ByLy Velez, writer at
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Ly Velez

As November 20th draws ever nearer, one can start to hear the woeful cries of Hunger Games fans as they longingly yet mournfully await the final chapter of their beloved franchise. The last four years have brought us three action-packed, unforgettable dystopian blockbusters, making The Hunger Games franchise one of cinematic history's most successful film sagas.

With the final installment in the battle for Panem quickly approaching, the hype remains as strong as ever. Fans can continue to expect uniquely awesome sneak peeks at the final installment, the latest of which is a six-minute virtual reality experience in which fans get the opportunity to follow by Katniss' side and experience some of the films' most iconic moments for themselves.

NYCC 2015
NYCC 2015

This month, Samsung unveiled their latest technologically mind-boggling marketing tool: The Hunger Games Virtual Reality Experience. A few lucky fans in New York donned the Oculus-equipped Samsung Gear VR run by a normal Galaxy S6 and were instantly transported into the world of The Hunger Games. Watch as arrows fly in the original arena, join the rebel army down in the bunkers of District 13, and enjoy a leisurely stroll through the Capitol gardens with Snow himself.

Leaving behind the gimmicky nature of classic advertisement, designers of the 360-degree virtual reality experience worked hard to create a world that fans could feel a part of.

According to Colin McGreal, designer and ReelFX director of The Hunger Games Virtual Reality Experience, this effort was all about taking the next step forward.

The CG and VR artists we worked with are used to working in video games but like this more. They’re like, ‘This is great! We want to keep pushing the envelope.’ Instead of a game where you run around shooting people we’re trying to give a cultural and emotional experience.

Through the help of Moviepilot, Samsung, and Lionsgate, I myself have experienced the magic of the virtual reality world. The journey starts with an exploration of the woods outside of District 12 as you cross paths with Katniss and Gale, who are busy hunting with bow and arrow in hand. The bliss and familiarity of your home in District 12 is broken as you are then transported to the eerie and perfectly manicured gardens of President Snow.

Hope. It is the only thing stronger than fear. A little hope is effective. A lot of hope is dangerous. A spark is fine, as long as it's contained.

Prepare for six minutes of spine-tingling goosebumps as you see firsthand the dramatic transformation of Katniss Everdeen from the Capitol's Girl on Fire to the Districts' rebellious Mockingjay. This is not your ordinary movie trailer. The virtual reality experience is a 360-degree emotional roller coaster whose detail and realism captivate you every second. After watching Panem quickly crumble within seconds, you end your journey in the now compromised city of the Capitol and watch as Katniss, the Mockingjay, prepares to face the Capitol and President Snow himself one last time.

With The Divergent Series: Insurgent in the spring and now Mockingjay: Part Two in the winter, the virtual reality experience has revolutionized the way studios advertise films. No longer are fans simply passive viewers quietly munching on popcorn and watching in awe as the action unfolds before them on a flat screen. No, they are now the soldier, the astronaut, the alien, the sorcerer, or whatever it may be that joins the hero or heroine on their journey to their final battle!

If you're desperate to try out the virtual reality experience for yourself, you can head over to select Best Buy locations and don the demo Gear VR devices that will soon bring the film watching experience to the 21st century!

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 hits theaters November 20th!



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