The official trailer for “The Hunger Games”
Where was the movie, “The Hunger Games“, filmed?
The short answer is North Carolina.
The longer, more detailed answer takes a bit more explanation.
First, why North Carolina? It certainly wasn’t the setting of Suzanne Collins’ trilogy of novels upon which the movie is based.
That all occurs in fictional Panem, in some post-Apocalyptic world. Indeed, the Capitol is supposed to be located in the Rocky Mountains.
The answer is money.
A couple of years earlier, North Carolina decided to follow the lead of New Mexico, Puerto Rico, Pennsylvania, Louisiana and others in offering generous (some say “lavish”) production incentives to film makers. Filmmakers are eligible for a refund on 25 percent of salaries and money they spend on taxable items in North Carolina. That can be worth up to $20 million per film project, said a recent press release from state government.
For a film like “The Hunger Games”, which had a rather modest $78 million budget, the film tax credit was a significant chunk of change.
The governor, Bev Perdue, said in early March – a couple of weeks before the film opened – that “119 films are now under way in North Carolina.”
Film industry spending increased in the state from $75 million in 2010 to $220 million in 2011 ($60 million of which came from “The Hunger Games”). The financial incentives to film makers are being paid by the state’s travel and tourism industry.
Charlotte – This area was where the fictional Capitol was located. Many different scenes were filmed here, at a variety of locations, including the more futuristic-looking buildings downtown. But frankly, anything of actual Charlotte was pretty much obliterated by the computer-generated filler (especially the “mountains”) shadowing every structure.
The Avenue of Tributes scene was shot in the Charlotte Convention Center, but as you can see from the photo above much CGI embellished the setting.
The Knight Theater at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center was the site of the tribute interviews with Mr. Blue Hair. A decommissioned Philip Morris plant in nearby Concord was private enough – away from fans who mobbed filming sites – for interior scenes, such as Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) being marched around by stormtroopers from one set to another.
(Speaking of Charlotte, epicenter of stock car racing, NASCAR fans may notice the similarity hovercraft seats have to those in stock cars; incidentally, a colorful former driver, Soapy Castles, was a stunt performer in the film.)
The site is closed to the public, but there’s a new Hildebran Heritage Museum if you want to get a better idea of what “District 12” looks like.
DuPont State Forest– Waterfalls abound in this 10,000 acre forest, south of Asheville in Transylvania and Henderson counties. Check out some of the most famous Bridal Veil, Grassy Creek, High, Hooker, Triple and Wintergreen. Find the real landscapes which pretended to be artificial Arena settings in the movie. The fireball sequence was filmed here. Katniss’ pond was also in this park.
The park gets its name from the DuPont company, which used to own the land and use it for an x-ray film production facility.