This past weekend, I (@T_Mauricexo) was able to take a tour of the filming locations for The Hunger Games in Brevard, NC. Hunger Games Fan Tours offer tours into the heart of the “Arena” aka Dupont National Forest. Our first stop was Triple Falls. There are several scenes filmed at this one location, most of them revolving around Katniss looking for Peeta by the river. The first scene they filmed was Katniss hopping across the rocks right here:
The rising river has almost covered the rocks, but you can see the tops of them. When Jennifer filmed this scene, the river was a lot lower and calmer. The next scene filmed here is Katniss finding blood on the rocks. HGFT offers fans a great opportunity to try on an exact replica of Katniss’ jacket and pose in the exact same spot as Jennifer. It is definitely a must for any Hunger Games fan.
After trying on that jacket, I suddenly realized how hard Jennifer had to work. The jacket is basically 2 jackets and in the heat of the summer, it must have been sweltering. A few feet away from where Katniss finds Peeta’s blood is where she finds Peeta himself. There are actually a few funny stories from this spot including Josh laying on a snake and scaring a park ranger, but I’ll let you hear more about that when you go on your own Hunger Games Fan Tour
After a fun time at Triple Falls, we headed over to Bridal Veil Falls and one of the locations they filmed Jennifer running through the forest fire. Before we saw both of these locations, we stopped for a little Hunger Games training. In the film, you see Peeta use his creativity to blend his body with his surroundings. HGFT gives the fans a chance to try to blend their hand with a tree. You and your partner get to play Tribute and Stylist. I think my friend Jenna did a pretty good job, huh?
After our training, we started off into the arena once again to see our next filming location. This is a trail that was created for Jennifer to run down as she tries to escape the burning trees and ultimately lands in a pool of water down at the bottom. The rangers have since covered is up with trees to stop joggers from going off course. However, Jennifer herself had a hard time staying on course as well. The crew had created paths for Jennifer to run down, but once the woods started on fire and the smoke built up, she had a hard time seeing where she was going. She ended up just running wherever she could to get away from the flames. If you ask me, it added more to the film and made it seem more real.
Next up was Bridal Veil Falls. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get close to the falls due to flooding. These are the falls that the other tributes run across and spot Katniss in the water after she has been burned. The crew members used sand bags to divert the water to the pool Katniss would fall in to. However, once they did that the part of rock where the other tributes had to run across became very slippery. The crew installed boards and the cast had to run/jump from board to board which on film made it seem like they were being cocky.
Our last location was the second spot where they filmed Jennifer running from the fire. They installed fake trees next to real ones and brought in fake boulders for this scene. We actually got to touch a chunk of the fake boulders and they break apart in your hand, but look so real. When it came to the fire, they actually lit the forest on fire. They used propane because it burns up, however that didn’t stop the animals from fleeing. The crew had their fair share of encounters with North Carolina wild life including snakes and wild turkeys at the Cornucopia. When it comes to stunts, Jennifer Lawrence deserves an award. She did almost all of her own stunts in the film, including the fire scenes. The fireballs thrown at Katniss were not all CGI. They used a zip line to send down balls of fire at her. Once you visit all of these locations, you’ll be pretty impressed with Jen! She’s a tough chick!
After visiting the locations, HGFT treats you to a Hunger Games style lunch. We had goat cheese wrapped in Basil, Beef Steak jerky, Berries, Carrots, and Capitol Punch. We got to eat by this amazing lake in the forest with the other tributes.
To close out the tour, we got training in the slingshot and bow and arrow. It was definitely one of my favorite parts of the tour!
If you would like to go on your own Hunger Games Fan Tour, visit their website here: