Fandom

Stay With Me?

Real or not real? Whether or not we want it to, Hunger Games news is really slow, to say the least, and this is no place for an editorial-based fansite (on fire.)

hunger-games-quoteLet’s start by saying this isn’t a goodbye. It’s a “See ya when we see ya.”

It became clear about three weeks ago that we needed to give our accolades to the Hunger Games fandom as the activity level dies down… aaaaaaand then I hesitated for three weeks. We’re still going to post when there’s big Hunger Games news we wanna talk about–watch our social networks just in case!– but as things change, we know regular updates aren’t feasible. We cannot survive on actors being cast in other unrelated films, red carpet appearances, and selfies alone (so seriously, Willow Shields, cool it on the selfies.)

Being part of this fandom has been an incredible journey so far. I’m going to be selfish for a minute, but hopefully amuse you in the process, by talking about some of my experiences you may not know about:

  1. Victor’s Village got started because I wanted to work on a Hunger Games fansite, but couldn’t get involved with existing sites. I “applied” for Mockingjay.net but lost out to Sam Cushion– who is lovely and was straight-up famous in the fandom long before I got involved. And I had A LOT OF FEELINGS. So starting my own op-ed arrangement just seemed right. And I’ve been really, really lucky since.
  2. I was first approached by Savanna New from Hunger Games Fireside Chat to work on The Potter Games and later to be a guest on Hunger Games Fireside Chat, I’m pretty sure I had heart palpitations because they liked me, they really liked me!
  3. When The Potter Games developed into The Fandom (which I now co-own with my dear friend Nat,) I talked to Adam Spunberg about the site development so much that my then fiance/now husband expressed concern.
  4. I’ve met each of my three wonderful co-writers on this site over the course of its run– Rebekah, Tiffany, and JJ– once apiece in person. Don’t care. Still love em!
  5. If you thought our opinions were sometimes harsh, you weren’t the only one. We’re not saying that a certain studio has contacted us for expressing opinions they didn’t like before, but we’re not saying it didn’t happen, either.

What can you do now? Well, there are still awesome Hunger Games fansites out there with straight news– try Down With The Capitol, Jabberjays, and Panem Propaganda. For some more multi-faceted business including comic and YA genre books, movies, and shows you can still follow me over at TheFandom.Net. You can also hit us up on Twitter at @kaitmary and @jj_dash.

black-end-white-deathly-hallows-hunger-game-quotes-Favim.com-2111367Like we said, if there’s big news, we’ll be around to talk about it. But if it doesn’t come anytime soon, let us leave you with this message: LOVE WHAT YOU LOVE LOUD AND PROUD. Fandom is huge and encompassing, but there are people who will always be asses about it. “YA is immature,” “The thing you like is formulaic/too weird/overrated, etc,” or “There are other things you should invest your time in.” Does fandom make you happy? Does liking things make you happy? Then screw all of ’em! As a 20-adult in fandom, I constantly struggle with this. My 50-something year-old co-workers absolutely don’t think my love for The Hunger Games is worthwhile, but I never let that keep me from this community of like-minded friends. Don’t let wayward opinions from judgmental people sway you either. If you love a band, a book, or a movie, just love it and let everyone else deal with their opinions all by themselves.

After all, there are much worse games to play.

Thank you. Truly.
The Girl With The Pearl

The Hunger Games Auction: The “Want!” and the “WHAT?!”

GUESS WHAT GUYS! Apparently, a bajillion props from The Hunger Games movies are going up for auction.

Guess that means that the exhibition is done? Also, we guess that Lionsgate is trying to make up for some recent, massive stock dips. BUT THOSE ARE JUST GUESSES.

Being the absolute crazies that we are, We looked through most of the online catalogue over at TheHungerGamesAuction.com. Because it’s movie props! They’re fun, they’re shiny, and they have some great sentimental value– well, some of it at least.

Truthfully, we’re not going to bid on any of it because we’re cheap and the lowest priced items are estimated to go for at least $200. We love feeding ourselves more than we love The Hunger Games. Sorry! Still, there we definitely some items that made us squeal “Want!” Of course, for every one of those, something made us say “WHAT?!”

Let’s explore a few, shall we?

WANT.

Obvious starting point. This is the Mac Daddy of all Hunger Games outfits.

mockingjay outfit

WHAT?!

Katniss’ and Peeta’s pajamas? They’re not even display clothes! Are you going to buy it and sleep in it, hoping some of the actor scent stuck (assuming this is the actual pair they wore and not an extra set)?

pajamas

WANT.

OBVIOUS REASONS.

victors village sign

WHAT?!

The reaping ball is cool, in theory. But it’s just a giant glass bowl and they want to start at $1,000! Sure, the paper props are included. But do they have the meaning of life scribbled within? No? Then we’re all set!

reaping ball

WANT.

We realize this is the commercialized bow Katniss was given by District 13 when she became The Mockingjay. But it’s just so effin’ pretty!

katniss capitol bow

WHAT?!

This is less about the medicine ball (it least that had a purpose in the story) than the medicine ball rack, which is being auctioned off separately for hundreds of dollars. And maybe you could hang your coats on it, guys!

medicine ball

WANT.

It’s a silver parachute guys! They mean hope and support and inspiration and.. *wipes single tear away*

silver parachute

WHAT?!

Peeta’s pearl for Katniss is important. The fake oyster he found it in and the fake coconut they drank water out of, though? What does one even DO with those items? Do that fit nicely into anyone’s living room decor?!

coconut oyster

WANT.

We have nowhere to put this but we want it PURELY FOR THE LULZ. We wanna drive it around town blasting Spice Girls songs and shooting off confetti cannons while getting strange looks just because we could if we had enough money to bid on it!

capitol military vehicle

WHAT?!

This is HUGE and fumbly and not something you can casually display in a home! Unless you’re going to convert it into a race car bed-esque situation. Maybe not even then.

capitol chariot

WANT.

If we want the Capitol’s fine china, there’s nothing wrong with that. WE ARE ADULTS, DAMMIT!

capitol china

WHAT?!

Someone is about to yell at us because these sculptures from Katniss’ original tribute apartment are art. We can’t help it– All we see are giant, hole-y pensises.

sculptures

Why Wasn’t Buttercup An Option?!
The Girl With The Pearl

NOSTALGIA-RAMA: Looking Back At The Hunger Games In 2012

While we’re not the OGs for The Hunger Games fandom and many of our fansite friends predate us, we’ve been around for a while. Victor’s Village was around when The Hunger Games debuted in theaters four years ago today and…

SWEET BABY JESUS! WHERE DOES THE TIME GO?!

How has to already been four years? How are these movies already done? Wasn’t it just yesterday that we were squeeing over the release of the first movie?

We can only say that despite ups and downs, being in this fandom has been an honor and a pleasure. To celebrate, let’s kick it with a few of our favorite geeky fandom moments circa 2012!

1. The Teen Tributes

Today, Theresa from Down With The Capitol reminded us about THE CHART. It filled in as each tribute, most of whom were nameless characters, were announced.

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We watched this thing like a kettle of hawks circling its prey (Fun fact: a flock of hawks is called a kettle!) And we all lost our minds!

Though some actors from later movies were social media accessible, the original tributes were teens fresh into their new roles who were just genuinely as excited about The Hunger Games as we were. They were thrilled to be in it, we were thrilled to see them in it. We all fed off each other. There’s a special place in our fandom-loving hearts for Dayo, Jackie, Jack, Alexander (and his slightly inappropriate fan interactions), Isabelle, Amandla, and all the others. There always will be!

2. Snazzy Sayings

Part of what we loved about the cast in the weren’t afraid of being irreverent as all hell and had zero qualms about it. That included tons of hilarious phrases that the fandom picked up with zeal! For instance, on the premiere day back in 2012, I wrote for the people at the premiere to “Liv it up and stay crispy like a boss.”

And in case you forgot why we “liv it up”…

Our Cato, ladies and gentlemen. I am truly laughing out loud right now. GENUINELY LOLING!

3. Russ Bowen

Oh, Russ! In case you missed it, Russ was an intrepid North Carolina reporter who basically tried to build up his career on getting The Hunger Games scoop before anyone else. He was really good at getting all the news and for a while, we loved him dearly for it. But after a while, Russ dubbed himself the Perez Hilton of The Hunger Games and it became pretty clear that he was more interested in getting recognition for himself than the series. Needless to say, the fandom collectively let Russ go after a while because he forgot who was boss. Maybe he moved on, but frankly, we stopped paying attention so we wouldn’t know!

4. Umami Burger

The cast of the first movie was OBSESSED with this burger joint. Suddenly, fans all over the world knew about the chain that really only exists in California and a few other major American cities. We knew what burger we wanted to order. Fansite friends went there to grab a bite and it was fucking awesome. Screw Subway, THIS was the unofficial restaurant sponsor of The Hunger Games franchise!

5. Backpackgate

Once upon a time, the fandom didn’t know for sure if Katniss’ backpack was orange. And I made the mistake on one of my earlier Hunger Games Fireside Chat appearances of suggesting that it wasn’t a big deal. SO BEGAN A GREAT DEBATE! It was all in good sport and there were lots of points considered. We dubbed it “Backpackgate 2011”… and in the end, it didn’t even matter because the backpack was totally orange.

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Only the straps were black, guys!

6. Panem October

Welcome to the fandom’s first big clash with Lionsgate! Fandom is pretty intuitive, so it’s no major surprise that someone came up with plans for a major interactive Panem-based experience early on, even before movie marketing really began. Naturally, Lionsgate called out their copyright and shut it down. The fans had A LOT TO SAY. Eventually, Panem October did come back, served as an unofficial fan community full o’ fun for a while, then disappeared in the way that many fan-related things do after a while (including official sites.) But seeing the fandom stand up for fanmade creations and Panem October make its return felt like perseverance and victory!

There are so, so many memories of the fandom, but these are the ones that really stick out when we think back to 2012. We couldn’t be more grateful for all of it.

WE’RE NOT CRYING, YOU’RE CRYING!
The Girl With The Pearl

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CONTEST RELAUNCH! Win Your Tickets To The Hunger Games Marathon Event

IT’S TIME! CONTEST RELAUUUUUNCH!

Update: AAAAAAAAND IT’S GONE. SORRY FOLKS! These babies went fast. Congrats to our winners!

Lionsgate will be holding a Hunger Games marathon from 10am to 11pm on March 20th at The Egyptian Theatre in Los Angeles. The event will include Hunger Games cast Q&A (mystery guests!), trivia, a green screen booth, treats from Peeta’s bakery, and a costume contest with a reportedly amazing mystery prize!

the hunger games mockingjay part two logo teaser trailer insurgent

 

BUT THERE IS SOMETHING YOU SHOULD KNOW FIRST.

Ready? You need to be in the Los Angeles area or willing to get there via you own means on March 20th by 10:45am. We can’t get you to Los Angeles. We can’t even get ourselves to Los Angeles. We love you all… but we’re broke.

Now, are you prepared to celebrate the franchise in all its awesomeness? It’s this easy:

Click this link to reserve your tickets, LA-based fans!

But DO IT REALLY REALLY FAST! We only have 5 sets of tickets and these puppies are first come, first serve.

If you don’t get your tickets here, fear not! Several other Hunger Games fansites will be giving away tickets, though we don’t know when or how. Get on social media and keep your eyes peeled, Tributes!

May The Odds… And All That Jazz,
The Girl With The Pearl

Our Blu-Ray Extras Wish List

As we move into February, the release of Mockingjay Part 2 on Digital HD and then Blu-Ray/DVD is inevitably coming soon. Along with the benefit of being able to watch the movie over and over and over again comes the fun of digesting all the extra stuff they add in to entice you to purchase.

We expect the features to be similar to previous Hunger Games movies – audio commentary with Francis and Nina, a few deleted scenes, and lots of behind the scenes featurettes on making the film. The fact that this is the last film makes us a little antsy about what bits they add to this release versus what they choose to add to any ULTIMATE, SUPER-SHINY 4-MOVIE SET that will be coming later in the year, or in 2017, or both. You know they’ve got to hold something back for those later editions. What do they have in that treasure trove to look forward to?

So now we present our not-very-grounded-in-reality wish list of Hunger Games movie (all of ‘em) extras that we’re dying to see at some point:

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Prim, what kind of nightmare sequence was this? Gary, stop holding back.

Those scenes we’ve seen in stills or BTS footage but never the actual footage. Prim in the tribute costume? Gary, what was that about? Katniss and Peeta having a chat in the tribute center. Again Gary, share that with us! Peeta getting his arm painted by the morphling. Francis, please!

Catching Fire Katniss and Peeta rooftop footage. We know something was filmed. We suppose it hit the cutting room floor early because why would you NOT include this footage as a Catching Fire extra? We’ll forgive the quality. Whatever it is, we JUST NEED TO SEE IT.

Revisions to the end of Mockingjay Part 2 after the passing of Philip Seymour Hoffman. We know about the places where footage from other scenes was added. We know Haymitch reading Plutarch’s letter was a change. But we’re curious what the plan was originally, had tragedy not occurred.

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Don’t tell us you don’t want a cast audio-commentary. Not possible.

Cast audio-commentary. The Francis and Nina audio-commentaries give us some great insight into the making of the movies. But the fandom would completely lose their shit if Lionsgate were ever able to wrangle Jen, Josh, Liam, Woody, Liz et al into doing audio commentaries for the films.  It’s the dream, people. THE DREAM.

Everlark sex. JUST KIDDING, but with all the messages Francis gets about that from fans, we couldn’t NOT mention it. The thought of that actually being filmed makes us feel really awkward, and the inclusion of a scene of that nature would HAVE NOT fit the end of Mockingjay Part 2. If you want that, there’s a whole wide world of fan fiction to explore. BUT I would be really curious to know about the creative decisions that took place in the execution of the actual, final “real or not real” scene. As much as I hate to say it, as more time passes, I find it disappointing. Or maybe I just need to watch the movie again when it comes out and learn to let it all go.

What other extras should we be pleading for?

JJ

 

A Hunger Games Resolution

How soon we do forget, huh?

It’s already January 7th and this is our first post of 2016. Why? Because we’re getting older, life is busy, and frankly, there just isn’t that much to talk about on The Hunger Games front in that topsy-turvy time period between the movie leaving theaters and the DVD release. There also the landslide of information from other fandoms we’re interested– every show restarting, every movie trailer, every new book released. And Star Wars. HOLY SHIT GUYS, STAR WARS.

But let’s be clear:

It ain’t over. It’s never over.

Yes, eventually this fandom will slow down as there’s a stop in new information. More than likely, it will pick up once again when Lionsgate goes through with a questionable sequel or two in future years. Somewhere in between there, Victor’s Village will probably say “Sayonara!” because running a website costs money and is a bit discouraging when you don’t have anything to post about. Yet in the infamous words of another fandom we really enjoy… BUT IT IS NOT THIS DAY!

hunger-games-district12-saluteThis fandom still brings us tons of joy. Not necessarily in news form at the moment, but with the friendships we maintain and fond memories and following the actors as they explore new ventures. Those things don’t disappear as soon as the steady stream of news does. There’s something bigger than the mass media we consume.

So here’s our Hunger Games resolution for 2016: We’re not going to be “so over it” now that the story is done playing out on the big screen and not being thrown into our news stream everyday. We’re not going to let the new things we may like to talk about make us forget about the things that originally got us talking five years ago. Our attention span isn’t that short, right?

Yes, we’re all probably going to be talking about The Hunger Games like a 92-year-old recalling their 20s in about two years, but when we do, we’re still going to champion the fuck outta this fandom. Because there’s meaning and value in the content, even when there isn’t something shiny and new to go with it.

Once A Tribute, Always A Tribute,
The Girl With The Pearl

The Best “Presents” of the Past Year

‘Tis the season of giving, and it looks like many fans got some nice Hunger Games-related presents from friends and family. Tim Palen’s book has inevitably had a spike in sales thanks to the holiday season, along with the adorable Funko Pops, posters, pins and other merch. It makes us think about all the other Panem “presents” we got this year.  The top one, is obviously the actual Mockingjay Part 2 movie, but there was more.  Yes, there definitely were days where Lionsgate played GOOD Santa. Such beautiful days they were.

The release of the Mockingjay Part 1 Peeta/Snow Deleted Scene

We really wanted to see some of the behind the scenes world of the Capitol in Mockingjay Part 1, but we didn’t get much. Happily, there was this deleted scene between Peeta and Snow that was released on the eve of the Digital HD release.

 

After the Blu-Ray release, Lionsgate-Santa was pretty stingy for a while. There was that “trailer” with the logo animation and voiceover which played with Insurgent, but there wasn’t much in the fandom to cheer about until the summer.

 

Katniss chillin on Snow’s throne.

Suddenly we were psyched for the movie again when we got this amazing poster (my personal fave from the Mockingjay Part 2 campaign).

mockingjay part 2 poster throne

 

A fabulous teaser trailer that reminded us again how much we love these movies.

 

After talking and talking about it for months on end, the Hunger Games Exhibition opened. And it was really cool. You just had to get your butt to New York to see it. (Though next year, San Francisco is the lucky host).

On the heels of the Exhibition opening came those cool character posters.

And the Comic Con Panel.

Yes, June and July were very good months in the fandom. Matched only by the month of November with all those premieres. Lots of premieres. And “special screenings“. So many premieres yet we still wanted more.

We certainly have our meltdown moments when things just make us very unhappy, but there’s been a lot of great stuff too. So in this season of reflection, those were the presents that stood out the most.

Freaking out with all of you as we received these cool presents, yes, that’s the good stuff.

JJ

There Will Be Prequels

We knew that Lionsgate was going to do various things to keep the Hunger Games brand alive, from the stage show, to theme parks, and potentially prequels or sequels. Today they confirmed the prequel route during a presentation.

The world of Panem is intriguing, and we’ve been open to world expansion in ways that make sense and respect the themes of the source material. So we were dismayed when we saw this quote from the Vice Chairman of Lionsgate in The Hollywood Reporter piece.

“The one thing that kids say they missed (from the early Hunger Games films) was there was no arenas,” he said, referencing the stadiums where children killed each other and noting the prior films only covered the 74th and 75th competitions. “If we went backwards there obviously would be arenas.”

Kids these days love their arenas. Big money in the arenas!  MORE ARENAS!

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Was this actually a hint to what we’ll see in THG prequels?

Ok, from a business perspective, we understand what he’s saying. We also don’t doubt that they’ve done some research where some “kids” say they missed the GAMES part of Hunger Games. Violence sells. The first two movies had much better box office than the later 2, and the presence of the simple put-24-in-an-arena-to-kill-each-other structure was easier for general audiences to understand than more complex propaganda and consequences of war themes. But there were many more reasons why the first two movies did better. The fast pace of the 4 movies’ release and the book split played a part in the Mockingjay movies box office decline. Another big factor was the massive dip in resources put into marketing the final two films. The reason was not as simple as “no arena” (even though MJ2 has an arena, THE CAPITOL).

Overall, it’s such a cynical thing to say. And so contrary to the themes of the books (and movies!). We’re cool with you keeping this world alive and creatively vibrant but please tell us that’s not really how you’re approaching these prequels. We respect Lionsgate for allowing the creative team to make the Mockingjay movies as true to the book’s themes as they were. Maybe they didn’t make as much money as the first two, but the answer is not to just repeat the same formula from the first two movies. Just as the lack or arenas was not the sole reason for the lower box office of the Mockingjay movies, the presence of arenas was definitely not the only thing in THG and Catching Fire’s favor. It had great characters, story, and relevance to our lives. THAT was the brilliance behind it.  THAT is the bigger reason for the success.

With these prequels, at least put a creative team in place that sees beyond the bread and circuses path to easy money. Please tell us great stories that stay true to the themes that brought us to this world in the first place. If you do that, there’s a chance for these prequels. If you don’t, you’ll just destroy the legacy of the movies while diminishing this brand that is currently so valuable.

Tread carefully, and thoughtfully, and just maybe the odds will be in your favor.

JJ

 

 

 

Goodbye Gale

From “Damn you, Gale” to “Goodbye Gale” the movie story of Katniss Everdeen and Gale Hawthorne was full of quotable, meme-worthy moments. It’s been a contentious ride, and the “Goodbye Gale” scene ends with such a sense of finality, you just know those two won’t be talking again soon, if ever. I’ve seen Mockingjay Part 2 five times now, and the scene breaks my heart every single time. The sorrow at Prim’s death, the uncertainty about where Gale’s culpability lies, and the mutual understanding that something has broken between them that can’t (or won’t) be repaired.

So the question I ask myself is, “WHY DO I LAUGH EVERYTIME I SEE SOMETHING ABOUT IT?” It can be anything. Someone can just tweet the words and I laugh. Or they can do something like this, which was a literal LOL for me.

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(There’s a huge number of other ones people have added to the post. Check them out, you will not be disappointed).

So why do we find this scene so funny? Are we trying to avoid the sadness of the situation by laughing? Are we channeling our disdain for some of Gale’s douchier moments? It’s probably both those things. We are a complicated fandom, and we like it that way.

Laughter aside, there is an undeniable honesty to “Goodbye Gale.” Katniss is not great at expressing her feelings, and the abruptness, the coldness, to how she dismisses him rings true to her character (and the numbness she feels at that time).  It works for the movie, however hard it may be to watch.

Keep laughing through the pain.

JJ

 

 

Little Moments We’re Thankful For in Mockingjay Part 2

Now that the second week of release is here, we’ve had time (and multiple viewings) to digest more of our thoughts and emotions about Mockingjay Part 2. We’ve seen a lot of discussion about the BIG moments in the movie – from the craziness of the pods, mutts, Finnick’s death, “Stay with me… Always,” epilogue, etc, but it’s some of the little moments that stick with us too.  Sure, there are some little things we wish had been done differently, but we’ll focus on the positive today, with our favorite little moments from the book we’re thankful (and a little amazed) actually made the cut of the movie. We’re still full of Thanksgiving spirit, so we’ll go with it.

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“I’m planning for you to have a long life”

Boggs is a character that you fall a little more in love with upon each reading of Mockingjay. He’s an overall good dude, and time and again he’s there for Katniss. He sees her as a person, not a symbol or a pawn, but a brave young woman who’s had WAY more than her fair share of sacrifice, and his support of her warms our heart. I’ve always loved this exchange between Boggs and Katniss in the books. It serves a narrative purpose of explaining Coin’s ominous intentions, but also just reinforces Boggs’ loyalty to her. Considering Boggs leaves us way too soon, we’re glad he at least got this nice moment.

Pollux and Castor when they first go underground

It was wonderful to have Pollux’s backstory fleshed out a little, and the support Castor gives his brother as he starts to get a little panicky at all the revived memories of being underground was so sweet. (Funny how they give us these moments just before a character is about to die, huh?) But it was well done to reinforce the bond between these brothers, and we loved to see it.

“You’re a painter, you’re a baker…”

Much has been written about this discussion between Peeta, Katniss, and the squad. It’s our introduction to “Real or not real,” and the movie could have just left it at the favorite color discussion and moved on. But we got the gift of the painter, baker, windows open, double knotted shoelaces, unsweetened tea of details that shows just how much Katniss was paying attention to Peeta Mellark all this time. The mundane details that she knows about him reinforces how close they became before the Quarter Quell. This is a moment for the book fans and we’re forever grateful for it, film pacing be damned!

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Tigris’s small smile when Katniss reveals her mission to kill Snow

It wasn’t a long scene, but they took the time for Katniss to recognize Tigris as an ex-stylist from the Games. The horror of Tigris’s transformation is evident when she shares that Snow didn’t think she was “pretty enough” after all the disfigurement she inevitably went through to try to meet his unobtainable continued favor. Her tiny smile when Katniss shares her plan to kill Snow is another moment we’re glad made the cut. We already knew that among Capitol elites, Snow’s friendship was fickle, but this was a reinforcement that no one was safe under his regime.

What other small moments in the film stood out to you?

JJ