Posted by: Jerry Garrett | September 19, 2013

The Hunger Games: CATCHING FIRE’s Secret Hawaii Filming Location

An early trailer of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire


So where in the world has The Hunger Games cast and crew traveled for their latest adventure, “Catching Fire“?

Here’s a hint: There are palm trees.

Here’s another hint: It’s not North Carolina, where the first film was set, in what will eventually be four flicks from the trilogy of Hunger Games books.

North Carolina struck some folks as an odd choice, but as we reported back then, money talked – and North Carolina out-bid places like New Mexico, Louisiana, Michigan and others for a chance to masquerade as various Panem locations, such as The Capitol, District 9 and others. Never mind that Suzanne Collins, the author who wrote The Hunger Games trilogy, envisioned a site in the Rocky Mountains!

The trailer at the top of this blog entry does a very good job of hiding any indication where scenes were filmed. The urban, industrial sites depicted were a mix of old clips from the first film, and new footage shot in and around Atlanta.

What you don’t see in that clip are any scenes that were filmed in Hawaii.

But the filmmakers and stars were pretty open about the fact they shot in Hawaii, on the island of Oahu, in late 2012 and early 2013.

The exact location, however, has been somewhat of a mystery.

Paparazzi photos show Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark in wet suits, along a rocky shore, with turquoise foaming surf all around.

Okay, then. Let’s narrow it down to Oahu’s North Shore – the home of turquoise surf!

Turtle Bay Resort

Turtle Bay Resort

But can you be a little more specific? Yes, we can: Let’s go to the very exclusive, very posh and very private Turtle Bay Resort.

The arena scenes, which depict such a foreboding, lifeless, barren environment are actually filmed right out in front of the resort! In the little north-facing cove on the side of the triangular resort’s main building. The larger, western point is called Kuilima Point. Do you know it?  It is a popular site for weddings. Maybe you got married there?

The little arm at the eastern end points to a surf spot called Disco’s. (It’s not “Turtle Bay” per se – that appellation refers to a larger area around the resort, which was built on part of the old Kahuku air field.)

If you were a lucky guest at the resort at that time, you could have basked on your balcony and watched the whole thing from a few yards away.

You just never know what it looks like behind the camera, do you? A five-star resort and spa. Amusing? To me, it is.

If you look closely at the photo above, you can see a calm, circular area, almost like a separate pool within the middle of the bay. That’s where the tribute stands were erected. In the background of several key scenes the little outcrop of rocks – right there past the tip of the bay’s northern arm – is clearly visible on screen.

How many lucky resort guests saw the cast and crew at work? Probably not a lot. Word got out that the production unit had booked most of the rooms facing that direction, and I believe the cast stayed in many of those rooms and the little bungalow type accommodations you can see in the horseshoe-shaped area at the back of the bay. Not exactly a long commute from dressing room to set!

Jennifer Lawrence told fanzines that they held some epic parties on the island after filming wrapped. One was so epic, in fact, immediately after her Oscar win in February she was photographed enjoying what appeared to be a fairly fat doobie.

Hawaii’s sure different than North Carolina, ain’t it?

Jerry Garrett

September 19, 2013


  1. I saw them film it

  2. […] The Hunger Games: CATCHING FIRE’s Secret Hawaii Filming – Sep 19, 2013  · An early trailer of The Hunger Games: … CATCHING FIRE’s Secret Hawaii Filming Location. … Oahu, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Turtle Bay… […]

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