The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Fan Camp took place from Saturday, November 16th to premiere day on Monday, November 18th. The fans who won wristbands and camped out on the streets of LA last weekend, also received a special treat – tickets into the Nokia Theatre to watch Catching Fire with the stars and crew involved in making the film almost a week prior to its release! Here’s my experience!
Saturday afternoon, after Fan Camp check in, the festivities began. Willow Shields, who plays Primrose Everdeen, Katniss’ little sister whom Katniss had volunteered for in the first Hunger Games, stopped by for an autograph session. After hours of signing for and greeting fans, Willow left and Stephanie Leigh Schlund who plays Cashmere, the victor and tribute from District 1 – a career tribute, showed up. Cashmere and Gloss are the brother sister team that made The Hunger Games a family affair. Unlike her character, Stephanie is very sweet and stayed until she had signed every fan’s poster.
That evening they played The Hunger Games film on the Nokia Plaza at L.A. Live. Orange glow sticks with the words “Catching Fire” were passed out, and when Katniss volunteered for her sister, everyone in the audience hoisted their glow sticks in the air.
Los Angeles radio station 102.7 KIIS FM hosted the weekend’s events, and handed out prizes to the fans, included the soundtrack for Catching Fire. Time Warner Cable also was there with gift bags that included a Catching Fire tee-shirt sporting Finnick, Katniss, and Peeta. Sunday’s surprise guests were Sam Claflin, who plays the hunk from District 4, Finnick Odair (“Do you want a sugar cube?”), Jena Malone, who plays the girl with the axe, tough and loudly opinionated Johanna Mason from District 7, and finally, Jeffrey Wright, who plays the brilliant BeeTee, otherwise known as Volts. Sam Claflin was asking fans if they wanted sugar cubes and Jena Malone was photo bombing as many pictures as she could, as Jeffrey Wright sat tall and unaffected by the two goofballs beside him. Time Warner Cable held a special contest giving a handful of lucky fans a special meet and greet with these three, which included a nice little breakfast. In the middle of the signing, Josh Hutcherson, who plays the boy with the bread who’s madly in love with Katniss, Peeta Mellark, showed up unannounced and unscheduled. He made room at the signing table next to Sam, Jena, and Jeffrey, and signed for the fans on his day off! The last surprise guest was the Catching Fire director, Francis Lawrence. He listened as fans told him stories and praised him for other movies he has done. Fans also shared their excitement for Catching Fire. He took the time to interact with as many people as he could, rushing no one. The Hunger Games fandom is a family.
On Monday morning, premiere day, campers had to pack up their tents by 6 AM and were then given a call time with that golden ticket for when they were to return to line up at the red carpet. At 3 PM, the fan load in for the red carpet began. The stars didn’t start arriving until a few hours after that. Once the stars appeared the red carpet came alive – lights flashed everywhere, cast members were interviewed, fans took photos, stars signed autographs all along the red carpet, and fans screamed the names of their favorite celebrities as they met the people who were bringing their favorite Catching Fire characters to life on the big screen.
The flames on the giant Mockingjay that stood above there red carpet (see above) were turned up as soon as the bigger stars in the film began to arrive. Shortly after the stars appearance on the carpet, and after interacting with as many fans as possible, security handed out the tickets for fans to get inside the Nokia Theatre to watch The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
Catching Fire was the book to movie adaptation I have been waiting for all year. Francis Lawrence did an amazing job, and after seeing the movie three times, it still leaves me speechless and wanting to watch it again. I am happy the he is directing The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part One and Part Two. Fans of The Hunger Games series are lucky to have him! Here are what some fans had to say about the movie and the Fan Camp experience:
“OMG #CatchingFire! One of the best book to movie adaptations I have seen, and it was everything I ever wanted it to be and more!” -@Emmafm95
“Mind blown, no words. Best adaptation of a book I’ve ever seen!” -@Urs_Uriarte
“It exceeded all my expectations. The cinematography was incredible, the acting was stellar. I need to see it again. Jena Malone and Sam Claflin were the perfect additions to the already stellar cast. I loved it!” -@Mel_MT
“Best film of the year. The actors and the script were amazing” -@MelodyIsWriting
“This was my second year camping out for The Hunger Games premiere and I had such a fun time! I met a bunch of cool people, and got to see some friends again, and met some of the cast! Catching Fire was perfect. They couldn’t have done anything better! The casting, cinematography, music, everything was just perfect. It also stayed extremely true to the books, I couldn’t have asked for a better movie” -@7isagoodnumber
“Catching Fire was a great movie with ups, downs, twists, turns, and crazy people. It was a wonderful experience taht I got to share with some crazyy people, myself, LOL! Overall I would do it again for MockingJay. The fancamp was also a great experience. This was technically my first fan camp, and it was pretty awesome!” -@DreamerThug
“I really did think it was the best adaptation ever. It stuck to the book so much and I really wasn’t disappointed. It was my first time camping out for anything, and it was totally and completely worth it.” -@LawrencelyJen
Have you seen Catching Fire? We want to hear what you thought about the movie. Tell us your reactions in the comments below!