The first of the two-part Mockingjay film adaptation, released on November 21, 2014, ends up as a cliff-hanger since the entire movie focused mainly on setting things up and leaving unanswered questions to the moviegoers. (Oops! Not that much for the book’s avid fans, of course!) Well indeed, this strategy worked and it actually revved up the hunger to watch out for the sequel and find answers unto how things will eventually conclude. Hitting the cinemas on November 20, 2015 is The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 – the fourth and final installment for The Hunger Games film series – based on the third book of Suzanne Collins’ phenomenal Hunger Games trilogy.
Aside from the actors’ convincing portrayal of their roles in this movie, one important thing that should be taken into consideration is its setting. Since Mockingjay is based on a novel that depicts detailed set-up, finding the most appropriate filming location is a crucial part – though some locations on the movie were far from Collin’s original world in the novel. The two parts of the film was shot together to ensure the seamless continuity of the story; and it actually took three cities in two continents to make up the nation of Panem.
In October 2013, the Mockingjay production team filmed cornfield scenes in Carlton Farms in Rockmart, Georgia where two large cranes across the highway near the main farm were spotted. Other filming locations in the area included the Dundee Mills in Griffin, the former Tredegar building in LaGrange, the Pullman Yards in Atlanta and Martha’s Mill (a frequent filming location for The Walking Dead as well). It may seem odd how an old mill and all these stuffs relate much to a futuristic world where kids fight in an arena; but if you have read the book, you may have remembered that Katniss and other freedom fighters paid visit to this dilapidated spot at some point in the battle for the future of Panem.
The filming resumed on December 2013 after taking a short break to promote The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. A year after Catching Fire was filmed in the same location, the production came back to Marriott Marquis Hotel in downtown Atlanta to shoot. Gale (Liam Hemsworth) and the film director, Francis Lawrence, were spotted on the set. Various reports suggest that this scene they were filming could probably be the one wherein the rebels were sneaking into the Capitol to rescue Peeta and/or Johanna. Well, there may also be a wedding scene happening elsewhere. In the later part of December, a coliseum set was built in the large industrial buildings of Caldwell Tanks in Newnan – a small city in Coweta County, Georgia, about 30 miles southwest of Atlanta. Filming in Atlanta has been completed on April 2014.
The soaring Mockingjay flew all the way to Europe by May 2014 to continue filming. First up, they were spotted filming crucial Capitol scenes in Espacio d’Abraxas – an apartment complex in Noisy-le-Grand in Paris, France. Photos and videos of the shooting have been circulating online showing Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss), Mahershala Ali (Boggs), Josh Hutcherson (Peeta), Sam Claflin (Finnick), and Liam Hemsworth (Gale) on the set. These images spoiled scenes of Boggs’ death; and even speculations arouse whether Katniss will be shot by the ‘hijacked’ Peeta in the Capitol instead of in District 2 as originally written on the book. That’s something to watch out for!
Towards the end of May, the cast and crews shot scenes in Germany. District Eight was portrayed in an old cement factory in Rüdersdorf, Brandenburg where Liam was unfortunately injured on the set. The scenes for District Two, however, were shot at Berlin Tempelhof Airport – a former Nazi symbol of supremacy that was closed a couple of years ago. Photos of the set shows hovercraft seats, military vehicles, damaged buildings with rubble everywhere, and few shots of extras as well as of Lawrence and Hemsworth running around. Battle scenes, as we expected, have been filmed on this location.
At the end of the day, we only see the finished product of this movie; we witness their battles taking place inside the arena. But if we mull it over, behind the camera is actually where the real battle takes place – through all those locations they’ve been – making sure The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 will fill the expectations raised by the first three movies of The Hunger Games franchise. So for the very last time, let the games begin!