Hitting the New Year kind of feels like rounding third for The Hunger Games. Since the start of 2012, on top of being named one of the most anticipated films of 2012 on countless websites, the Lionsgate promotional team has kept us particularly busy and the stars and filmmakers are out and about more than ever.
We’ve got Elizabeth Banks’ Lucky Magazine cover and the release of the ALA poster and bookmark as well as a number of TV appearances including Woody Harrelson on Jimmy Kimmel tonight followed by Banks on the 24th, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth and Jennifer Lawrence are set to attend tonight’s People’s Choice Awards and, of course, there’s Lawrence’s big day announcing the Oscar nominations.
If that’s not enough, there are some rumblings over at TheCapitol.pn. First there was the announcement of the poster giveaway. If you submit a “gift or letter of support to the tributes of the 74th Hunger Games,” you put yourself in the running to snag a character poster. Then there was the message from President Snow simply touching base in the New Year followed by another asking citizens to show their devotion to Panem by tweeting their name and a word of pride followed by their District’s hash tag and #HUNGERGAMES74. Soon thereafter came the unveiling of CapitolCouture.pn. Well, the unveiling of the URL at least. The new site is still password protected, so hopefully President Snow will be generous enough to drop some hints in the coming days so we can finally get a peek at what likely has something to do with the Capitol’s unusual and eccentric fashion trends.
The Girl Who Was on Fire is Back for More
In the meantime, how about an update from Leah Wilson, the editor of The Girl Who Was on Fire? Smart Pop Books has an excellent approach to delivering products because not only do they have a slew of books covering a wide range of material in the pop culture, TV, book and movie realms, but their formula is also conducive to expansion, giving them the opportunity to create more products and helping us keep insightful conversations flowing. The next step forward for The Girl Who Was on Fire? A movie edition of course! Check out everything Wilson had to say about the upcoming book and be sure to scroll to the end of this article because we’re ready to parachute some Hunger Games goods your way.
Movies.com: What exactly makes the “Movie Edition” different from the original Girl Who Was on Fire?
Leah Wilson: The first difference between the original and Movie Edition of The Girl Who Was on Fire is the addition of three new essays from three fantastic YA writers - Brent Hartinger on Mockingjay’s mixed fan reception, Jackson Pearce on Gale, who didn’t really get the discussion he deserved last edition, and Diana Peterfeund on game theory and using it to understand why Katniss was so successful in the Hunger Games. The second difference is something that only applies to the e-book version, an additional section with our authors’ thoughts on and reactions to The Hunger Games film. We’ll be compiling, editing, and sending this content to e-book buyers as fast as we can the week after the film premieres. Some of our authors have scheduling issues or aren’t in the US, both of which pose a bit of a challenge for this, but we’re trying to get creative in hopes that everyone will be able to take part. Altogether the Movie Edition should include around 20,000 words of additional content.
Movies.com: Is there an additional focus on what it means to adapt a book to film?
Wilson: I can’t say for sure yet, but I very much suspect we’ll see that touched on many times, if not discussed in-depth by any one author in the additional content come late March!
Movies.com: What’s the general consensus from your contributors? Do they have high hopes for the film?
Wilson: From the conversations I’ve had with them so far, absolutely!
Movies.com: Are there any particular concerns the large majority mention?
Wilson: Not that they’ve mentioned, at least.
Movies.com: What exactly does it mean to publish a new edition of a book? Are there minimums that need to be met?
Wilson: Yes and no. There’s no hard and fast rule about what makes something a new edition, at least that I know of. The people in charge of handing out ISBNs say any revised book that involves “substantial” changes requires a new one, but they aren’t specific about what that means. Sometimes it’s as simple as a new foreword from the author or an introduction by a big name; sometimes it’s changes to specific content to bring it up-to-date when time has passed and things have changed; sometimes it’s adding whole new chapters. Sometimes it’s just changing the packaging, like the cover - though a cover change alone probably doesn’t pass the “substantial” test.
The point of new editions, though, is usually to get people - readers, bookstores, media - excited about a book that’s been out for a while. The publishing industry moves fairly fast, in this respect. The amount of time a book is considered newsworthy is really only a few months, which is particularly short compared to the amount of time that can go into creating it, so it’s nice to have a way to give a book new life!
Movies.com: How about that Booster Pack? What made you decide to release that, too?
Wilson: A lot of people think the point of new editions is to squeeze more money out of the people who bought the first edition. I think that’s rarely the actual reason behind the decision, but I imagine it’s usually an unfortunate side effect. I didn’t want to punish, however unintentionally, all the readers who bought the first edition, and given the increased prominence of e-books and the nature of our new content, discrete pieces that stand on their own, an e-book “Booster Pack” made a lot of sense. It provides a great opportunity for us to make the new content available to those original readers without making them buy the original book all over again.
Movies.com: Why make that an e-book and not publish hard copies?
Wilson: A couple of reasons. First because more than a third or more of its content wouldn’t be available until the end of March. It’d be a pretty short book! Second, I’m honestly not sure bookstores would want to stock it in addition to the full book. Admittedly, though, we didn’t ask. Maybe next time!
Movies.com: I imagine there will be many more opinions floating around out there after the film’s released; will you publish another edition then?
Wilson: This is exactly why we wanted to do the additional, delayed delivery section with our authors’ thoughts, because the time you want to read about a movie is right after you see the movie. The big problem with movie tie-ins is that they really have to be available when the movie opens, and to do that, they have to be edited, typeset, printed and shipped well in advance. Publishing a book takes time, even on a crazy rush schedule. e-books let you take a big chunk of that time out of that equation, but not all of it.
The way we’ve set up the e-book version of the Movie Edition lets us have our cake and eat it too. You can read the book while you’re waiting for the movie to come out and then come back to it after you see the movie to find out what our authors thought about how the ideas in their essays played out on the big screen. I know I always find myself wondering about what our anthology authors would say when I’m reading a new installment in a book series or watching a new episode of a television show, and I’ve heard the same from some of our readers. I’ve wanted to figure out a way to fulfill that desire effectively and creatively for a while as part of the book “package” itself rather than, say, just an entry on our blog. E-book distribution is really just starting to provide a relatively efficient way to do that, and I’m excited about this small, experimental move in the direction of taking advantage of what the e-book platform has to offer.
Movies.com: And how about the second, third and fourth films? I know it’s tough when you don’t know if they’re a sure thing, but do you have some sort of rough draft of your plan of action from here out?
Wilson: We’ve been playing with the idea of continuing what we have planned for this first movie with the others, for one, making it a regular thing. New Hunger Games film, new thoughts from our writers. But whether that happens depends a lot on how well this experiment goes!
I can also say that we have another Hunger Games book in the works called The Panem Companion due out in December 2012. This one’s by a single author, V. Arrow, who Hunger Games folks may recognize as one of the brains behind the great fan map of Panem. She’s put together a really impressively in-depth book on Panem, the Districts, and their impact on the lives of the tributes and other characters including a fully illustrated, fold-out map updated from her original plus an extensive etymology of character names. There’s an excerpt from that etymology included in the print and e-book editions of The Girl Who Was on Fire, but we’ll also be sending the glossary pages out to the book’s update list, which readers can sign up for on our website.
Movies.com: Would some sort of Hunger Games study from the cast and crew of the film be a possibility?
Wilson: If they’re interested, have Lionsgate and their agents call us!
Movies.com: As a Hunger Games expert and fan, how are you feeling about how the movie looks so far?
Wilson: I’m feeling really great about the movie, from what I’ve seen so far. I thought the trailer looked incredible, not just the visuals, but in terms of the scenes and details they chose to show and how they presented the story for newcomers. There’s a lot they could have done that would have felt like a red flag - focusing heavily on the love triangle, for one - and I think they managed to avoid all that nicely. And if just the trailer made my heart squeeze in my chest, I can only imagine what the actual film is liable to do to me. But I can’t wait!
The Girl Who Was on Fire Giveaway
Interested in checking out some of the new Movie Edition of The Girl Who Was on Fire? You can read the introduction and a full sample chapter when you sign up for the Girl Who Was on Fire update list right here. Like what you see? We’ve got five copies of The Girl Who Was on Fire to hand off to you. All you’ve got to do to enter is tell us what you’re most looking forward to in 2012 Hunger Games-wise. And no, the release of the feature film doesn’t count! Don’t worry; there are no right or wrong answers here. Simply put your entry in the comment section of this article by Wednesday, January 18th and we’ll select five winners at random. Be sure to comment using a valid e-mail address so we can get in touch with you should you win a book.
May the odds be ever in your favor!
The Hunger Games Countdown runs here on Movies.com every other Wednesday. There are 71 days until release.