Monday, July 9, 2012

Mockingjay Mockup: Part 1 Timeline


Sorry for the unexpected hiatus of Mockingjay Mockup! We're back, and FINALLY we can unveil to you our plans for Mockingjay Part 1. Let's get down to business!

     As you can see from this ridiculous graph, we've got the rundown on all the events that we think should play out in the Mockingjay Part 1 film. Towards the bottom we have our legend with symbols that represent what storyline they fulfill, most of which we discussed in our last edition. In the faded background, you can also see we have specified which sections of the book we are currently pulling from: The Ashes, The Assault, and The Assassin. Come on along with us while we go through it point by point!

Where to start?

     We are pretty positive no matter how they choose to end Catching Fire the film will begin with what is going on with Panem as a nation. This could mean some Snow action, it could also mean the oppression that occurs in the districts, even what Snow has inflicted upon the prisoners from the Quarter Quell. Peeta's an extremely important character, and for the film's sake they probably won't want to wait until his first interview to introduce such a huge main character. Speaking of which...

     Whatever establishing needs to be done in the first part of the film will precede Katniss' return to District 12. We see the ruin and devastation, and it is possible for flashback scenes of the firebombing, though we think it might be more beneficial if it were told a little later on. The scene should end with the discovery of Snow's rose, and we have some cool ideas on how that should happen cinematically. That, of course, we have reserved for a later edition entitled, "Cinematic Delusions of Grandeur".

District 13

     After these establishing moments, we've got to introduce the audience to District 13. One of the many reasons we believe in the split is because we have a whole new system in which Katniss is living in, the audience needs to get a clear idea of how it looks and how it functions. This leads us to our next scene: the war room. We are guessing all of the military scenes will take place in some type of war room location, which will end up being the frame of the entire Mockingjay story. It's at this point this might be a good opportunity during the introduction of all the rebellion plans to insert the flashback of the District 12 firebombing. For the rescue effort,  Gale has been promoted by Coin therefore a nice place to put the flashback in, not to mention... ACTION SCENE!
     If you're wondering why Haymitch's icon is also next to this scene, it's because we've taken that important scene between him and Katniss in which they first talk about what happened in the arena. Sure this doesn't happen until much later in the book, but we're pretty sure whoever directs Mockingjay will want to keep Haymitch in early on since he is such an important character.

Chain of Events

     Be forewarned: If phrases such as "Inciting Incident" or "Turning Point" I or II confuses you, check back to our short writing structure explanation. Anyway, the Inciting Incident we have labeled as Peeta's first interview. This scene not only gives us an update on what's going on with him, but starts a chain reaction that leads to Katniss' decision to become The Mockingjay. Directly under this event, we have two symbols: Prim's and Gale's. Both represent two scenes we think need to happen so we see why Katniss becomes the Mockingjay. Gale's conversation with Katniss establishes that the games are still on ("He's still trying to keep you alive") and her frustration that there cannot be a cease fire influences her decision. However, what makes Katniss make a list of demands such as victor immunity is her late night conversation with Prim. One may look at this scene and think it can easily be given to Gale, but we all know what happens to Prim and we deem pretty much every Prim scene mandatory! Naturally when Katniss does become the Mockingjay, the discussion of terms, Cinna's sketchbook, and announcement of terms will all be important scenes to include. 

Sweet Weapons & Comic Relief

    Next up we have a super cool scene that we are expecting to make it into the film: the Mockingjay bow. We'll get a deeper look into District 13 (hopefully) and some Beetee action. It's also at this part we get a little reference to Gale's gift for snares and military tendencies ("That doesn't seem very fair to the deer"). Afterwards, Katniss gets made up and they film the unsuccessful propo, offering great opportunity for comic relief. 
    It would be a nice smooth transition to go from comic relief to what we think is an incredibly touching scene. We're not sure if it will make the cut, but we're crossing our fingers for what we call the "Brainstorming" scene. This of course is when Haymitch tries to figure out why that particular way of filming the propos is unsuccessful. One by one, everyone around the table divulges which of Katniss' actions touched them the most. In this scene we get one of our first glimpses of how the Girl on Fire has touched so many. 

District 8 (Midpoint)
    To achieve a decent propo, Katniss makes a trip to District 8, which is one of the most moving sections of the entire book. This will occur about halfway through and will provide plenty of exciting action scenes. The hospital scene will further the audience's comprehension of Katniss' effect on the entire country, making it a must-have for Mockingjay Part 1. It is also in this sequence that the camera crew can be established, if not already in the "Bad Propo" scene. 

     As for the "We Burn, You Burn With Us" moment, we're hoping this to be Mockingjay Part 1's huge redeeming moment. Meaning this will be the most remembered moment of the film, hands down. We have high hopes for this part, and we're counting on whoever is directing to heighten the drama for this moment. It is the first moment that Katniss truly becomes the Mockingjay, and we don't want to be disappointed! Lastly, the actual propo airing could go a number of ways, one option being the propo airing happening at the precise moment it is being filmed intermixed along with how it is being received all over Panem. If done this way, it could be a pretty nifty and memorable sequence. 

It's Too Cinematic NOT To Film!

     Next up is Peeta's 2nd interview, which aside from being updated on Peeta's condition (whether or not they will add extra scenes to see what is going on with him in the meantime) will really jab at Katniss' distrust of the rebels, which is one of the most important conflicts to emphasize in the film. As for whether they will include the part about Katniss and Finnick pretending not to have witnessed it remains to be seen. This all depends on whether they want to build on the conflict going on between Katniss and Gale, since in the books she takes offense to Gale not informing her of Peeta's interview. We think it may not be necessary, but I guess we will see what happens.

     The last propo filming of Mockingjay Part 1 will most definitely be included along with Katniss singing "The Hanging Tree". At first thought, it seemed like something not necessary enough to include even in a split film. However, upon further examination we think that there is a good chance that whether this is included here or not, it will be put somewhere. Our reasoning is that it's too cinematic NOT to film! Think about it, a haunting song with relevance to the plot itself, it's just one of those common movie devices. We won't be surprised at all if they keep it in!

Climax & Cliffhanger

     Before we get into the juicy details about Mockingjay Part 1's climax, let's talk about events leading up to Turning Point II (sometimes referred to "hero's darkest hour). This entails when Beetee is hacking the Capitol feed, Peeta looking wildly hijacked and announcing "dead by morning". This will launch the audience into Turning Point II: The District 13 bombing. No doubt this will include chaos (for drama's sake it's likely the residents won't be as calm and organized as they are in the books) and giving us another action scene with the actual bombing itself. Again, to drive home the preciousness of Prim to Katniss, her and Gale's narrow escape to safety will be some great tension to add to the event.

     During the quiet waiting period during the bombing, we have some downtime for character development. In the book there are two very important conversations: Katniss and Prim, and Katniss and Finnick. The first with Prim (we're hoping no Prim scenes are cut cause, you know) gets Katniss to realize how Snow is using Peeta ("Whatever it takes to break you"). The conversation with Katniss and  Finnick is important because we need to keep establishing their friendship, and perhaps even a little discussion about more information about Finnick and Annie. We're willing to bet they will go into some kind of detail about Annie's background in Catching Fire, but nothing more than that. In case something goes horribly awry and they don't cover Annie and Finnick's backstory, this would be a great place to put it. 

     Onto the climax of Part 1. We have concocted a sort of nifty idea to combine a few scenes together to hype up the climax of the film. Before this happens, Katniss breaks down because whatever propo she has to do with will hurt Peeta. According to the book, Haymitch and Katniss have a touching moment and they knock her out for about a day and at that point the rescue effort is already underway. Later, Finnick agrees to divulge his secrets as a distraction. To cut some stuff out, we figured that after the bombing it should be agreed that a rescue mission goes off (because clearly, Peeta is in huge danger from announcing that secret bombing plan) and Katniss and Finnick agree to film the distracting post bombing propo. Katniss tells how she met Peeta but obviously it's not as captivating as they had hoped so Finnick agrees to spill his secrets. Here is where we would have an INTERCUT CLIMAX!! That is, a montage of many different scenes going on (hopefully with some killer soundtrack under it): Finnick's secrets, the rescue effort (ACTION!), Snow's point of view/reaction, along with reactions all over the country. This could be a climax worthy of a Hunger Games film, and probably a lot more exciting climax than some other young adult franchise's first parters. Yea, I mean both of 'em. 

     After the climax, things settle down and we get some form of resolution. First, we will get the return of the rescue team including the touching moment when Finnick and Annie reunite. If it were us, we'd cut the scene there and wrap up what's going on in the Capitol and the districts so it can transition into part 2. In the very last scene, we come back to where we left off with the reunion of all the freed prisoners. This means possibly a short funny Johanna scene (She's unconscious in the books, but a lighthearted scene here will make the figurative punch at the end much more effective) and eventually Katniss's reuniting with Peeta, except WABAM! fingers on her throat, holy crap Peeta's insane, and that my friends, is called a cliffhanger. Indeed, the best way to end a two parter. 

Why Split There?

     Aside from the awesome fact that Peeta's hijacked state is the only suitable place in the book that is somewhere in the middle and a cliffhanger, it is the moment in the book where everything changes. Radically. Katniss has a completely different mindset in the books at this point, so much so that she gives up on Peeta and dedicates herself to training in order to kill Snow and die in the process. You need a catalyst when splitting movies, so you have A REASON to split. Not only do we have a reason to split here, but we have a cliffhanger AND there's so many important events to the complex plot you pretty much HAVE to split it. Once we get into part 2, it will become clear that if this book were to be one film, it would be a very different story to how it is in the books, and hasn't the faithfulness to the books been what has separated Hunger Games apart from the others?

Hope you guys enjoyed this edition of Mockingjay Mockup, and we're just about done with Part 1. Stay tuned next time when we talk about our "Cinematic Delusions of Grandeur", what might be cut, and what might be added to Mockingjay Part 1. Thanks for reading!

May your bread be toasty and your arrow fly straight,
Courtney & Tiffany

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