#108 Fireside Chat: Easy, Breezy, Paranoid Sunday 26 May, 2013

“Easy, Breezy, Paranoid”

Miss Episode 108 live? You can click here to listen to the recording OR simply use the embedded player below!

Episode 108 of Hunger Games Fireside Chat will air live this Monday, May 27, at 10pm ET/7pm PT! This week, our panel of experts will include Ellie from Down with the Capitol, Rebekah from Victor’s Village, and Courtney from Welcome to District 12!

Here’s what we have planned for this week:

– We’ll kick off the show by weighing in on the news that COVERGIRL has partnered with Lionsgate to launch an advertising campaign and makeup collection inspired by the Capitol. In light of this announcement and the lavish Capitol-themed Catching Fire party at Cannes, many fans have begun to wonder if Lionsgate’s “glorification” of the Capitol has gone too far. What do you think? Do things like the COVERGIRL collection, Capitol Couture, and last year’s China Glaze nail polish line detract from the important messages contained within the Hunger Games trilogy? Or are they simply fun marketing strategies that we shouldn’t worry about?

– We’ll spend the latter portion of the show discussing the recent outbreak of “Peeta Paranoia” that has taken over large segments of the fandom. Peeta hasn’t been very visible in Catching Fire promotions thus far; is this a sign that his role is being significantly reduced for the movies? A lot of people seem to think so. We try to put this worry to rest.

You can chat with other listeners throughout the live show by using our hashtag #HGFiresideChat on Twitter! We recommend TweetChat to easily follow along with the conversation.

(If you missed our last episode, click here to listen!)

And click here for an index of all of our archived episodes.

Follow this week’s participants on Twitter:
Adam (Host): @AdamSpunberg
Savanna (Co-Host/Producer): @MlleNouveau
Ellie: @MuchMoreMacho / @HungerGamesDWTC
Rebekah: @Rebekahdg / @VictorsVillage
Courtney: @WtoD12


  • Laura Weber says:

    About the “Capitol” marketing: I’m not bothered because the Capitol is one of the visual and mythical elements that makes the Hunger Games world so rich. Look at how many people dress up as darth vader, storm troupers and Boba Fett at Star Wars events for example. The images are striking and people like to play the character, but it doesn’t mean they really want to be Darth Vader. Others prefer to dress or collect memorabilia associated with the Jedi, but I don’t think it has much to say about their character or the character of the people who design and market it. I expect there will be a lot of “rebel” type of marketing if not for Catching fire, then definitely for Mockingjay, one of the reasons I can’t wait!

    As for Peeta, I’m not worried. There was more Gale in The Hunger Games advertising too, and he was barely in the movie. It’s not like they are going to cut out the “beach scene” or anything, so I am sure there will be plenty for Peeta lovers to sink their teeth into. Peeta fans should be more worried about Mockingjay Pt 1. By all rights he shouldn’t be in there much at all.

  • 4LoveIsStronger says:

    I don’t believe all these marketing strategies are made to “glorify” the Capitol. I think they have to show the Capitol as a place that is so extravagant and crazy so that the movie audiences will see the contrast between life in the districts and in the Capitol. The people have to understand why there is a need for rebellion, and I think these parties and promotions help them do that.

  • Matt P says:

    Seeing as the promotional/marketing campaign is only just starting, the whole “Peeta Paranoia” thing is a bit ridiculous. Like Laura said, these campaigns aren’t linked to the film itself that closely. I think that we’ll be seeing a lot of Peeta in Catching Fire, seeing as he has a reduced role for Mockingjay Pt. 1. He is an important character, in a good majority of the scenes in the book.

    In a way Peeta has been subtly omnipresent in the campaign so far: both the Capitol Portraits and the most recent poster have been presented in a “painted” style. Perhaps Peeta was the one who painted them?

    Just wait for the spring issue!

    • isaac says:

      I agree with you on the whole Peeta thing being ridiculous. Its still 6 months away And Peeta is part of the 75th games so he will be there during the victory tour, tribute parade, interviews, training, and arena (the whole time this time around).

    • Well, he’s also been present less subtly. He’s on the Victory Tour posters with Katniss, he naturally has one of the Capitol portraits (granted, like every major character), he was on one of the earliest stills released (with Katniss on the tour), he’s as much in a teaser trailer as you’d expect, although he doesn’t get to do anything hugely dramatic, since he doesn’t do anything hugely dramatic in the first 1/3 of the book which the teaser trailer focuses on. The only character who’s gotten more promotion is Katniss.

      I don’t see where the idea that the campaign has somehow been all about Liam/Gale at the expense of Josh/Peeta even comes from. It’s not Lionsgate’s fault that Josh wasn’t available during Cannes, they get who they can get at a time. There’ll be plenty of other events when the movie draws close.

      And as a matter of act, the paranoia started when Francis Lawrence said in an interview that he liked a scene they shot early on between Katniss and Gale, and a scene with the spinning cornucopia (and these comments seems to have gotten reprinted as supposedly “exclusive” in another magazine recently, which caused another round of outrage). That’s not a marketing campaign, that’s not a director endorsing a “ship” over another, that’s simply a director talking about a scene he liked. I assume that he doesn’t think that every other scene in the movie he had shot up to that point (since the original comments were made while they hadn’t finished filming) sucks. People may as well start complaining that the movie is going to be about the spinning cornucopia and that’s going to overshadow everything else.

  • Isaac says:

    I agree with both comments above. Im actually OK with it because its interactive and I think it’s what makes The Hunger Games marketing unique. I don’t really believe the Capitol citizens are bad or evil. They are just messed up and kind of lost on what’s really going on. Take Katniss’ prep team for instance. In Mockingjay Katniss says “They’re are not evil or cruel. They are not even smart. Hurting them is like hurting children. They don’t see…I mean, they don’t know…” I don’t think there is any other way to market this film trying to make this interactive for fans, I mean anyone can dress up in worn-out clothes and be called a district citizen/rebel.

  • mse says:

    The whole Capitol marketing approach is actually strangely fitting. We ARE the Capitol, whether we like it or not. This is how our entertainment industry functions right now. I hope that the movie will focus a little bit more on the ridiculousness and the disgusting details of this life style, but as far as marketing goes, I don’t find it worrisome.

    And to be honest, I don’t see why there’s a Peeta paranoia in the first place. He was in the Capitol portraits, on the victory tour poster and in a large part of the teaser trailer. Just because Josh Hutcherson didn’t show up in Cannes while it seems like Liam Hemsworth is everywhere promoting the movie, only indicates one thing: that Josh has a much busier schedule right now. I just checked his IMDb page, and apparently he’s filming a movie with Benicio Del Toro at the moment, so there’s your answer.

  • Savanna says:

    Thanks for all the great comments so far! 😀

  • Laura Weber says:

    Oh, and I should add, I am thrilled about the cover girl campaign. It is fun to play with makeup! Do we know when it will be available? Every hero needs a fearsome adversary , and sometimes it is fun to play the enemy.

    We need somebody with conflicting opinions here to shake things up…

  • satsumarena says:

    I think that this marketing campaign is okay but only as part of a much larger one that uses elements other than the Capitol fashion/beauty angle. Especially because CF is going to broaden the scope of the story to include the whole of Panem, not just “District 12 and the Capitol” the way the first movie did. Note that the “teaser” trailer certainly was not from a Capitol POV, it was focused on the brewing rebellion, and did not treat the Capitol sympathetically at all.

    I recall the “let’s face it, we ARE the Capitol” argument being made to justify the nail polish campaign last year as well. But that seems almost like an excuse for complacency to me, and a reduction of the THG movie series to mere entertainment, where we watch “cool” Arena scenes and battle scenes, ooh and ahh over them, and move on.

    Now, most of us THG fans likely enjoy living conditions that would be considered luxurious in “developing” countries, and most of us are not subject to constant political oppression. So in that way, saying “We are the Capitol” makes sense. But I’d hope that most of us care about issues other than the latest celebrity scandals, sports highlights, and “reality” TV developments. Because that’s what disturbs me about the average Capitolian. Not that they’re rich, but that they’re shallow and ignorant.

    As for the Peeta paranoia, thanks for addressing this issue! While I do not share this fear that Peeta will be side-lined again, I understand some of it, especially when considering Peeta as a rival to Gale. Gale certainly is closer to the standard Hollywood trope of “handsome rebel leader romancing feisty heroine” than Peeta, and certainly, other adaptations have fallen to the temptation of focusing on that kind of character, to the detriment of less conventional ones.

    (For example, Robb Stark, who fills a similar role in the Game of Thrones series, actually has a much less prominent role in the original books by George R.R. Martin. And his “handsome rebel leader romancing feisty heroine” story arc was basically TOTALLY MADE UP for the TV show. He does have a “romance” in the books, but it takes place completely off-page, and is portrayed as more of a “stupid teenage mistake” than anything grand and epic.)

    • mse says:

      I can very much understand where you’re coming from, especially with that Game of Thrones reference, but I feel like I do need to point out something that a lot of people seem to dismiss. Gale actually does have a major role in Catching Fire. But why would that necessarily hurt Peeta’s screen time or storyline? Whatever this whole ‘shipping’ and ‘teaming’ mentality might want us to believe, it’s not really a matter of choice between them. They both have their own roles to play, and I have yet to see any evidence that Gale will have any more to do than what’s in the books for him. As I mentioned in my earlier comment, Liam Hemsworth running around promoting this movie everywhere only means that he’s the one with an opening in his filming schedule at the moment. But I guess we do agree on that part, since you said yourself that realistically you do not actually share that fear, at least not at this point.

      • satsuma says:

        “I have yet to see any evidence that Gale will have any more to do than what’s in the books for him.”

        Well, it seems that Movie!Gale has at least two extra scenes that were not in the book. One is the goodbye scene with Katniss that Francis Lawrence referred to. Another is the “Walk through the Hob with Katniss” scene that the teaser trailer showed us. Some Peeta fans have also expressed concern that the teaser trailer showed Gale kissing Katniss, but no kisses between Peeta and Katniss.

        I also don’t think that most fans are afraid that Book!Peeta would “lose out” in popularity as a romantic interest for Katniss when compared to Gale. However, many fans were very disappointed in the THG Movie!Peeta, fear THAT version of Peeta isn’t credible as a lover Katniss would pick over Gale, and seem to have adopted an attitude of “guilty until proven innocent” toward the franchise. I don’t share in this attitude, but I can see where people who feel this way are coming from.

        • mse says:

          Fair point. 😉 I know and see the problems with movie!Peeta, and how he might come across as less appealing than book!Peeta. But to explain a bit my point of view: I also see a general negativity or even hostility towards Gale in this fandom, and that just makes me want to stand up for him in every way possible, even though he’s far from my favorite character in the trilogy. The point is, I feel like Gale should not be punished for any adaptation mishaps that movie!Peeta might suffer. As long as the Gale we see on the screen echoes the qualities – good or bad – that he possesses in the books, it’s a plus. And that also applies to Peeta. (Of course, if they’re distorting Gale’s character to make him more likable, that would be a minus.) All I’m saying is that we don’t need to connect these issues; we don’t need to compare these two to see whether or not they were adapted well as characters or not, or say that there was more focus on one than the other. I’m getting off topic here, and I’m sorry about that, and it feels like I’m already defending an issue that doesn’t even exist, so I guess I should just stop. 🙂

        • “Well, it seems that Movie!Gale has at least two extra scenes that were not in the book. One is the goodbye scene with Katniss that Francis Lawrence referred to. Another is the “Walk through the Hob with Katniss” scene that the teaser trailer showed us.”

          Gale having additional scenes is the consequence of the fact you pointed out once: “Movies are not books on tape with pictures.” In the books we find out a lot about Katniss’ relationship with Gale, their history and his importance to her through internal monologue – which is not there in the movie.

          Katniss does not get to tell Gale goodbye in the book, but she’s thinking about things she would tell him, which she never gets the chance before she’s whisked away – how important he’s been to her all those years, that loving him has made her life better, even if she loved him i”in my limited way” as she puts it, rather than the way he wanted her to. In the movie, we would have no clue about any of this since we are not in her head, and Katniss just being dragged out and not saying anything to Gale would have no emotional resonance and would not work at all.

          The other scene that’s causing controversy and outrage is, apparently, a scene with Katniss and Gale witnessing the destruction of the Hob. “But it was Peeta who was with Katniss in the book! How dare they change that and give that scene to Gale! They are diminishing Peeta’s role!” is the reaction in the Peeta-worrying, Gale-hating fandom. Yes, Peeta was with her in the book. And in the book, Katniss was thinking of the Hob as something that didn’t belong to Peeta and that he had little to do with, unlike her and Gale, who had been trading at the Hob for years. Which a movie viewer wouldn’t know, since they’re not in Katniss’ head, won’t see a bunch of scenes with Katniss and Gale both trading at the Hob, probably won’t see flashbacks to their history together, and certainly won’t have Katniss talk at length about her friendship with Gale, so they only way to understand their history and relationship is to actually feature some scenes between Katniss and Gale. And Gale being present together with Katniss while the Hob burns is a perfect opportunity to mention their history and get across their connection to this place.

          Which Peeta does not have – but he does have a bunch of other scenes that are much more important for him and his relationship with Katniss. He really doesn’t need to be present at the burning of the Hob. And I don’t think that every.single.scene he has with Katniss in the book has to make it – there are just too many of them – for instance, I believe that there are 3 tender scenes between them in the Capitol before the Arena, and I don’t think it’s essential that all three are there – maybe they’ll merge them or cut one of them.

          The impression I get from many of the posts on the subject is that some fans would prefer it if he wasn’t in the movie at all, but since it’s not possible, that he’s a completely minor character with not much more than the 3 minutes of screentime he had in the first movie. Most of it seems to come from the “Team” mentality, but I still find it odd that Gale’s presence is seen as such a huge threat to Peeta’s screentime or character development or the development of his relationship with Katniss. But like mse points out, those two are not dependent on each other. The story would be severely unbalanced if the audience didn’t get to understand the relationship between Katniss and Gale, since it’s essential to understand what kind of person she is. The story in Mockingjay with their friendship falling apart would not work if we don’t know that they’re old friends and hunting partners (which is extremely important to Katniss, since this has been her main activity for years) and share the same background and history; that he’s basically, for a long time, the epitome of her past life. It would actually also hurt the portrayal of Katniss’ relationship with Peeta if the audience doesn’t get to understand Katniss/Gale. They’d be left to wonder why she’s torn between him and Peeta: because Gale is just so “hot”? Is this a story about a girl not being able to decide between two boys because they’re both cute and she’s wishy washy?

          “Some Peeta fans have also expressed concern that the teaser trailer showed Gale kissing Katniss, but no kisses between Peeta and Katniss. ”

          Would you put a Peeta/Katniss kiss in a teaser trailer for Catching Fire? And which one? Most of their kisses in CF are for the show (I don’t know how many if any will make it into the movie, or if their showmance/fake wedding will be shown differently). The beach scene is something you definitely wouldn’t put in a trailer, for all the obvious reasons: because trailers aren’t supposed to spoil the entire movie; because it’s a big emotional scene and turnaround that the non-book viewers are meant to be surprised by, while it’s a scene that book fans are waiting to see either way.

          But the main reason why no Peeta/Katniss kiss is in the teaser trailer is because the purpose of a trailer trailer is not to satisfy the fanbase, it’s sto get other people interested in seeing the movie. And those people already saw Peeta and Katniss kiss and play up the romance for the camera; some viewers even didn’t even realize that they weren’t really in a relationship at the end of the movie. Seeing Peeta and Katniss kiss would just look like more of the same. Gale kissing Katniss, on the other hand, is new and introduces some conflict and tension in a romantic sense.

        • BTW, technically Gale has another scene that isn’t in the book – getting arrested, but fortunately everyone seems to understand why this is the case. For the record, I’m willing to bet that Gale will have one more scene he doesn’t in the book: the bombing of District 12. I’m also even surer that Peeta will have at least one or two scenes that isn’t in the book: definitely his fight with Brutus; probably his conversation with Haymitch after the QQ announcement. All of those because the movie is not limited to Katniss’ POV, and if I were trying to adapt the book, I’d put those scenes on screen.

          I also think that Peeta will have scenes that aren’t in the book in Mockingjay part 1, because he would otherwise be very little in it. There may be scenes in the Capitol during his imprisonment, and I think it’s possible that there will be some dream scenes by Katniss or brief flashbacks or combination of both, in both parts, to be reminded how Peeta was before the hijacking and better explain Katniss’ feelings for him, since movie audiences will have by that time seen Catching Fire a year/two years earlier.

  • Mel Cally says:

    The Hunger Games is a franchise and they still have to make money (and not just ticket sales money). The movie industry is kind of like being in the arena, you have to train for whatever part you are given, you have to get people to like the actors (or tributes) in the movie… the more attractive the better, They work really hard to get sponsors like Covergirl and China Glaze to promote them, and then they’re sent into the weekend Boxoffice trying to fight to “kill” the competition who have also been working hard to do the exact same thing! We all want the best for CF and getting sponsors is one of the ways big budget movies do that.

    And think of it this way at least they’re making it easier for those of us who want to dress up as capitol citizens for future Halloweens.

    Also I think we’re seeing so much of Gale is because of Liam’s contract and the fact that his role is so much bigger in MJ. If Gale was in as much of the movie as he was in the first two books, I think many none-book readers would be confused as to who he is when he shows up in MJ. Unlike Peeta he’s more than just a constant flashback in Katniss’ minds, a lot of the time Gale is brought up from past experiences. I think they have him showing up to show many events and is in so many pictures is to make sure the general audience remembers he’s more than that guy who gave her the pep talk in the first movie. I don’t think he’ll be in anymore of the movie than he needs to be.

  • Annie B says:

    I think lionsgates Capitol Marketing is an extremely smart thing to do. It makes us fall into the trap of the capitol just as so many people who saw the colors of the capitol were enamored by it. We are drawn to beautiful things just like Katniss says about Peeta. I can see Lionsgate useing this method to pull in more people. I have a feeling that they will change there marketing dramatically for Mockingjay. I think they are using the Capitol to market the first two movies because the capitol is such a huge part in the hunger games and catching fire. I think they are Taking a very smart approach. I do not believe that they are glorifying the capitol but instes exagerating its importance to show the effects it has on people, just like how it effects people in the books.

  • Savanna says:

    Hey! Savanna here. I just wanted to say that I know our comment reply form is a bit crazy and stretchy right now, I’ll be fixing that within the next couple of days. Thanks for not minding it right now! 🙂

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