MTV’s Josh Horowitz exchanged some emails with director Francis Lawrence last week, and the emails were published for fans to read because they give a lot more insight into his response to the film’s success, among other things.
Regarding fan response to the film:
I am really pleased with the crowd reactions to certain moments in the film… I am really happy that the Johanna scenes get great laughs. I think she’s one of the standouts in terms of new characters and am really proud of her scenes.
I think the reaction that surprises me the most is the cheer at the moment Katniss shoots the forcefield near the end of the film… It’s such a tricky moment (story-wise) and is such a risky move for her character that I was never quite sure that it would get that kind of response, but it makes me very happy.
On the evolution of the final scene of Catching Fire:
The final shot actually became a moment that both Jen and I discovered on set. The scene was always in the script and it pretty much plays out as it does in the book except for the final moment. In the book, Katniss breaks down at hearing of the loss of District 12 and that’s what we started to shoot. Then around take five or six of a close-up of Jen, she did something very cool. She went through an entire range of emotions. She started to break down and then became angry and defiant. I thought it was an incredible choice that she had made and it was at that moment I decided to add a shot with the camera straight overhead and with her look very nearly into the lens.
Discussing if he put anything in the Catching Fire film after he signed on for Mockingjay 1 & 2:
Once I signed on for the last two films, I definitely started to think of how the story was going to affect the upcoming chapters. But most of what I would have dropped in was already written in the book. I find that in working on the “Mockingjay” films that I constantly go back to “Catching Fire” and pull things from that film and story to inhabit these stories… locations, characters, and some certain aesthetic choices.
Read the full email transcripts here.