Fandom

The Lumineers and The Hanging Tree

I like hanging out under rocks lately, especially where it comes to Mockingjay Part 1. And now you’re all scratching your heads, and wondering what is wrong with me. Welp, dear readers, I just want to watch the movie at this point, and everything else, trailers, interviews, it’s all just fodder, The_Luimneers509and distractions. Luckily on occasion something good passes under my nose, or my rock, that makes my ears perk up and like my trusty, sleep depriving kitty. In this weeks case it’s the news that The Lumineers, the old school, folky, Americana based band out of Colorado, are contributing to the score on Mockingjay Part 1.

I like the Lumineers, they’re one of the few bands that I’m pretty sure I don’t butcher when I sing along with them in the car, when they’re played on my local alternative rock station. The melodies are catchy, the singing is airy, and harmonious, and the instrumentation is soulful as well as heartwarming. Therefore when I say the following, I only liked one song off the Catching Fire Motion Picture Soundtrack– and that song was Gale Song, I’m not mincing words. I’m happy The Lumineers are contributing to the score for Mockingjay Part 1, I’m more glad that they’re contributing to the section of the score where their folk roots styling expertise will be optimally utilized, in other words they’re perfect collaborators on the actualization of The Hanging Tree. James Newton Howard however is no slouch where it comes to musical knowledge, his scores are a testament to that– however his ability to possibly say “hey, maybe these guys can help me out?!” speaks volumes to me about his adherence to keeping the quality of the score in mind, rather than just getting it done.

Now to the hard-hitting stuff– er, yeah— with the news that The Lumineers are back, there was also the tid bit that Jennifer Lawrence will be singing a capella, then be joined by Mockingjays, then be joined by a swell of Rebels, then an invisible boys choir, then a crashing orchestra. Um, well– I still don’t think it’ll be Jennifer Lawrence’s voice we’ll be hearing.

*tiptoes away*

Them there Eyes

About these ads

#UnlockMockingjay Madness

So remember when we posted on Tuesday about the Mockingjay Mosaic campaign and how we felt better about something like that than social media campaigns that make fans work toward media the studio was ultimately going to give fans anyway?

Things got WAY uncomfortable about 18 hours later when Lionsgate released a social media campaign exactly matching that criteria. Whoops! WE HAD NO IDEA, LG! WE’RE NOT MIND READERS! WE SWEAR!

First came the bait! Retweet #UnlockMockingjay enough and you’ll get this shiny new preview!

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And oh man, did we want that shiny new preview. WANT!

Through the act of being wicked smaht (as we like to say in New England), someone somewhere– we honestly don’t know who because it was already common knowledge by the time we tuned in– realized that the algorithm involved would require 50k tweets to unlock the video. The hashtag challenge launched at 12pm EST. By the time I finished my lunch around 1pm EST, the buzz was firmly built, the fan tweets were rolling out, and the tweet-o-meter thingamabob was already at 60%.

Smooooooth sailing, right? WRONG!

4pm rolls around and it feels like victory (or as much victory as you can get out of a Wednesday afternoon.) WORK DAY DONE! COMFY SWEATPANTS ON! MOCKINGJAY-O-METER… BACK DOWN TO 44% PERCENT?

Apparently, at some point in there, Lionsgate remembered that Hunger Games fans are ravenous beasts who considered new Mockingjay previews their very lifeblood. 50k tweets probably took about 2 hours to complete and obviously, they were hoping NOT to release things that early. The re-calibration experts in the fandom looked into it and realized the new magic number was 360k tweets.

And that is when the hilarious, quote-filled fandom madness really took off, thanks to the brilliance of Jabberjays.net turning it into a bit of a game:

At a couple points, the widget jumped. Word on the streets of Twitter was that we only needed 261.5k tweets, then 260k. Baffled by the odd numbers but still wanting our Mockingjay preview, things started to get real cray cray:

Throughout this, we get a couple of pre-teaser teasers in the form of new stills. But it just wasn’t enough to satiated the NEEEEEED! Seriously. We make those zombies on The Walking Dead look tame. The frustration kicked in:

Even though we certainly felt that frustration, we were also starting to feel a little bad. Because this “unlocking” campaign despite its problems and the later-realized factoid that it was rigged to release at 7pm no matter how many tweets, we realized we were having a lot of fun. Not that Lionsgate necessarily planned it would turn into a quote-ridden meme fest, but other fans and fansites turned it into a really witty game and we really enjoyed getting involved.

Not to pat this fandom on the collective back too much, but WOW, WE ARE CLEVER AND HILARIOUS AND WONDERFUL! And #UnlockMockingjay kinda ended up bringing out the best in us.

Of course, we also got this spectacular sneak peek out of it:

But that deserves its own post, don’t you think?

It Was A Pleasure Being Ridiculous With You,
The Girl With The Pearl

Mockingjay Gets Self(ie)ish

As a collective fandom, it turns out that we like to do things BIG.

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A little mosaic sampler action!

Premiere turnouts, trailer views, book re-reads, merchandising, fan fiction obsessing.. whatever! We want it all in massive numbers and full force. It’s part of sharing the love, right?

So it should be no real surprise that the German film distributor for The Hunger Games (or Die Tribute Von Panem, as it’s known in that neck of the woods) wants to break a world record. For what, you ask? THE MOST GIANT COLLECTION OF FAN SELFIES EVER… formed into a Mockingjay poster.

Okay, maybe not just selfies. You can submit an actual photo taken by someone else (because when is that selfie angle EVER actually flattering?!) or a selfie over at the Mockingjay Mosaic website and be turned into part of a giant poster!

Is it the most daring, brilliant concept ever? No. But here’s why we’re liking it: In the first bit of publicity we’ve really noticed from an international distributor working alongside Lionsgate, we’re feeling the fan appreciation. The mosaic poster is the first notable effort in the Mockingjay campaign (so far) to have fans showcased as part of the overall experience. Sure, the OLTM app allowed you to make Mockingjay part of your life, but it didn’t make your life part of the Mockingjay campaign.
…Does that make sense? Can you see the forest through the trees? Are you hearing what I’m not saying to you?!

Also, it looks WAY COOLER spelled "Mosiak"

Also, it looks WAY COOLER spelled “Mosiak”

Oftentimes, it seems like movie campaigns are all about trying to get you talking about how much you love something. It makes sense, of course, word-of-mouth and continual references are how many people manage to crack and get into a series they’ve been avoiding, especially this late in the game when they’ve seen many of the official ads and probably weren’t all swayed by them. A friend saying “Trust me, it’s good” in some way, even if it’s through supporting an official movie campaign like the OLTM app, is way more convincing than media ads that easily make us cynical. But really, these campaigns don’t have much benefit for the people who are already fans other than probably “unlocking” content that the studio is going to release either way.

Instead, this easy little idea says “We KNOW you love The Hunger Games! We’re so glad, we want to make you a part of what we’re doing for the film! Let us include you!” And even though it’s a tiny, practically invisible photo in a massive mosaic that will ultimately mean next to nothing in our lives, a single tear runs down our collective fandom cheek because… they like us! They really like us! And it’s fun too, so why the hell not?!

Now If Only I Liked A Single Picture Of Myself,
The Girl With The Pearl

Let’s Go Scan Stuff

This morning the app Our Leader the Mockingjay got a new facet, a partnership with Doritos. Yaaaaay! Okay, maybe not a yay, but if you’re into snack food doused in electric orange powdered cheese, that inevitibly will get all over your hands, and your clothes, and make you look a fright– yay to those people! Doritos love or not, the newly launched section of Our Leader the Mockingjay’s app is pretty darn snazzy, well more so after you’re able d13targetto scan a bag of Doritos and unlock the entire, shiny, new schematic of District 13! Yeah, that’s what scanning nacho flavored corn chips gets us! A 3D map of the underground world of District 13.

I’m not a big app person, in fact the apps on my phone are pretty practical. Like the CNN app, the Google app, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (of course), and the more frivolous ones, Pinterest, and Flixter (Rotten Tomatoes app). I downloaded the = This is the best thing on the app– BUTTERCUP[/caption]Our Leader the Mockingjay app though, and well– if you’re like me and don’t use your cell phone to keep you occupied all the damn time, it’s kind of a foreign thing– more like I’m staring at it, flipping through everything that’s there to the best of my knowledge and going, “so does it do anything? Can I get movie times? Pin stuff? What?” I’m not over the moon about this app in other words, because it’s geared to the lot of people out there who love playing with their phones! Me? I use my phone as a communication tool, and a tool for getting information.

More power to the boring people! Just be November already, I’m not a game-y/app-y person– I just want to watch the damn movie!

I’ll go back to my hole now.

This is the best thing on the app-- BUTTERCUP

This is the best thing on the app– BUTTERCUP

Them There Eyes

125 Minutes

The latest rumor in Mockingjay Part 1 waiting-land concerns the movie runtime.  The movie’s IMDb page (which can be edited by people with a paid account) now lists 125 minutes. If true, that would be about 21 minutes shorter than Catching Fire and 17 minutes less than The Hunger Games, but who’s counting?

All we want is for you to make another incredible movie for us. NO PRESSURE!

All we want is for you to make another incredible movie for us. NO PRESSURE!

Well, all the fans are, from the buzz about it. That, or we’re just trying to take our minds off the silly snack food promotion. Whether the runtime is actually 125 minutes or not, we’ve heard from Francis Lawrence himself that the individual Mockingjay movies would be shorter than the previous movies. There’s two movies to cover one book, after all. We would hope that having the luxury of two movies means that there will be no need to rush through scenes or edit out material we love for the sake of run time. And we have every indication that there will be some new material added because we are able to see beyond just Katniss’s perspective.

Of course, the cynical business person in me also notes that a shorter runtime adds up to the availability of more movie showings per theater per day, but I’ll put that aside in favor of the thought that the movie will be as long as it needs to be to tell the story.  Catching Fire’s end credits were 10 mins 20 seconds (yes I did just check that on my digital copy of the movie), so 125 minutes means about 115 minutes of real movie time. If Francis Lawrence thinks 115 minutes is enough to tell this part of the story I’m going to trust him. And then we’ll have some extra time to sit and cry during the end credits and wonder about how appropriate that Lorde song really is for the movie.

Until the next rumor…

JJ

Eating Your Way To The Hunger Games

I think by now the message of The Hunger Games trilogy is pretty ingrained in our brains, right? That gluttony is bad, and that the haves and have-nots should be less pronounced. Welp, apparently someone didn’t get the message.

CandylandThere’s this contest being put on in Canada. And by the way this is no dig at Canada, it’s– I don’t know what it is really. Perhaps shock and awe? So, the contest is this– Snack Your Way to LA, where the object of the game is to take a photo of specific snack food items UPC codes, and send enter them into this handy-dandy little entry form thingie. Awesome, right? Um yeah, only if you’re oblivious and can’t see the irony in a context to win prizes, and tickets to see Mockingjay– involves the excesses of snack food, the least nutritious food on the mass market, BTW– good luck.

Slow clap for the genius who didn’t think backwards or forwards when they came up with this one. ‘Cause I’m about ready to forfeit my common sense, and call this quite possibly the best joke since Subway had a partnership with Lionsgate and The Hunger Games franchise. What is going on with people’s brains on this one?! Do they not get that the series has a message, a message that belittles, and looks down on excess, and well– um, contests for that matter?

I give up… hold you’re ridiculous contests, forget that The Hunger Games is the opposite of snack food material. Don’t ask people to think, just have ‘em eat chocolate ’til they burst. Just once… ONCE I’d like to see a robustly sponsored prize for this franchise involve something altruistic, something good, something decent.

Until then… we’ve got snack food to take pictures of.

Them There Eyes

Spine Spoilers, Story Secrets, And Whether It Still Matters

Victor’s Village has never been a spoiler-free zone. In fact, we relish in our spoiler discussion. It’s pretty freakin’ awesome ’round here! However, when it comes to most of the media covering the Hunger Games outside fandom-related websites and forums, we’d still like to think most sites and media outlets are relatively spoiler-free. It’s not that they won’t discuss or hint, but they’ll probably give a warning so you’re not diving into unwanted information. That way, someone who finally, FINALLY decides to delve into the series can have a relatively fresh start and experience everything the same way many of us did: Laughing, crying, gasping, and otherwise freaking out because

WHAT THE HELL WAS HAPPENING?!

But that seems to be changing.

Imagine the facepalming that ensued when Crystal from Jabberyjays.net pointed out the brand new Scholastic UK editions of the series, complete with a major spoiler right on the spine of the Mockingjay cover:
HUNGER-GAMES-BOOKS

Quick note that we love these covers! Between them and the luxury editions in Australia and New Zealand, our jealousy of foreign editions grows by the day.

But effectively, Scholastic is spoiling their own damn series for newbies. I know it’s hard to believe that people with little knowledge still exist, especially with the success of the films, but THEY’RE OUT THERE, MAN. Sure, the District 12 line was at the end of the Catching Fire movie, but not everyone saw (or paid attention) to that, necessarily. So if you’ve only seen or read Book One and you see that Mockingjay spine, you can safely assume that a) District 12 gets obliterated or b) District 12 is a figment of Katniss’ imagination, the latter of which just seems too damn far fetched. Aaaaaand there’s a major plot point!

Do we wish they had read the books by now? YES. EVERYONE SHOULD BECAUSE THEY’RE AWESOME. Are we going to hate on them for considering the books a little later in the game by shaming them for probably not being much of a reader? NOT TODAY.

Still, at this point, it seems like the large majority of people are very well-read (or well-watched, should we say?) on at least a chunk of the series. As such, it seems like information that’s technically a spoiler gets released pretty nonchalantly these days, almost as if to say to outsiders “Well, if you wanted to discover this on your own sometime, too bad. It’s your own damn fault for not doing it sooner.”

It’s not just The Hunger Games, of course. For instance, I’ve never seen Game of Thrones, but I can give you a pretty solid synopsis of all the major plot points on Game of Thrones. And because of this, I strangely feel LESS compelled to ever catch up on the show despite friends raving about it. Sure, knowing and experiencing are two different things, but knowing does take some of the fun out of experiencing it all. There’s this feeling that I’m too far “behind” and un-surprised by in everything for it to really matter.

So even though a huge amount of people can practically quote The Hunger Games books and movies, there’s still some value to keeping things relatively spoiler-free when possible. Again, we don’t really expect this from fansites and forums because the whole purpose of them is to thoroughly cover the series, but blatant spoilers elsewhere are pretty sucky. Because who knows how many potential fans won’t bother trying to get into the series now that they’re learning too much?

Or Are We Too Hopeful That New Fans Will Still Arise?
The Girl With The Pearl

The Hunger Games TV Series

I’m a TV lover, I also love film, I can name a smattering of favorite films more quickly than I can tell you the Hunger-Games_imagesquare root of anything, and I’ll readily admit that when I graduated with my BA in English, that I was 16 credits shy of a film studies minor (16 credits is two terms of work). So when I say I love film, I’m being honest. Over the last several years however, TV has become a staple in the few hours of downtime that are mine throughout the week. I do go see the occasional film though, but it’s not a weekly occurrence, more in part to the fact that I’m a self-proclaimed film snob, and refuse to spend my money on crap, and there’s a lot of crap out there in those cinemas. So, yep– TV, and books are my go to sources of entertainment. Over the last three years, (that’s how long I’ve been a writer for Victor’s Village), several television series have come to the forefront, they’re popular, they’re critically well received, and more than one of them is based on previously known, and beloved book series. The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, and just this past August Outlander has been added to the list. These series have strongly moved me, and without remorse I admit have changed my mind. I believe The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins would have made a phenomenal television series rather than a series of four feature films.

The Hunger Games on the surface is a different animal from book series like George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, or a graphic novel series like The Walking Dead. The main protagonist, Katniss, is a teenage girl for one thing, but she’s not your average teenager. This is one reason I think The Hunger Games would have worked on TV. Putting aside the ever present stigma of plucking a Young Adult novel off the shelves, and attempting to adapt it into something the masses would devour off a screen. It is a tough task, but it’s not impossible. if they had attempted to make it into a television series, they could have thrown the Young Adult label out the proverbial window, and built the world of Panem into the gritty, oppressive, vast, frightening, beautiful, and fascinating place that it became when we all read about it for the first time, instead of the glimpses, and sometimes mild impressions we’ve gotten so far from the film franchise. Television affords an almost no-holds-bard playground for producers, writers, and directors, and sadly films, especially if they’re supposedly geared to a particular demographic, is kept on a tight leash so to speak. This is where I admit that I do not think that Lionsgate has gone far enough where it comes to the plot, the subject matter, or the settings of The Hunger Games series. I know why as well, it’s because they’re boxed into time constraints, budgets, and the ratings requirements. The requirements that only allow one F word to be used in a PG-13 film, and only if the word is uttered not in reference to sex– yep, those requirements.

I’m a big fan of character development, I’m also a big fan of characters from books not being cut, or combined, or simply put– if The Hunger Games had been made into a television series the following questions never would have been asked by book fans: Where’s Madge? Why is that old lady giving Katniss the Mockingjay pin? Where’s Peeta’s dad? Doesn’t Gale have like 10 immediate family members, where the hell are they? Where’s Lady? Why did they change the time line, and make Peeta and Katniss teenagers when the Burnt Bread Scene happened, aren’t there like a million child actors who could have done that for them? So, is the old lady who gave her the pin in the movie Greasy Sae, does she have a name… what’s her name!? Doesn’t Peeta have brothers? Where’s the mayor of District 12, y’know Madge’s dad? Um, Delly Cartwright, has she been cut too? What happened to those beautiful, moving scenes between Katniss and Lavinia? What the hell happened to Lavinia? And Venia, so she’s gone, did she die, she died didn’t she? Why is Effie in District 13? And my question… Where the hell are the fluffy killer squirrels? That’s right folks, if The Hunger Games had been made into a television series, it’s safe to say that none of the questions above would have been asked, no new characters would have been invented, no previously known characters would have merged, been cut, or truncated. Nada. The only thing that could have happily happened to all of those plot points, and characters is this– they would have been expanded, realized, and appreciated– including, god forbid, Katniss and Prim’s parents.

And this is where I admit that if The Hunger Games had been made into a television series, it would not be sharing the same network as shows like Modern Family, Bones, or NCIS. The Hunger Games television series would be on a network that puts out programs like Game of Thrones, Shameless, Outlander, Mad Men, Masters of Sex, The Knick, The Walking Dead, Rectify, and Sons of Anarchy, it would be on cable. And it would be on cable TV,

That was a fun episode

That was a fun episode

because to properly depict the horror, and the shame of having children being forced to play a game of kill or be killed, or the sexual exploitation of revered champions, forced marriages, mental breakdowns of the very un pretty kind, torture, violence, destruction, war, and revolution– you’d need a network that says “yeah, film in three countries at once!” or “Yes, you can set up a camp specifically to train day players to play walking corpses!” Or, “yes, film in Scotland, BUY ALL THE PLAID IN THE WORLD, and yes… you can totally show us that guy getting whipped nearly to death. And don’t worry your pretty little head, full frontal nudity is very OK!” And if you think that those made up statements aren’t based in reality, I assure you they are– and the shows they’re based on are all still on TV, are popular amongst viewers and critics, and are adapted from novels, and graphic novels.

Just picture it now, an entire episode dedicated to the cave sequence, instead of a few short minutes?

And scene!

Them There Eyes

Reaction Post: Mockingjay Part 1 Trailer

It’s that time again, that time where the bloggers of Victor’s Village sit down at our respective computers, and chew the fat about the trailers, and in this case it’s the final trailer for Mockingjay Part 1! Yep, the one we’ve been waiting for for about four months!

 

WHERE SOUND OF MUSIC REFERENCES ARE MADE WITHOUT SHAME OR IRONY
The Girl With The Pearl
: Okay, let’s start at the very beginning (a very good place to staaaaaart!)

Them There Eyes: Sew… a needle pulling Katniss around like a marionette!

JJ: Katniss’s line is fantastic.

TGWTP: Katniss is talking, and there’s these nice shots of her and Prim and Gale… and then you realize she’s pretty much face-timing with President Snow?

JJ: A big new addition to the screenplay! Snow looks so fiendish there. It’s so unnerving.

TTE: Also Jennifer Lawrence has a Sexy Lauren Bacall voice, which is über important to note.

TGWTP: I’m not sure if I like them chatting. Doubt it will ruin the movie, but it felt weeeeeird. Though the Lauren Bacall voice IS lovely. (more…)

The Mockingjay Is Revealed-ed

The Mockingjay has been revealed! And, and, and– um, well, she looks like a cross between Batman and Jesus. Take a look for your selves!

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To steal from a dear friend from the fandom (thank you Erin), we’re going to call this poster “The Beakness” from here on out. ‘Cause if you look, and not even that closely, the Mockingjay’s beak looks like it is in fact poking out of Katniss’s neck. That’s right folks, Katniss has been impaled by a giant, gold, bird. It’s just what we’ve always wanted, right?! Probably not.

tumblr_mw1rkweIrR1sgl0ajo1_500

Yesterday when I saw this poster for the first time, ’cause– hey it was up on a Lionsgate affiliated promotional materials website, so it was fair game, I thought thoughts that were none too flattering. These were not good thoughts to be having about something I’m supposed to hold in high regard, but– I couldn’t help it. I have high standards, like Vermeer kind of standards, and this poster looks like something that was worked over so much with Photoshop that Jennifer Lawrence’s cheeks have been whittled out so much that that may not even be Jennifer Lawrence! That’s a frightening thought, the entire poster could be computer generated, and they were working from a facsimile of Jen, that they forgot what she really looks like, and– and now whoever that is looks like a boy wearing a molded breastplate, or Bat-Jesus. I want to banish these thoughts from my mind! Also if you’ve got a problem with me saying Katniss looks like Jesus, she is a savior figure– it’s not an unfounded comparison. These are not good things to be thinking, damn it! I wish so hard that my impressions of this work had changed since yesterday, but obviously they haven’t. I want to be thinking good things about the materials that are being released in promotion for this film franchise! And to put a bright red cherry on top of this disappointment, we were given another teaser to tease the release of the final trailer!

WHAT?! My actual reaction to this information was a lot more colorful, lemme tell you! F words, people– F words, and C words, and phrases that sound like “flock meeses”, and “flu falls”. If that was not your reaction as well, I’d like you to explain to me how you can, in your right mind be all right with the way in which this film has been advertized so far. Because from where I’m sittin’, it’s been less than stellar– and if that pisses the Powers That Be Off, SO BLOODY BE IT. I’m disappointed! I’m not connecting to the material, it feels empty, and I want better for the franchise based on one of my all time favorite book series’! Is that too much to ask for?

Resting on your laurels only makes one thing happen– people forget you, and will find something else to pay attention to.

Them There Eyes