Hunger Games Being Filmed in Atlanta
Has the speedy Katniss been shooting squirrels in your back yard with her bow and arrows? Has Peeta burned the bread at your local Panera? Has President Snow been cutting roses from your luscious garden? Have you seen the chic Cinna buying gold eye liner at Sephora? If so, don’t be alarmed. “Catching Fire,” the second of “The Hunger Games” trilogy by Suzanne Collins, is being filmed in your very own Hotlanta.
“The Hunger Games” takes place in a post-apocalyptic world in which the nation of Panem (formerly the United States) is divided into 13 districts governed by the wealthy capitol. The 13th district rebelled against the capital and was consequently destroyed. To prevent any further rebellion, the capitol holds an annual Hunger Games in which a girl and boy between the ages of 12 and 18 are chosen at random from each district to fight to the death. The last competitor left standing, or the winner of the Hunger Games, receives a year’s supply of food for their district.
The swift Katniss from the 12th district (the coal mining district) volunteers as tribute for her younger sister Prim whose name was drawn at the reaping. Peeta Mellark, the baker’s son and a classmate of Katniss who once gave her bread when she was starving, is the other tribute from District 12. Katniss leaves her mother and sister in the hands of her best friend and hunting buddy Gale, and sets off for the arena expecting never to return to District 12.
Peeta and Katniss make their way to the consumerist capitol by way of train with their drunken mentor Haymitch, former victor of the Hunger games, and a capitol representative named Effie Trinket. To gain the support of sponsors, all of the tributes are publicly displayed. Katniss’ stylist Cinna and his team dress Katniss and Peeta in show-stopping flaming jumpsuits. All of the tributes are interviewed. In Peeta’s interview he declares his long-time love of Katniss. Katniss is unsure whether his claims are sincere. She is conflicted and angered because she loves her hunting buddy Gale back in District 12.
Halfway through the games, a rule is changed. Now two tributes are able to win the Games as long as they are from the same district. Immediately Katniss starts to search for Peeta. She finally finds him with a nasty wound on his leg. She nurses him back to health, and acts as though she is as madly in love as he is to get support of sponsors. When the “star-crossed lovers” are the last tributes remaining, the gamemakers change the rules of the game once again. Only one tribute can be the winner. Knowing that the capitol would rather have two victors than none, Katniss and Peeta plan to eat highly poisonous berries that would kill them instantly. Just as they are about to consume the berries, the rule is changed once more, and Katniss and Peeta, the “star-crossed lovers” from district 12, are the victors of the 74th annual Hunger Games.
This is where “Catching Fire,” the second novel and soon-to-be movie begins, with Atlanta as its stage. According to “The Hunger Games” expert and Woodward Academy senior Julia Johnson, Jennifer Lawrence (playing Katniss) is staying at the Saint Regis. The Saint Regis Hotel is conveniently located just a short walk away from the Swan House. This Atlanta landmark, built in 1928 for the Edward H. Inman family, serves as President Snow’s mansion where a party is held for the kick-off of the victory tour in the upcoming movie.
Julia said that when they film the production company posts directional signs for crew members that say “The Idiom” instead of “Catching Fire.” The crew has also been filming at the Cobb Energy Center, Georgia World Congress Center, the Marriott Marquis Hotel, and a park in North Georgia. According to Julia, “They have locations all around downtown Atlanta in random warehouses. They are currently filming at a goat farm off of Howell Mill Road, next to the Howard School. They even built a justice building there.”
The stars have had free time to enjoy the hustle and bustle of Atlanta. Julia said, “I saw Willow Shields (cast as Primrose Everdeen), at Lenox in Forever 21 with her mom! I was so starstruck! If you want to spot Jennifer Lawrence she has been eating all over Midtown. She has eaten at The Lure on Crescent Street three times.” “Catching Fire” comes out on November 22,, 2013. May the odds be ever in your favor.
By Elizabeth Roos, Social Media ’14