Filming the movie was all kinds of things, it was exciting for all of us who’ve been working on this project for so long, it was nerve racking for the performers, it was frustrating when we had to shoot and re-shoot because of minor problems (*cough cough* cast members talking loud when they weren’t being filmed *cough cough*), and it was time consuming. I somehow didn’t factor into my production schedule teen flakiness, the teen volunteers who worked on this project were dedicated, but they still forgot schedule filming dates, got grounded, and couldn’t get out of obligations they made after the fact (curse you driver’s ed!). With such delays and meeting times only happening once a week it took us well over 2 months just to shoot this bad boy.

Initially we tried to have basic costume design, I wanted to have all the tributes wearing similar outfits inside the arena, and I wanted capitol residents wearing fancy clothes. But since we didn’t have a budget for costume I was relaying on the actors remembering to bring what we had discussed, or what they had worn last week: I gave up on costume design quickly.

I took on the roll of director for this project manly because I didn’t think any of my teens were bossy enough to keep all their peers in line. My main goal for my actors was for us to have fun. I do have a theater background but character exercises just seemed like they’d put pressure on everyone, and really for a parody video they didn’t need to be inside their character’s heads. For most of my teens this was their first time acting, certainly there first time acting for a camera; what I wanted was for them to relax and embody the funny charismatic people they are in real life, that alone was REALLY hard for most kids once the camera was pointed their way.  But they rose to the challenge, and I think they did a wonderful job! If anything I would say I had to encourage my actors to amp it back down. For your viewing pleasure please check out an extended version of the Game Makers yukking it up during Katniss’s ranking:

Also here’s 2 actors freaking out about a small cameo we gave to the wizarding world:

We also scheduled a mini field trip to a near by city park, that is HUGE and wooded, and sort most of our arena scenes that day. During his off time one of my teens constructed a bow:

IT WORKED! See the magic of youth library programming, you start out thinking you’re doing artistic programming and it turns into DIY medieval weaponry!

I hope the previous clips gave you some idea of the fun we had while filming this video. To give you a wider scope of the hilarity please check out our blooper reel:

And always always always remember to join us for our digital premiere Friday at 5pm central!