Veering from the book, Katniss finds the pin at the Hob. Jeweler Dana Schneider used 22-karat gold-plated sterling silver, “aged to look old and forgotten,” she tells PEOPLE.
The rebellion’s info center “was a completely working prop,” Charles Gibson, visual FX supervisor, tells PEOPLE. “It couldn’t actually project a 3-D hologram, but it cast light. So it felt like the actors were working [with] something real.”
“We had bread baked in North Carolina and used a torch to burn them – very low-tech,” says production designer Phil Messina.
Seeing as there’s no such thing, the crew dyed real (non-poisonous) berries to look venomous.
“We went through hundreds and hundreds,” says prop master Drew Petrotta. As they wilted under hot lights, “we had to get mass quantities.”
Messina says he told director Gary Ross, “This is the thing that scares me the most, because I don’t have a handle on how this would look.” Based on Collins’s description, “we needed it to look sinister, not like a Thanksgiving cornucopia. I came up with a version broken into hard angles.”
Petrotta made Peeta’s manacles in a rubberized felt that allowed Hutcherson to move and catch himself, even as others control him.
They’re not onscreen for long, but these deadly insects “were based on amped-up wasps,” recalls Messina. Using the model above, they rendered a computer-generated swarm.
THE BOW & ARROW
Although Lawrence studied archery, Katniss’s arrows were absent on-set and added digitally. “For a host of reasons. Safety is a big one, because the camera is always in front of her,” Gibson says. “Jennifer [Lawrence] is very good at pretending.”
Read up on everything you ever wanted to know about Peeta, Gale, Katniss and more in PEOPLE’S Special Edition HUNGER GAMES: INSIDE ALL FOUR MOVIES, on newsstands now.