has practically become a staple for The Hunger Games as well. We’re a little more skeptical about New York and here’s why: Technically, there’s been a premiere in NYC for every film in the franchise. But it’s what we’ll kindly refer to as a “Rich Kid Premiere”. Mostly private, held for the executives and distributors and important members of the press and their families. Fancy, but more quietly so.

And the boys choir is back to make things sound eerie as well!

And the boys choir is back to make things sound eerie as well!

And no, Lionsgate isn’t going to confirm anything at this stage. They don’t announce anything until juuuuust before it’s bound to happen. The premiere details will leak like a punctured water balloon all over the Internet before they confirm anything! It’s especially true for NYC if it’s another RK premiere– We know because we’ve asked about the New York promotion every year and Lionsgate never even acknowledges our question.

Then again, a public NYC premiere for Insurgent was held last year, though that film didn’t get a LA premiere and The Hunger Games has a track record of LA premieres to uphold. So maybe the actual US premiere will hit NYC instead? We’re just getting our hopes up now, aren’t we?!

Back to the students, it’ll be cool to see how JNH takes the student pieces and blends them in to form the overall arc, the highs and lows of the score that will offer so much to the final film. Just pick a really cool premiere destination, okay winners?!

It’s Music To Our Ears!
The Girl With The Pearl

Trying to Unsee the C Word

This week marked 100 days until Mockingjay Part 2 comes out. Which is important for people who give special meaning to time when it hits nice round numbers. Lionsgate acknowledged the countdown with this edit of Katniss’s character poster.

100 daysWe saw it when it was released and didn’t think anything of it. Well, we actually thought, “100 Days until Mockingjay Part 2… Could we mark this with some actual news please?” and then moved along with our lives, because there was nothing else released that day.

Then a few days later, we notice this E! Online posting.

We took a look. We squinted. Didn’t notice anything. Squinted some more at the left side of her nose.

OH.

Oopsie. Our immediate reaction was a bout of huge laughter, cause it’s pretty clear that this was just a case of unfortunate type placement, and we’re confident it was accidental and not some rogue designer trying to pull a fast one. Since it wasn’t created with ill intent, it’s just hilarious. We’ve never considered the dangerous consequences of breaking into a “0” with the word “until.” And once you notice it, YOU CAN’T UNSEE IT. Sorry. You’ll never look at it with innocent eyes again.

We know the internet LOVES stuff like this, so this little graphic that only the fandom was every going to notice gets posted everywhere. Soooo, bright side, the 100 Days Until Mockingjay Part 2 message gets more buzz, just with an embarrassing twist to it. (Lionsgate had already pulled the it from their social sites as of at least Friday afternoon).

I can be a critical person about flubs, but I feel a certain amount of empathy to the designer and people who reviewed this before release. Sometimes you get so wrapped up in the larger design that you don’t stop to squint at it through all the angles. When you’re releasing loads of edits like this, something is bound to happen. It’s not like it’s a theatrical movie poster with a mockingjay beak sticking out of the heroine’s neck or something.

Chins up, smiles on, and let’s move on to the next promo.

JJ

Quenching Capitol Curiosity

Entertainment Weekly promised us “intel” on The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 in the teaser for their Fall Movie preview double issue and they shelled it out today!

The piece doesn’t get too in depth– which hopefully means we’ll be getting some in depth articles closer to the release of the film (but no promises since Lionsgate essentially nixed the entire print campaign for Mockingjay Part 1)– but it talks a bit about putting together the Capitol. And we learned a few things!

For instance, Francis Lawrence and the gang made full blueprints of the Capitol to get a feel for the layout. And it’s mostly just Paris but with some fun twists as an homage to the city where they shot most of the Capitol scenes.

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The architecture of the Capitol has gone from brutalist to Stalinist. The Soviet Era style honestly seems pretty close to brutalism, but it’s a little edgier and probably helps convey the narcissistic vibe of the citizens a little better.

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Aaaaand set designers didn’t really think ahead, therefore creating more work for themselves than at all necessary:

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So we didn’t get too much this time around. But included on that first page was a nice little still that we reeeeeally wish we could find without the captions:

EW-fall-preview-image

 

We can’t help but wonder… Is it us? Why can’t we revel in an Entertainment Weekly piece with a new still and a few details? Is it that our attention span is too small or that the details are too little? We’re three months away from the movie! Patience is a virtue, but any fandom will you it’s certainly not a requirement. Either way, here’s hoping the studio wises up about print campaigns for this film and we get some articles that really delve into the story, the characters, and the on-set experience for the final film in the franchise!

ariel-the-little-mermaid-i-want-more-gif,
The Girl With The Pearl

Hunger Games On The High Seas

Every now and then, we get an email that makes us say “Hmmmm… Where the heck did that come from?”

One of those was from Angry Goat Productions, who wanted us to talk about their Cosplay Cruises— more specifically, The Hunger Games themed one. Because “It’s not just a Con… It’s a Concation!”

cruise1320x742

The idea of a con cruise is not an original or uncommon one, but it’s something that certain fans clearly enjoy. Angry Goat knows, because they’ve got Cosplay Cruises for just every about every major fandom out there right now. They’re working in the business of fandom, working on our passions and hopes of being around like-minded people.

But our first question, of all things, was this: How the heck do they think they’ll get this passed Lionsgate legal?! Either they have a deal in place or they’re about to face some fury, because LG comes down pretty hard on people who could even potentially profit using the namesake of their major franchise.

We’re not saying it’s a terrible idea, but we don’t know if this would take off YET. Most fandom cruises follow fandoms that are heavy on nostalgia and only 3 1/2 years after the movie franchise began, we don’t think the fandom is quite ready for nostalgia.

So what do you think? Would you celebrate with other fans on the high seas? Or is this something meant to cash in on fandom?

Thoughts Of The Island Arena In 3.. 2.. 1..
The Girl With The Pearl

News Bits from the Lionsgate Q1 Call

On Friday, Lionsgate had their Fiscal 2016 Q1 Conference Call. Usually this brings at least some interesting bits, so we gave it a listen for some Hunger Games-related news.

Here it is… ALL THE BIG NEWS

buttercup

Sure the Exhibition ticket sales were good, but what about the Buttercup sales?

The Hunger Games Exhibition had record sales in the first week of open for Discovery Times Square. (Mentioning only the first week of sales sounds suspicious to us considering it’s been open for 5 weeks but anyway we like the Exhibition, so we’ll believe you when you say others are visiting en masse). The 2nd stop of the tour in San Francisco, was also mentioned.

The global Mockingjay Part 2 marketing campaign has launched with an incredible response (YES WE LIKE TO RESPOND TO THINGS) and November will have the company’s largest day and date theatrical launch in their history.

The Odyssey, which will have creative leadership from Francis Lawrence and Nina Jacobson, will be a multi-movie deal “in the vein of The Lord of the Rings.” This is somewhat expected, because no one just makes ONE movie these days. FRANCHISES, man. It’s what all the cool (money making) kids do.

And that was pretty much it. Slim pickings. Granted, it’s just a Q1 call, but really, THAT’S IT?

Unfortunately, that’s it.

JJ

Going Back For The Cat (Or Dog)

So today we’re going to get serious because we work out all our feelings by relating them to books!

This is an apology to a fictional character– more specifically, Primrose Everdeen.

At the Mockingjay Part 2 panel at Comic-Con, Conan O’Brien joked with Willow Shields, saying “I was so mad at you when you went back for the cat!” And mostly, our reaction was “Well.. duh.” It was a rash, irresponsible move made by a young girl who’s almost too sensitive for this world. Buttercup was an adult cat and hell, cats don’t even live that long. Why would anyone risk anything for a cat?! Katniss, while we loves her sister, thinks she’s an overly sentimental piece of work when it comes to this issue and audiences kinda do too.

Well, I’m sorry, Prim. It’s unfair to judge you because I really do understand.

unnamed

This picture is roughly 17 years, 8 months old. I’m 10-years-old– hence the bad hair, fashion, etc. The puppy here is Jake, my family’s Jack Russell Terrier who died of old age this past Sunday, four days before my 28th birthday. He was the best dog ever… though perhaps I’m biased.

And truthfully, I totally would’ve gone back from him in an emergency situation.

It’s not that uncommon. In scary situations, people rescue their pets. They sometimes get injured or even die themselves in the attempt. To some, that just sounds crazy, but not to me. I don’t consider myself all too sentimental, but pets become an important part of your life in a way that most humans don’t even. They’re a furry ball of friendship, playfulness, and companionship without an ounce of judgment. And dammit, we all need some of that! So risking it all for our animal friends makes sense.

It’s silly to think of the continuum of the story after the final chapter (but before the epilogue) because everything is just head canon from that point on, but we can’t even imagine how Katniss felt when Buttercup finally went. We see the two forming a bond over the loss of Prim at the end of Mockingjay, and I’d like to believe that they stuck together and learned to love each other. That means that things would be rough for Katniss not just because she lost a pet, but because that pet was one of the few things she had that linked back to her sister. And urgh… we can’t even.

Though the most minor of minor characters in The Hunger Games, Buttercup makes a major impact on the plot and the characters’ emotional wellbeing, which says something big. So we get it, Prim. And really, you’re awesome for doing it.

And Without That, There’d Be No Buttercup: Evil Overlord Fanon Memes,
The Girl With The Pearl