April 06, 2012

INTERVIEW: Director Gary Ross talks not using voiceover in the movie, simplifying the mutts and message to Youth

A great 'Hunger Games' interview of Gary Ross with Screen Rant. It's a must read!
Screenrant: This was a tough nut to crack, obviously. The book is so Katniss-centric and relies on her particular understanding of how to play this game. Was there ever a point that you thought about voiceover narration to give us a sense of her internal dialogue? 
Gary Ross: No, never. Because I never wanted you to feel like you were in a movie. I wanted you to feel like you were in the games. I wanted you to feel like you were in her world. I wanted you to feel like you were in the Capitol. And the minute I engage in voiceover, I shatter that and I tell you that you’re in a movie and I create a distance I don’t want. I want engagement not distance. And I felt that I could convey everything, especially with an actress like Jen (Lawrence). I mean, I don’t need to articulate in text what Jen is more than capable of doing in subtext, you know? 
SR: Another thing that struck me as sort of a delicate balance is how far into the fantastical you go in the design of the world and the interpretation of the various pieces of science fiction and fantasy that are described in the book. For example I noticed that the “mutts” who appear at the conclusion of the games didn’t have the faces of the defeated (murdered) tributes as they do in the novel. 
GR: We made the decision that they not be specific tributes, because if we did it, we would have been a massive digression at a moment in the movie where I didn’t think it could have afforded that. You’re hurdling toward the end and that would have taken a tremendous amount of room at a time when we didn’t have it. However, I will say that all the mutts, if you really look at them, they’re really half-human and half-dog. If you put a mutt’s face next to a dog’s face, and next to a human face, you really will see that they’re a hybrid of the two. And so we were specific about that. The important thing about the mutts to me was, not specifically that they were tributes, but that they were a creation of the Capitol designed for this particular instrument at this particular moment in the games. And because we had the games and were actually able to show their creation, we were actually able to show them being birthed in that game center and then revealed in the games. We had the ability to do something by cutting away that a novel isn’t when it’s constantly maintaining Katniss’s point of view. 
SR: What would you like to see the younger audience take away from this ultimately? 
GR: “I think this is resonant for them. I mean, kids are faced with a difficult, cruel world, and the questions for them become ‘how do I stay human in a world where I have to claw for my own survival? How do I maintain my humanity? who am I in the face of this?’ I think this thing is inspiring. It’s about the power of the individual, about finding who you are as an individual, as it relates to the state, as it relates to your culture, about being able to maintain and be true to your own ethics and your sense of morality. About preserving your humanity. Do you preserve your humanity? It’s Nick Lowe and Elvis Costello, right? It’s like ‘What’s So Funny about Peace, Love and Understanding?’ I mean, it’s about empathy, care and compassion you know? Does that make you stronger not weaker? It makes Katniss stronger. These are a lot of interesting ideas.”
Read the entire interview here.


Post a Comment

Discuss with other Hunger Gamers: