People Staff
March 28, 2012 12:00 PM

SHOOTING ON LOCATION

“Asheville was a very magical place,” says director Gary Ross of the North Carolina town where much of the movie was shot. “The woods there had the right vibe for the Games, particularly since Katniss spends a lot of time hiding out in trees.” The region also provided filmmakers with other key environmental resources, including natural caves and raging rapids. Says Ross: “The river plays a huge part at the end of the movie, and there were phenomenal rivers and waterfalls where we shot.”

THE MAKING OF THE SET

“When you’re watching the Games, it will feel absolutely real,” says head production designer Phil Messina. “And during those times when you’re outside of the Games, you’ll see the mechanics behind them, which the tributes never get to see. That’s where the cool part is going to be for the audience.” As for the Cornucopia? “We built the entire thing,” says Messina. “It’s a gargantuan steel sculpture that we placed in the middle of a field. That was fun.”

MAKEUP SECRETS

“I wanted to completely blot out Elizabeth Banks’s skin tone to give Effie that sort of Kabuki look,” says head makeup artist Ve Neill (far right), who’s won three Oscars over her career, including one for her work on Mrs. Doubtfire. “On top of that, I airbrushed her with pinks and lavenders. I was kind of playing off of her wig colors to give her more pastel qualities.” How long did it take to transform Banks into the avant-garde diva? “About an hour and a half,” says Neill.

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