Throughout the film, there are these interesting mirrored elements. In the beginning, just like the first film, you open up with Katniss and Gale in the woods and like you have the progression through the Hunger Games, but at the same time, it’s not the same as the first movie. There is that darker twist that comes with each of those mirrored scenes and the presentation of a new context. So, when you were approaching those parts of the story were you just immediately thinking, "I need to make this distinct and different"?

There is a structural similarity in some places that Catching Fire has to the first movie, and that’s that at a certain point they’re going to be reaped. At a certain point they’re going to go to the capitol. At a certain point, they’re going to go on to training. At a certain point they’re going to ride on chariots through the capitol, right? So, on any of these kind of moments, where you could possibly feel like you’ve been there, done that in the first movie, it was really important for me not to tweak it visually as much as the important thing for me was that it had to have to have a completely different emotional value. So, if last time the training is sort of assessing the threat, like, "Oh my God, who are these people? Who’s going to be killing us? How do we use these weapons," and they’re sort of deer in the headlights, this time it was like a scouting mission, right? It’s all about alliance and this time it’s like, "Ok, I don’t like this, so I’ve got to go find people." It’s going around to see if you can find the people you want to ally with. The chariots the last time was, "Oh my God, what is this?" and you’re sort of freaked out and people are crazy, right? This time, you’re a pro. You’re not going to wave to anybody. It’s a face-off with [President] Snow, right? And so, the feeling is entirely different. As another layer, then you can say, well if last time it opened at night, let’s go see the opening of the tributes during the day. Let’s open it up. Let’s see some scale. Let’s see all of the people. Let’s see more of the capitol and more of the pomp and it just kind of made that stuff fun for me.

One thought that stuck with me watching the movie is the idea of the consequences of war. It’s not just the consequences of the war in the past and the world in which they’re living, but it’s also looking towards the future and understanding what war would mean for that future.

That’s also one of the reasons why I was really excited to take this movie on. It’s because this is the movie where all the stuff starts to kick in, and you start to see the damage that the games have taken on Katniss and on Peeta and you start to understand the reasons Haymitch is the way he is. When you meet the new victors, you start to see how they’ve all been affected by the games.

This is a great post-traumatic stress aspect in that.

Oh yeah, huge. I mean you see it in the opening sequence in the movie, and we play that throughout. It’s a big part of it, and it’s just the escalation. It’s the beginning of the escalation of that and we only get deeper and deeper into it in Mockingjay, but, you know, there’s a warning very early on from President Snow. Do you want to know what real war looks like? And it’s like, that’s where we’re headed, and it’s the real deal. It’s a great thing for young people to know that sometimes it only takes that voice. Part of what’s great about the movies is that no matter what, it’s not set up as this kind of idealistic thing. There’s consequences.

There’s no revolution without blood.

No, absolutely, and sometimes by the way, the good guys aren’t always so good, and it’s you know, it’s the great thing about Suzanne [Collins]’s novels and the exciting thing about the stories.

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