The sense from the sizzle reel above is vastly different from the Gary Ross feature presented to audiences earlier this year; there's definitely more of a run-down, science-fiction, steampunk vibe here. /Film also chatted with the director about pitching to studios in the current era, you can check out a few excerpts below.
/Film: It seems like a lot of upcoming directors are now putting together these video reels for their studio pitches. When did this start, and when did you discover this practice?
Kevin: The idea of a “pitch reel” has been around for awhile and is very common practice for any director. Trying to pitch a vision to a room full of people is always very difficult verbally. In the past two years, the pitch reel has significantly become more demanding since technology allows for people to make mini movies in their own homes. It’s almost expected for a director to show some visual materials, but the need to impress has become elevated. At first, it was just some concept art, some storyboards and possibly a treatment. Then the rip-o-matic (a visual reel using clips from other movies to portray a visual style) became really popular. I even know some directors who do a full animatic at their expense just to take into a meeting.
/Film: When did the mash-up trailers begin to crop up? Is it happening more now because its easier? cheaper? Or allows for a more expansive vision?
Kevin: There is an epic feeling about trailers, and when done right, they are extremely gratifying. It’s also much cheaper if you have the hard drive space haha. The first mash up trailer I saw was in 2006. Ever since then, everyone I know makes one for a pitch to complement other materials. I also think the idea of making a trailer is very attractive because when you watch it, you have the feeling that this is what the movie will be like when it’s done. Some things that make trailers hard however are pacing, music and sound fx. Because when you rip a movie, all that stuff is tied together. You don’t have the luxury of stripping the music away from the dialogue, and that can be limiting sometimes.
/Film: How long did it take you to put together the pitch trailer for Hunger Games?
Kevin: It took me a month to finish it all. The pitch book took a little longer.
/Film: One signature thing I’ve seen in many of these pitch trailer mash-ups is the section where they introduce the cast. Is this your dream cast? Or is this a way to establish your casting taste for the project?
Kevin: As far as the cast is concerned, I was just trying to show some casting choices. It wasn’t trying to pitch that exact cast or anything.
/Film: Do you ever create shots or special effects to put into these trailer mash-up pitches?
Kevin: Sometimes I do create specific shots if I think it will help tremendously. It would either be a matte painting to showcase scope or, in the case of Hunger Games, I had a CG mocking jay created for the ending logo.
There's much more in the interview with Kevin over at /Film so be sure to visit their site to read the entire transcript. It's truly interesting to see just how different a film that's taking ques from the same source material can turn out depending upon who's behind the camera.
The Hunger Games Blu-ray and DVD, arrived August 18 with over 3 hours of behind-the-scenes footage.
Running Time: 2 hrs 22 min
Release Date: 23 March 2012 (USA)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense violent thematic material and disturbing images - all involving teens
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth
Directed by: Gary Ross
Written by: Gary Ross (screenplay), Suzanne Collins (screenplay/novel)
Lionsgate announced that a film adaptation of Catching Fire will be released November 22, 2013, as a sequel to the film adaptation of The Hunger Games, which was released March 23, 2012.
Lionsgate has announced the film's November 22, 2013 release date with principal photography to take place in summer/fall 2012. The shooting timeframe was co-ordinated between Lionsgate and Fox, in order to allow time for star Jennifer Lawrence to shoot the sequel to Fox's X-Men: First Class in January 2013.
On April 10, 2012, it was announced that Gary Ross, the director of The Hunger Games, would not return due to a 'tight' and 'fitted' schedule. On April 19, 2012, it was announced that Francis Lawrence was offered the director position for the film. According to sources, the adaptation must be done filming by December 2012 to fit Jennifer Lawrence's schedule. Lionsgate officially announced Francis Lawrence as the director for Catching Fire on May 3, 2012. Two days later, it was reported that Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3, Little Miss Sunshine) is in talks to re-write the script for Catching Fire. On May 24, 2012, the film was renamed The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.