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Wednesday
Sep162015

The Hunger Games Fan Made Music, Movies & More  

100 Days of Mockingjay Week 6

We're entering the SIXTH week of our 100 Days of Mockingjay celebration. It has been so much fun to focus on different segments of this incredible fandom each week, to hear your stories, and to understand what The Hunger Games means to you guys. This week we're going to focus on more of your fan-made creations, namely fan music, fan films, and audio dramas.

Did you know there's a group of super-passionate fans who adapted all 3 Hunger Games books into audio dramas? If you haven't discovered The Katniss Chronicles yet, you're in for a treat.

Have you ever heard any fan made Hunger Games music? One tribute wrote gorgeous scores for all three books before the films came out. We'll introduce you to his music plus some of the other amazing fan made Hunger Games music and covers you may have missed. 

Did you realize how many fan made Hunger Games short films are out there? We'll spotlight some of our favorites. 

There are also some crazy talented amateur film editors in the fandom. As soon as a new trailer appears, one of you has re-edited it into something often more powerful than the original content.  We'll highlight some of those this week as well. 

As usual, with a new theme for the week comes a new giveaway. This week one winner will receive:

1 Limited Edition Skullcandy Mockingjay headset

1 Black Mockingjay pin

Enter the giveaway through the widget below. This giveaway runs from Wed, Sept 16 - Tues, Sept 22nd at 8pmET. The giveaway is open to international tributes. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday
Sep172015

The Genesis of One of Our Favorite Fan Creations - The Katniss Chronicles Audio Drama


By Bryant Dillon

I have always considered myself a hardcore geek. From day one, I’ve been an obsessively passionate fan. Whether we’re talking dinosaurs, Star Wars, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or one of the dozen or so other fandoms I hold close to my heart, once I’m hooked as a fan, I’m pretty much in for life and to the extreme. Still, I never could’ve guessed that I would be so in love with and inspired by a YA trilogy that I’d spend over three years of my life focused on fan-created adaptations of the stories that had captured my heart.

In all honesty, I was not prepared for how my life would change when my wife urged me to read a copy of Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games at some point during 2010. I'd always been drawn to geeky properties featuring strong female heroines like Ellen Ripley, Buffy Summers, and Sarah Conner, but I was blown away by Collins’ relatable, realistic, and capable depiction of Katniss Everdeen. In a pop culture spectrum filled with far too few female genre characters of substance, I was proud to see Katniss following in the footsteps of Buffy and Ripley and providing intelligent, well-rounded, and impactful heroines for today’s generation. In addition, I was personally overjoyed by the presence of a male character like Peeta Mellark, whose strengths were demonstrated not in some “badass” ability to crush or kill his adversaries, but rather in his empathy, understanding, and love for others. Peeta is a character who is not threatened or emasculated by being rescued by his female hero or submitting to her lead. In fact, he’s actually attracted to that part of her. Katniss, Peeta, Gale, Haymitch, Cinna, Johanna, Finnick, and the rest of the amazing cast of characters were incredibly captivating, as was the bizarre, deadly, and, at many times, beautiful, dystopian world Collins created.


After tearing through all three novels, I was thoroughly obsessed.  My day job at the time had me spending long hours in my car, and when I fortuitously came across the fan scores composed for Collins’ novels by the extremely talented Sam Cushion, the seed was planted. After weeks of driving through the hills of Los Angeles while listening to Cushion’s perfectly crafted scores and imagining the events from the novels like a private screening taking place within my head, I finally gathered the courage to approach a small group of friends and fellow Hunger Games fans (including lead actress Barbra Dillon, director Sam Rhodes, head writer Tony Caballero, and producer Rebecca Lear) with the idea of creating an audio drama adaptation of Collins’ novels. With our combined backgrounds in theater, production, writing, and more, I was certain it was within our grasp to do Collins’ stories justice in the audio drama format, and, fortunately for me, my friends agreed. It was an exciting time in the Hunger Games fandom, before the film version for the first book had even been released, and we were eager to add our vision of Panem to the fan community that was so hungry and so creative. Inspired by other fan projects like Cushion’s score and the short films by Mainstay Productions, we decided to attempt the ambitious and somewhat intimidating task of adapting the first novel. While we may have been overwhelmed at first, when we reached out to Cushion, and he generously agreed to allow us to use his amazing scores in the audio drama, it was the first of many times that the odds were in our favor during this journey. In early 2011, the five of us began building what would become The Katniss Chronicles, an unofficial, unauthorized, and completely fan-created audio drama that also serves as our heartfelt love letter to Collins’ beloved character of Katniss Everdeen and the brilliant novels she inhabits.



I have so many once-in-a-lifetime memories from working on The Katniss Chronicles, and I’m sure my fellow creators can say the same. I remember the tears of appreciation and joy the first time I heard Heart of Gold’s rendition of “Rue’s Lullaby.” I remember the excitement of listening to our actors perform the Capitol dialect (constructed by our fantastic dialect coach Paul Pakler) for the first time. I remember the awe and pride I felt when the audio drama and a number of its actors went on to be nominated and win several Audioverse Awards during numerous years.



As many of my fellow Hunger Games fans know, the fan community is incredibly responsive, warm, and welcoming. As the audio drama became more well known within the fandom, we connected with other pillars of the fan community, including The Hunger Games Fireside Chat, Panem Propaganda, the Nightlock Podcast, and many generous other fan sites and projects who’ve helped support and spread the word about The Katniss Chronicles. The audio drama even had the luck to be mentioned in the book, Fan Phenomena: The Hunger Games, written by Nicola Balkind. We were officially in print, and The Katniss Chronicles was officially part of Hunger Games fandom history!


As amazing as all of that was, it couldn’t compare to the feeling of seeing The Katniss Chronicles being accepted by the Hunger Games fans who listened to the series. The best moments from this project will always come from our connection with the fans and being able to bring this story we all love to life in a different format. Upon the release of the audio drama, the response was overwhelming and more than we ever could have hoped for. Fans all over the world, from California to the Philippines, spoke to us of their common love of Collins’ books, their appreciation of our efforts, and demanded to know if we planned to do more. Of course, we continued, completing the entirety of Collins’ trilogy the same week of the release of the feature film, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1. Even now, leading up to the release of the final Hunger Games film, we’re continuing to engage with fans through a new podcast series called TKC Revisited. Since this April, some of the creators behind The Katniss Chronicles and a number of fans have been re-listening to the entire audio drama at a pace of two episodes per week. Every Tuesday, we release a podcast discussing the episodes in detail, revealing behind-the-scenes secrets and examining thematic, plot, and character elements. A Katniss Chronicles fan group on Tumblr called Treasonous Transmissions has even started doing the same thing and added even more to the discussion each week. TKC Revisited is our way of celebrating this project and what The Hunger Games and the fan community mean to us as the Hunger Games film series reaches its climax. Every game has an end...

As I look upon what could be described as a symbolic setting sun on The Hunger Games franchise and fandom, it, like many things in life, feels bittersweet in the end. While I’m sad that we’re approaching the end of the pop culture cycle for one of my favorite fandoms of all time, I’m confident and satisfied with the work that has been done and how it will stand. Like Star Wars, Buffy, and the other fandoms I cherish, I don’t believe The Hunger Games will ever fade away. These stories and their characters mean too much to me and the other fans to simply be forgotten for the next exciting adventure sold to us. The impact of Collins’ stories and Jennifer Lawrence’s on-screen portrayal of Katniss will have a lasting resonance in not only geek and fan cultures but in our entire culture as a whole. Whether it’s the impact of the film series’ record-breaking profits for female-led genre films, the role model its heroine provides to young girls or the adoption of the three-finger salute by those fighting real-world oppression, Katniss Everdeen has changed the world.

All I can hope is that we at The Katniss Chronicles were a small part of that change and that our humble, little fan project will stand the test of time along with the rest of the Hunger Games franchise and fandom. What will definitively stand the test of the time for me will be the amazing efforts of the team behind this project and how grateful I am for their help in completing what can only be described as a true fan dream. Not only did my fellow creators, actors, and crew bringing Collins’ world to life around me with honor, dignity, and grace, but they also provided me with my most cherished and fulfilling creative experience of my entire life. Thank you, my friends who helped. Thank you, my friends who listened. Thank you to everyone in the fandom who carried a torch for The Hunger Games.

The torch will keep burning, my friends and the odds will forever be in our favor.
For more information on The Katniss Chronicles, please visit us at the following links:

 

Sunday
Sep202015

Our Favorite Hunger Games Fan-Made Short Films

This week in our 100 Days of Mockingjay celebration we're focusing on fan-made music, movies and more. If you haven't had a chance to check out some of the amazing fan-made Hunger Games short films that are out there, now is your chance. 

There are some truly incredible Hunger Games short films out there. Like fan fiction come to life, these independent filmmakers have taken stories from within The Hunger Games and adapted them for the screen. A quick warning: some of these films are a lot more graphically violent than The Hunger Games films are. 

Joshua Chislett is an independent film maker who made a great fan film about Finnick Odair's Hunger Games and a series of 6 shorts called Cirrus Quell, set 51 years before Katniss Everdeen stepped foot in the arena. These shorts tell Joshua's interpretation of the real reason the Quarter Quell was created. The playlist below features all of Joshua's Hunger Games films.

Some of our all-time favorite Hunger Games fan films were created by Mainstay Pro. They've done a beautiful Finnick and Annie web series, a powerful film about Haymitch Abernathy's Games and a sweetly moving film imagining an important moment between Katniss and her father. Check out Mainstay Pro's films in the playlist below.




Mockingjay Burn is an ambitious fan film by Leo Kei Angelos and Kristen Brancaccio based on a militarized Katniss & the District 13 rebellion. The film features the classic "If we burn, you burn with us" scene from Mockingjay. 

 

Be sure to enter our 100 days of Mockingjay THG Music, Movies and More Giveaway! You could win a limited edition Skullcandy Mockingjay headset and a black Mockingjay pin. Enter through the widget at the bottom of the post HERE.  

 

Monday
Sep212015

Vidding: Inside The World of The Hunger Games Fan Vids 

We're talking fan made music, movies and more this week in our 100 Days of Mockingjay celebration and today we're going to highlight Hunger Games fan vids. Vidding is basically creating new music videos from tv and movie footage. But there is nothing basic about what talented vidders do. Wikipedia says it well: "At their best, fanvids are a cross between narrative story-telling and visual poetry, a form of visual essay that uses the source material itself to put forward one aspect of how the author sees the source." 

Our guest poster and vidder, the incredibly talented Francesca (AKA Akai-Echo) gives you a peek into the vidder's world and shares some of her favorite fanvids.

I’ve always loved associating music with visual content. From my earliest memories I’ve always thought about a certain movie or show when listening to music.

I remember that I started to watch slide shows (90’s stuff where people used to put images with a musical background, in a pretty random way) about several TV series, and I thought: “Ah! If only it were possible to do this with actual footage!” Little did I know that it was indeed possible! As soon as I saw the first fan-made music videos (that’s what people used to call them) I knew I had to make my own! 

I was 14, I think, and the fandom was The X-Files. At the time finding clips to use was almost impossible, the quality was creepy to say the least, and you need to be very committed to do it! I discovered a whole new world, and I never left it.

Eventually, doing these fan videos led me to study video editing, and then it was my career for several years. I was a video editor specializing in historical music videos, and I had so much fun. Then the crisis came, and the job was gone (now I mostly do websites or any kind of graphic designs) but video editing will always be my first love!

Obviously my obsession with The Hunger Games was meant to be merged with this other passion! 

Katniss & Peeta | Sacrifice from *EchosVideos* on Vimeo.

I just can’t help it, every time I hear a song I visualize what particular scene I could use or what voice over would go along well with the melody. Like many other vidders, I always try to tell a story through my videos. I like to study the lyrics and create my own stories before, so that they will make sense with the music, rather than just randomly putting images on a musical background.

Katniss & Peeta | This Love from *EchosVideos* on Vimeo.

Once I even pictured a whole video in my mind long before doing it. I remember I was brushing my teeth (LOL) and listening to this song, when I started to think “this would be perfect for a Katniss’s POV”, and I imagined its entire concept right in that very moment. I started working on it, and it was finished within few hours (which for me is something, I think I’m the slowest vidder ever, I have the bad habit of re-doing things, deleting a lot and starting from zero over and over again).

A playlist of some of my vids below:

I get a lot of inspiration from other videos I find on YouTube, there are plenty of amazingly talented vidders out there, I just can’t believe they are not professionals! 

There are a couple of editors that are real gurus among the vidders community and I love to share them with you. I’d like to talk about this awesome French girl: TheGirlWhoWasOnFire. I’m in love with Jeanne’s style, which is very recognizable, and this is something remarkable. She makes dark, sometimes gloomy, hypnotic fan videos, and she deserves to be loved because she is amazing! Seriously, check her YouTube Channel out! Here's a playlist of some of favorites, but there are more on her channel. 


 

Daniela13 makes lovely Everlark videos. Check out a playlist:



FlowerKatniss (aka Alyssa) is amazing! Here's playlist of her vids:

 

MetroGirlzStation these two twin girls are very popular, in fact, they’re fabulous. Here's a playlist of some of their work:

 

Do you have a favorite THG vidder? Share them in the comments so everyone can check them out!  

And be sure to follow Francesca on tumblr here and subscribe to her youtube channel here.  

Be sure to enter our 100 days of Mockingjay THG Music, Movies and More Giveaway! You could win a limited edition Skullcandy Mockingjay headset and a black Mockingjay pin. Enter through the widget at the bottom of the post HERE.   

 

Tuesday
Sep222015

These ARE the Themes You're Looking For - James Newton Howard's Recurring Themes in The Hunger Games Scores

Guest Post By Courtney of Welcome To District 12

Katniss Afoot. Rue's Farewell. Searching for Peeta. The Cave. These are a collection of themes crafted by James Newton Howard that have evoked emotions in many Hunger Games fans since 2012. But did you know that we've been reliving them in every single THG film so far? 

Film composers often establish themes in scores to evoke an atmosphere, character, emotions, and in some cases all three. Then those themes get recalled in any scene to give the audience a subtle (or obvious) reference. A subtle reference might be hearing “Luke and Leia” when Luke realizes they are brother and sister, while Darth Vader whenever he walks into a room is what you'd call not so subtle. James Newton Howard employs this classic style of film composing in The Hunger Games. My name is Courtney, and I'm a die-hard fan of movie scores. Some of you know me from my fan site WelcomeToDistrict12.com, where I've done a few score analysis posts over the years. I'll be taking you all on a comprehensive journey of James Newton Howard's work on THG starting from 2012. If you happen to own the scores, feel free to follow along! We'll be exploring JNH's established themes, the recalls, everything that has given the world of The Hunger Games its own spectrum of color.

James Newton Howard. Photo by Rob Shanahan

THE HUNGER GAMES

2012 was an intense and electrifying time for the THG fandom. It was new, growing, and no one had any idea the global scale of what it would be come March. It was the calm before the storm and Danny Elfman was no longer doing the score four months before the film's release. The score is one of the last steps of the film process, so no one was too worried. However, this development definitely affected how much of JNH's score made it into the film. In addition to providing the base themes for the THG franchise, JNH borrowed from some interesting sources to fill in the gaps. You may notice a heavy use of silence in certain scenes. While they may be choices on Gary Ross' part, it's possible that was just due to the tight scoring schedule.

Farewell



Audiences first perception of District 12 is not one of JNH'S pieces but by Russian composer Evgueni Galperine. Fans will associate this music with a woman hugging her son before sending him off to the reaping along with other images of District 12. The first scene in which Katniss hunts also falls under this track. I find “Farewell” to be haunting, and the use of “Oohs” voiced by Mariana Tootsie is something that possibly influenced JNH later on. If you notice toward the end of the oohs, the musical notation sounds very similar to something JNH scores in Catching Fire (and ends up becoming an important theme). Oohs around 01:12 resemble a later theme in CF.

From this point forward we are going to take a look at the major themes established in order of appearance and why they are important to the emotion of the story. As we journey through the trilogy, you will begin to notice these themes being recalled in similar situations, in some instances to link them all together.

Follow along with the playlists for each film.

 


Reaping Day
The inciting incident for The Hunger Games (at least in my opinion) is when Peeta is reaped. Katniss probably wouldn't have had much issue going through the games if not for the internal conflict happening in her because the very person she owes her life to is her tribute partner. The piece “Reaping Day” signals the story's true beginning. It is filled with low strings for the dire nature of the situation, ending with this trumpet tune that gets repeated a few times in the future, usually in a pre-games/Capitol situation. 


Horn of Plenty
Did you know that the Capitol anthem was written by Arcade Fire? At the time, they provided the first song of the soundtrack with “Abraham's Daughter”, and, in addition, they wrote The Capitol anthem. We hear it first in the Treaty of Treason video shown in the District 12 reaping, and so forth in a few Caesar Flickerman updates, tribute parades, and sadly, the faces in the sky.

The Train
When Katniss and Peeta are escorted into the train, the score indicates a sense of wonderment about the delicate food and decor in the Capitol train, but does so with an obvious sense of what is terribly wrong. Yes, it's an amazing collection of high society, but these beloved new characters are walking to their death. JNH articulates that in this piece. In fact, this track is reused for a couple important plot points in the trilogy. 

Entering the Capitol
Fans need to pay attention to the beginning of this track. It is seemingly innocent in THG when Katniss and Peeta first arrive in the Capitol. It evokes a very foreign and almost creepy feel as freaky Capitol citizens ogle the tributes coming in, and will become an even more significant theme as the films progress. 

Katniss Afoot 
I find “Katniss Afoot” to be one of the most beautiful pieces by JNH, and sadly this is the only time it gets used in the trilogy so far. Before Katniss ends up running into the Careers, she hunts. This is where “Katniss Afoot” appears in the film, here and technically a little later on. The end of this piece has the main hook from “Searching for Peeta” most likely due to scheduling reasons. This track doesn't really have an overall significance to the movies, but I just think its so beautiful and definitely worth listening to. 

Healing Katniss 
Katniss is in a hell of a lot of pain in “Healing Katniss” and Haymitch goes on the search for sponsors to help her out. I really love the use of this song in this film, as it always pops up whenever Katniss is being comforted. First, Katniss receives her burn ointment, and later we hear it when Katniss is falling asleep in a tree with Rue. One is a physical comfort, the other mental. Keep reading to find out where this track appears in Mockingjay Part 1... 

Rue's Farewell
Okay, I cannot help but ugly cry when this song comes on my Pandora station (Skyrim radio), and I know I am not alone there. The beginning we only ever hear in Rue's death scene, but the second half is a theme that fans have come to associate with SADNESS. It gets used here, during the nightlock scene, and one other scene in Catching Fire that I just cannot handle. It's beautiful and sad, and I think that JNH really captures the emotion of this pivotal moment. I have always wondered if it was appropriate to use it in this scene AND the nightlock scene, but my guess is that they were on a time crunch. 

Searching For Peeta
Sometimes when a composer recalls themes in later movies, it is due to a character(s) being present, a specific location, or an event. Usually in this case people semi-interested in said film can recognize a character's theme. We'll touch on this theme later, because it unexpectedly shows up in the coolest place, as almost an easter egg for fans. 

The Cave
I'll admit that I wasn't entirely impressed with “The Cave” at first. It's pretty simple and unassuming, and let's be honest-- EVERYONE had ideas about how the cave scene was gonna go down. It wasn't until Catching Fire that we hear its true form, which is a lot more rich and elaborate. This theme is used for Katniss and Peeta scenes all throughout the films. We are going to be seeing a lot of different forms of Peeta in Mockingjay Part 2, so it will be interesting to see if it's used at all in the last film. From here on out, this theme will be referred to as “Katniss and Peeta”.

 

CATCHING FIRE

Catching Fire is the audience's first time experiencing a complete score for The Hunger Games. Whether it was due time restraints or budget, Catching Fire is the score that THG aspired to be. Francis Lawrence aka Savior of Fandoms gives The Hunger Games a vision that will carry it and dedicated fans to the end of the story. We didn't know it at the time, but Francis set up the building blocks of a cohesive vision for Panem. JNH also scored Water for Elephants, so the fact that Francis and JNH work well together is likely. James Newton Howard took the core themes from the first film, reworked them, and melded them into the new themes seamlessly. 

Katniss 
Catching Fire's marketing had Native American references in them, which makes sense given the use of the Native American flute in this track. The beginning of this song I have referred to as the “District 12” theme. It's the use of flute heard here and a few other spots for the next two films. In CF, it is always being used in or around District 12. In Mockingjay Part 1, it is used for an establishing wilderness shot of District 13.

I Had to Do That
This track may not seem to be one of the bigger tracks, but it's the first time we hear the theme which is probably repeated the most. I initially referred to this theme as “Katniss Ooh” (clever, right?). In fact, this is without a doubt the most important theme in the whole score collection. These “oohs” don't really show up until really important events, and it is always associated with Katniss. This, as you will see later, will be appropriately named The Mockingjay theme.

Just Friends
Here is the full Katniss and Peeta theme. It is heard here for the first time as it was meant to be heard, full of violins and a few other instruments. When I first saw Catching Fire, I didn't even notice this was a recall to “The Cave”. It wasn't until I did research for our site's annual score analysis that I figured it out, it was that much of a difference. Now, I adore this theme and am extremely excited to see how they will use it in Part 2.

The Tour
The beginning of this track is exactly like “Rue's Farewell”. It's when Katniss makes her speech about Rue. This scene has made me cry the hardest so far of the films. Katniss talks about remembering Rue: seeing her in the flowers that grow in the meadow, in Mockingjay song, in her sister Prim – LOOK CAN WE JUST TALK ABOUT SOMETHING ELSE?!

A Quarter Quell
When the Quarter Quell is announced, score from “The Train” starts playing. It's a beautiful track, but it's laced with negative tones. In this version, it ends with an even more sinister tone marking the announcement of what the Quarter Quell entails. There's also some symbolism is choosing “The Train” for this event because as soon as the Quarter Quell is announced, Katniss is mentally on the train to The Capitol already. 

Katniss is Chosen
The Mockingjay theme comes around again for this important event – Katniss getting reaped. All of Panem is catching fire (see what I did there) and District 12 is in quiet outrage. As the Everdeen family leads everyone in a three finger salute, the score swells to a triumphant, emotional, and undying theme. The notes in that section are the very same as those “Katniss Oohs”. In this form, it becomes the major theme of the films representing the events that lead Katniss towards finally deciding to become The Mockingjay.

I Need You
For the last Katniss and Peeta scene, JNH brings back the feels with “The Cave”. Audiences know it's the last real conversation they have for a long time, and it does not disappoint. The combination of Francis Lawrence's direction and James Newton Howard's beautiful composition makes this theme stick in audience's minds, so I really hope we get a recall in Mockingjay Part 2 at some point.

Arena Crumbles
Katniss comes to and the arena is beginning to fall apart. The Mockingjay Oohs begin and the theme slowly builds until the final moment when she is being airlifted out of the arena. When the song reaches the peak of crescendo, its a huge symbol for Katniss becoming The Mockingjay. Quite literally the position Katniss is in when she's being airlifted is that of a bird in flight during the climax of the film, which is reflected in the score. Watching this scene is the reason I categorize this as the Mockingjay theme. As you'll see soon, its used a few times in Part 1 and most likely will be used at least a few times in Part 2.

Good Morning Sweetheart
“Entering the Capitol” gets recalled here when Katniss eventually wakes up in District 13. She feels sadness, helplessness, and then at last – anger. Using a track used to portray the foreignness of The Capitol, Katniss now sets her eyes on The Capitol with much different intentions.

 

MOCKINGJAY PART 1 

 

The beginning of the end.

 

Katniss' Visit to District 12

The above title is not a track, but just a blanket title for the whole beginning of the film. Katniss visits her home and it's a terrible scene. The themes used in this section are District 12 and the Mockingjay theme. When researching for this overview of THG scores, it wasn't until seeing Mockingjay Part 1 that I concluded how JNH was using this theme. At first it started as a subtle theme for Katniss, but as the films have progressed it's gotten bigger and bigger and more symbolic.

Katniss and Gale Hunt

This isn't on the track listing, but I want to point out that JNH put “Healing Katniss” in the MJ Part 1 score very briefly. Fittingly it's when Katniss and Gale hunts, which is immensely therapeutic for Katniss. I doubt that this theme will show up a third time, but it was nice to see an older piece show up in Part 1.

The Hanging Tree

If you're reading this, I'm pretty damn sure you know exactly what this song is. There was a lot of hype around it, yet fans knew little about it before seeing Part 1. The Hanging Tree fused the talents of James Newton Howard and The Lumineers and out of it came nothing but perfection in my eyes. People may disagree with me, but “The Hanging Tree” is as beautifully as it is haunting. It's a very catchy tune and mostly acapella, so it's a great song to sing by yourself. Eh? What weirdo does that?

In the books, Katniss uses The Hanging Tree to compare her relationship with Peeta and Gale. The movie, however, makes it all about Panem's rising rebel movement. Francis really hit the ball out of the park on this concept, and I am counting on it showing up again in Part 2.

Victory

JNH brings back some elements from “The Cave” when Katniss sees Peeta for the first time. Way to rip out our hearts, James Newton Howard! This occurs a few scenes before the piece “Victory” begins. As the film segues into what will be Mockingjay Part 2, Coin makes a speech as Katniss seeks out Peeta in the hospital. On the first viewing, I did not notice all these little score references sprinkled throughout Mockingjay Part 1. However, this next part was instantly recognizable to anyone familiar with The Hunger Games score. “Victory” goes once again into “Entering the Capitol” similarly used in Catching Fire. But as Katniss slowly approaches where Peeta is being kept, an old theme creeps in. JNH, you sneaky bastard! “Searching for Peeta”, something we've not heard for two films, shows up and closes out Part 1. Just as Katniss was tracking Peeta in the arena, she seeks him out in the hospital. I call that a zinger, if you ask me.

NOVEMBER 20, 2015

There's more to come in Mockingjay Part 2! The scores for these films have finally reached a point where there's a library full of themes that can be recalled, and I can hardly wait to see what JNH has in store for Part 2. James Newton Howard has cultivated the perfect score for this franchise, and I am thankful we have had the same composer for all the films. It helps a lot with cohesion and it's allowed JNH to really develop his beautiful themes.

These are just the core themes that reappear throughout the films. Every film is full of beautiful pieces, and I encourage you to listen to them if you haven't already. You never know what themes JNH might throw in for Mockingjay Part 2. Looking back on all that James Newton Howard has scored for The Hunger Games films, we are so lucky to have had his talents for all the films and provided such amazing color with his music. Happy listening!


Be sure to check out Courtney's fabulous Hunger Games Fansite WelcomeToDistrict12.com. It's one of our favorites, run by the most passionate and knowlegdeable of THG fans. Plus, they're just the coolest of cool chicks. 

Don't own and of The Hunger Games scores yet? You can find The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay Part 1 scores on Amazon