Gary Ross answered an array of fan questions about The Hunger Games in a recent Q & A with The New York Times.
There is one piece of news from this interview that we find a bit disappointing, Gary says he will not be adding any additional scenes to The Hunger Games DVD when it releases. Find out why below, plus see his answers to some other fan questions.
Q. Given the tremendous pressure to make this movie a blockbuster, there must have been even more of a tension than usual between your artistic vision and the commercial one. How did you have to modify that artistic vision to arrive at the movie as released? — Ken N., San Francisco
A. Actually, I felt the only way to make the film really successful was to be totally subjective (Suzanne wrote in the first person present). So I tried to put “commercial” considerations out of my mind. You can’t really make a movie by worrying about the marketplace and I always felt the only way to realize this story was to make it as personal as I could. I also felt this couldn’t feel or look like other “franchises” without sacrificing the naturalism the story needed. It helped being in the woods a long way from Hollywood.
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.
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 Ross is always so thoughtful in his answers, it’s impossible to stay mad at him! Plus, we still get Behind-the-Scenes shots and Cast Interviews!
You can read the rest of the Q & A at The New York Times.