TIME Magazine are posting an exclusive five part series of interviews with Catching Fire director Francis Lawrence, and rare words from author Suzanne Collins.
2 parts have been posted so far. See quote highlights below:
Francis, what sold you on Catching Fire? What made you want to make this movie?
"The stories in general I loved. The theme and the idea of the consequence of war and what that does to people and how people are affected by war and by violence. I just thought that there’s not many of these YA stories that really come from a real idea and a strong, topical, relatable idea. Then I had the opportunity with Catching Fire to sort of open the world up. Part of what I love to do is creation, and there was a bunch of world creation done in the first one, but there was more opportunity — we were going to see more of the Capitol, more of 12, lots of other districts. There was a brand-new arena that had nothing to do with the first arena. So there was a lot visually for me to sink my teeth into." (Francis Lawrence)
Did you feel as though you wanted to keep to the same kind of visual style and visual vocabulary that [Hunger Games director] Gary [Ross] had established?
"I think it would have been a little bit of a mistake to entirely throw out an approach to a movie when it’s a franchise. I would never do that to a franchise. But in saying that, I thought there were some opportunities to open up the scope in terms of the costumes and the visual effects and just geography in general. I liked Gary’s naturalistic approach. I have my own version of it, my own style. I don’t shoot the way he does, I choose different kinds of lenses, and part of that is to feel more intimate with characters while still maintaining a sense of place. So I have a different approach, but I kept the same production designer on, because he designed the Capitol, and those aesthetics should carry through. And even the other districts, there should still be aesthetic unity all the way through that I wanted to make sure we maintained." (Francis Lawrence)
Compare Katniss at the beginning of Hunger Games and Katniss at the beginning of this movie. How is she different now?
"Well, Katniss is different because she’s been through the games. I think that was one of the things that really interested me most about the material and about this book was that we get to start to see the kind of effects that the games have on people, the effects that violence has on people." (Francis Lawrence)
How do you show that change?
"Even though she’s in the place she loves in the forest, I think that there’s a look to her, I would call it the thousand-yard stare. She’s still disturbed by things, and can’t get certain thoughts and images out of her head. And pretty quickly she has flashbacks to the games, within minutes of the opening." (Francis Lawrence)
"She’s got a lot of classic post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms. She has nightmares. She has flashbacks. And in the beginning you can see she’s practicing avoidance. She’s completely pushed Peeta to arm’s length, you know? She’s trying to stay away from him. Why? Because everything associated with him except some very early childhood memories are associated with the Games. She’s conflicted to some degree about her relationship with Prim because she couldn’t save Rue. So she’s dealing with all that, and her method of dealing with it is to go to the woods and be alone and keep all of that as far away as possible, because there just are so many triggers in her everyday life." (Suzanne Collins)
"The Hunger Games is part of a larger goal I have, which is to write a war-appropriate story for every age of kids, which I sort of completed in September when I had a picture book come out called Year of the Jungle. It’s an autobiographical piece about the year my father was in Vietnam and it’s a home-front story. That’s me, that’s my family, those are the postcards he sent, the imagery from it — it’s very nonfiction." (Suzanne Collins)
New parts from the interview will be posted at 9am ET in the next 3 days. Keep checking back for the new parts here, and click to read Part 1 and Part 2 in full.