The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games  book coverI went to the midnight premier of the Hunger Games and I have to say, I really enjoyed it.

For those of you that haven’t read or seen it, goodreads.com describes the story as follows:

“In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before-and survival.”The Hunger Games movie poster

I read the series of novels before I saw the film so I was a little skeptical going into it. In my experience, books are always better than the movies. Though, I would still say that in this case, the movie definitely stands on its own. The director of the film, Gary Ross, choose an amazing cast. Those I thought were of note included Stanley Tucci as Cesar Flickerman, Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark, Lenny Kravitz as Cinna and Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernathy. However, Jennifer Lawrence, who played Ka.tniss Everdeen, was by far my favorite actor in the film. A lot of character development from the book had to be left out of the film but Lawrence was able to convey so much of Katniss’ character through her eyes and actions.

The Hunger Games cast

The Hunger Games cast

I completely agree with “Jimmy’s Sweet Blog” when he says, “The emotion and spirit of the books is what shined the most.  It was obvious that Gary Ross gets it.  The handheld camera technique really captured the way Katniss was feeling:  overwhelmed by everything, fighting for survival.  Also since we weren’t in Katniss’ head, some other scenes were added to clarify those things that were merely implied in the book.”

I’ve heard many reviews of people saying they were disappointed with the movie, and these reviews usually come froKatniss Three-Finger Kissm people who had already read the book. Although I was disappointed with some of the parts of the book the film left out, it isn’t possible to fit everything in to a two and a half hour movie.

Like Jimmy said, the film captured the spirit of the book, which is what’s most important to me. The fear, anger and confusion displayed in the book was brought to the screen. On the other hand, some of the things left out, I think, make it more difficult for anyone who hasn’t read the book to understand the movie at parts. For instance, when the three-finger kiss is shown in the movie, there is no explanation of it being the “kiss of death” and the implication it has.

I also agree with “Books: The cheapest vacation you can buy” when she says “Two major issues I had with the movie were that Rue wasn’t present enough and the cave scene was shaved down too much. These are two extremely important episodes within the novel, and they really needed to be played up more because many of the events rely on them, and I expected them to be a huge portion.”

Overall, though parts of the book were left out, I think the film did a great job and I am definitely looking forward to the next one. I would absolutely recommend seeing the film and reading the book. You just may want to see the movie first.

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Public relatons: Tips for books and films

Hello there!

Today is going to be a much different post. I’m going to be talking about how public relations is utilized in the film and book industries.

As I’ve said before, I’m a public relations major, so this kind of thing is pretty interesting to me.  I hope you like it!

Film

I’ve done a bit of research on how the film industry promotes movies using PR and there are a few key tips that come up over and over: (Disclaimer: a lot of the following pertained to independent films. However, I see the same tactics use on big budget picParanormal activity movie covertures as well.)

1. Use social media

Willis Wee wrote in his blog, Promoting a Movie Made Easy with Social Media, “Movie is social. Social is movie.” What he means is going to see a movie, and every step leading up to it, is a very social process made easier by social media. I agree. Think about it… before you even go to the theater you watch the trailer, read reviews, talk to your friends about what they think of it and then plan to go see it. Now, every step I just listed can be done online through social media sites like Youtube, Facebook and Twitter. Whoever had the idea   to use social media to promote Paranormal Activitythrough social media was a genius. I heard more about the film on Facebook than I did through any traditional media source (TV, newspaper etc…).

Anthony Mora adds in his blog, Promoting Your Movie via the Media, that another good use of Facebook is to run ads on Facebook and Google.

2. Make a press release

A press release is the information about your film you send to the press (radio, television, newspapers etc…) when you want to start promotion. It’s free and the press can help promote your movie to millions of people.

Guerilla-filmmaker.com says this about press releases:

The key to the press acting on your press release is to have a hook. In the case of local press this might just be the fact that you’re local people making a film and for the local paper that’s newsworthy enough. However, for the national press to pick up on your film you will need a major hook.

I think this is a great tip. Many press releases are looked over if they are deemed “un-newsworthy.” That’s why having something attention-grabbing in yours.

3. Know your target audience/market

This is true in any PR campaign. You MUST know who you are trying to promote your film to. If you’re promoting a teen romance with vampires and werewolves, you probably don’t want to advertise your film in AARP’s magazine. According to Haute PR, “The most essential aspect of public relations is understanding your target audience in a better way. To understand your target audience better, you should know who your target audiences are. ” You should know your audience’s attitudes, opinions and  interests and they should correlate with what your film is offering.

Books

Just as with the film tips, these tactics were given over and over again.

1. Virtual book tours

Pump Up Your Book Promotion PR says that one of the best promotion tools they use is a virtual tour. Online book tours provide an opportunity for an author to get a lot more exposure than they might using only traditional media outlets. Tours last about a month and during that time, the author will be interviewed, write guest posts and have their book spotlighted or reviewed on blogs. I think this is a really cool idea and a great way to utilize the blogosphere. The other cool thing about this is that as long as the blogger keeps that post up about your book, you will have that exposure. It’s not a one-and-done thing.

2. Media coverageJ.K. Rowling signing books on tour

This is similar to the virtual book tour but focuses on traditional media outlets such as television, radio and print. Pam Perry, Book Publicity Coach calls media publicity “the icing on the cake.” It’s probably the biggest component of a successful book promotion. Assetebooks.com does say, however, that you don’t need to use all types of media to promote your book. Focus on the outlets that your audience will actually see. Which brings me to the final point…

3. Know your target audience/market

Once again, knowing your audience is a HUGE part of book promotion. It’s more than just knowing the market’s interest and opinions according to Pam Perry, Book Publicity Coach. You also need to know the author’s reputation in that market. “The author must create a market for himself by really addressing the needs of that market, knowing that market and communicating the right message to that market.”

 

Well, that’s all for today! I hope you guys liked the change. I won’t be positing for a couple weeks but my next post is going to be awesome! I will be posting about the Hunger Games film!

Jen