The New York Times’ Arts Beat blog interviewed Gary Ross about The Hunger Games using reader-submitted questions that Gary selected. One bit of information we learned from this Q&A that makes us kind of sad – Gary says he won’t be including any “additional” scenes on the DVD! Ready why below.
Q: Gary, what was the biggest challenge that you encountered in the editing room? Also — just because I love my state — how did you like North Carolina? Would you be wanting to come back for future projects? — Savanah, North Carolina
A: I think the biggest challenge was keeping the feeling of dread and tension alive in the first part of the film. It would have been easy for these “games” to feel like an abstract concept (the first part of the movie has no real IMMEDIATE threat to the tributes) and yet the characters are facing near certain death. The tone that was established in the reaping was essential in doing that. Steven Mirrione and I did quite a bit of restructuring in the first half to make sure the tension did not abate. As for your state, I LOVED it. And I miss Asheville very very much and I cant wait to go back.
Q: How did your team develop the idea to create a NASA type control room for the arena? It is not in the book, but I think it was an important and clever addition to the movie. — Jalling, Groton, Mass.
A: In the book, Katniss speculates about the game-makers manipulations while the games are going on. Of course, in the film, we can’t get inside Katniss’s head, but we do have the ability to cut away and actually show the machinations of the Capitol behind the scenes. I created the game center and also expanded the role of Seneca Crane for those reasons. I thought it was tonally important. So much of the film happens in the woods that it’s easy to forget this is a futuristic society, manipulating these events for the sake of an audience. The look of the control center, the antiseptic feeling of it and the use of holograms were all intended to make the arena feel “constructed” even when you weren’t seeing the control room. [read our exclusive interview with a Game Center Tech to learn more about filming in the control center]
Q: If you had another half hour of film run time to use — assuming no consequences or complaints for the purposes of this question — is there anything you’d add to this first film? A cutting room floor wish? — Jenny B., Harlem, N.Y.
A: Honestly no. The movie I put out is the movie that I want, and I wouldn’t add anything to the running time. Equally, I would never make a movie too short just for sake of running time. I think a director should stand behind the cut of their film. I won’t be putting “additional” scenes on the DVD for the same reason. That said, there are a few things that I didn’t have room for in the script just for reasons of a linear narrative. A good example of that is the Avox subplot in the novel. I loved what Suzanne did but couldn’t find a way to get it in the screenplay and it was never shot.
Gary always seems to put so much thought into his answers! You can read the rest of the Q&A at The New York Times.
Whether Gary Ross means there won’t be additional deleted scenes or that there won’t be an extended version of the movie that includes additional scenes, we’ll have to wait and see to know for sure. In the meantime, we do know that there will be other great extras – check out our exclusive details on the DVD/Blu-ray.