From what we’ve read of Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games trilogy, the internet doesn’t exist in dystopian Panem (a.k.a. North America about 100 years from now). How lucky we are, then, that Google Maps still exists in 2013!
Eagle-eyed fans @starfishtony and @Whedonite96 spotted these satellite images of the Quarter Quell Cornucopia and tribute parade from the upcoming Catching Fire movie on Google Maps. Yes, Hunger Games fans are that committed that they’ve taken to the skies to scrape together every bit of intel we can since we have to wait til November 22 for the movie.
What’s interesting is that, while the Catching Fire crew shot most of the Arena scenes in Hawaii, they couldn’t quite build a Cornucopia on any of the islands. We got a hint as just how much work was going to go into the Arena for the 75th Hunger Games when director Francis Lawrence spoke with MTV News last week. “The Arena stuff is pretty tricky,” he explained, “just because [of] the sort of center of the Arena where the Cornucopia exists and the water and the spokes. The circular beach with the jungle around it doesn’t exist, so we have to sort of piece it all together.”
Shortly after that quote was published, Mockingjay.net unearthed an article from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution from September 2012 discussing how a man-made beach (called, creatively “The Beach”) in Georgia’s Clayton County would indeed serve as the center of the Arena. The beach was originally built as a beach vollyeball venue for the 1996 Olympics, but workers drained and refilled the lake for filming.
This fan-made image from deviantART user alternatecoppa gives a better idea of how the Cornucopia fits into the devious Arena:
But let’s not forget the other great satellite image of the tribute parade! Feast your eyes on the Atlanta Motor Speedway, which will act as the Capitol where Panem’s twelve districts unveil their Quarter Quell tributes (all of them former victors). Fan site The Hob previously posted close-ups of the chariots and horses.
Meanwhile, NorthJersey.com confirmed that Jennifer Lawrence filmed several District 12 scenes in Ramapo State Forest, taking advantage of the icy weather to make Katniss’ home look extra-bleak.
Doubtless there are some fans who may be miffed about seeing these raw set photos, like the paparazzi shots of Lawrence and co. filming in Hawaii. However, I’m of the opinion that there’s so much left to be done in post-production before we get this final product. Alternate images of the Speedway show tons of green-screen curtain, which means there are plenty of visual effects that we can’t even guess at right now.
For the moment, let’s treat this as a fun set visit that we wouldn’t be able to do without the internet.
Photos via Google Maps
Natalie Zutter is a playwright, foodie, and the co-creator of Leftovers, a webcomic about food trucks in the zombie apocalypse. Her writing has appeared on Ology and Crushable, where she discusses celebrity culture alongside internet memes (or vice versa). Weekly you can find her commenting on pop culture on KoPoint’s podcast AFK On Air, calling in to the Hunger Games Fireside Chat podcast, reviewing new releases at Movie Mezzanine, and on Twitter.