ZOMG you guys, who else watched The Hunger Games last night at midnight? It was so amazing, right? (Full disclosure, this post is being written on one hour of sleep and half a can of redbull, so please excuse any typos or outbursts of incoherency.)
I would have to say it was one of the best midnight movie premieres I have been to so far in my life. I mean, it certainly doesn’t compare to the magnitude and scale and passion and costumes of the last Harry Potter screening I went to. But I felt extra satisfied at this one because all of the work I put into preparing activities for my friends and fellow fans paid off, and people enjoyed my efforts just as much as I had hoped they would. Seeing their delighted faces and eager excitement was so rewarding it would have almost been worth it even if I hadn’t seen the movie. (But I DID see the movie, and loved it–more on that later!)
The two things I was most proud of last night were my tribute training target and my silver parachutes. I painted the target (with help from some of my siblings) from screenshots of this clip. It looked amazing, and I got permission from the manager at my theater to display it in the lobby. People were lined up using it almost the entire time, and I got to see one young teen’s jaw-dropping gasp when she walked in and saw it (and then spent a good forty minutes or so monopolizing it) that just made it so worth while.
The silver parachutes were made from a half yard of fabric I bought and some ribbon, with silver Hershey kiss anchors. They had notes attached to them that said “A gift from your sponsor–may the odds be ever in your favor!” I got permission from the manager to go upstairs and open the projection window and throw them out into the audience (about an hour before the show started). I had hoped that everyone there would understand what they meant, since I couldn’t predict where they would fall exactly. (They didn’t exactly float but they didn’t plummet either; I tried it with gum anchors and that was too light.) It could not have gone more perfectly. The first girl to catch one was actually also the first person in line in the lobby and was wearing a legitimate tribute training replica shirt like the ones in the movie, so you know she was a big fan. (I mean, everybody there at midnight is a fan. But she was a fan). She and her friends screamed when they caught their parachute–“WE HAVE A SPONSOR! YESSSS!” It was like I was a benevolent, unseen Gamemaker. I loved it.
I also brought trivia questions, which I made mostly from skimming through the book with a little help from the Hunger Games wiki, and the last tribute still “alive” in the Trivia Arena won. We decided an incorrect answer was a wound, and if you got three wounds you died. I didn’t think to bring arrow stickers or something, which would have been awesome, so we just taped the slips of paper with the questions on them to people that got them wrong. That led to some joking about where they had been injured–lost legs, arms, or ears–wherever they stuck the questions. As prizes I had a bag of trading cards that I let people choose from (blind), and the actual victor got to choose from a bag with bigger prizes (official tie-in magnets and small Hunger Games figurines.) I gave out the same prizes for winners in Rock, Poison, Arrows tournaments, which is what I decided the Hunger Games version of Rock, Paper, Scissors would be. Rock crushes poison, poison kills archers so it beats arrows, and arrows beats rock because it is a distance weapon but rocks are only effective up close. I’m sure the logic isn’t perfect but whatever.
I’ll update later with my thoughts on the movie itself, but I can summarize by saying: loved it, great companion to the books that really enhances the world and the story, Jennifer Lawrence, Stanley Tucci, and Wes Bentley killed it. Definitely going again. Wasn’t wowed by Josh Hutcherson’s Peeta but wasn’t disappointed in him, either, (I think the script just didn’t make him as likeable as the book). Would definitely recommend fans of the books to watch the movie, and fans of the movie to read the books. Lastly, why is there an “official soundtrack” if NONE of the songs on the album are featured in the film, and only two are played during the credits?
P.S. Here’s my awesome friend @martinchughes sporting his Seneca Crane beard!