The Incredible Hunger Games Portraits You Haven't Seen Yet
THE BEAUTY OF THE HUNGER GAMES
Tim Palen's side-gig photographing movie posters came about by accident: The director of 2003's Wonderland chose the "scrap" photos Palen shot in order to guide the publicity department toward his vision for the official poster. These days, Palen only steps behind the camera "when I think that I spark to the movie, and I feel I can bring something to it and I feel it's a good fit for me." That's just how he felt about The Hunger Games franchise. After shooting ad campaigns for all four films, Palen has collected the portraits into a new book, Tim Palen: Photographs From the Hunger Games, out July 29 from Assouline. And if you really can't get enough of Palen's work, Assouline is releasing a smaller, specially bound edition that they hope to have out in time for Mockingjay – Part 2's release on Nov. 20.
KATNISS & PRIMROSE
The striking shot of the Everdeen sisters (formally titled "The Sister Portrait") marks the only time that Palen has ever photographed Willow Shields. The photographer was only set to shoot Jennifer Lawrence on the set of Mockingjay – Part 1 in Atlanta, but when he found out that Shields was filming that day, Palen felt he needed to get a shot of them together. "In Suzanne Collins's books, their relationship is really the heartbeat of the book series and movies," he said. "It really tracks back to this reluctant hero who makes the biggest sacrifice for her sister. It was prophetic that we would happen to get them together on the day Jennifer Lawrence became the Mockingjay."
Lenny Kravitz also praised Palen's understanding of the series and its characters: "I recognized what Tim's influences were when I first met him. We understood each other, and when I saw what he had shot, I realized who he was. I was like, 'Okay, this guy knows exactly what he is doing and is so on-point.'"
"Incredible. She gives such levity and light to the series. And when you get deeper into the movies, she gets more crucial because of that fact," Palen explained about this portrait of Elizabeth Banks. "Suzanne Collins called Catching Fire the book of color: 'Don't be afraid to use color in the campaign for this because it might be your last chance.' It was so great to have Effie really make that strategy really come to life." Banks wore an original by costume designer Trish Summerville, which Palen called one of his favorites. "Every time Elizabeth showed up on set, it was [like] Tinker Bell had shown up."
Like Banks, Palen praised Woody Harrelson's ability to inhabit his character in every way, as he did for this Catching Fire-era portrait. "He was always very Haymitch. When Lenny Kravitz shows up, he's the coolest man on the planet, and he's full of style and reeks sex appeal, [and] Elizabeth Banks is this crazy cartoon character," he said. "Woody Harrelson always showed up as Haymitch, in a good way. It made everything really easy and really efficient."
Hunger Games fans, this one's just for you! Pay close attention to the costume worn by Jena Malone: "Trish Summerville made every costume have something directly related to the district they were from, and her neckline is made out of cork because she's from the lumber district. And her bracelets and maybe earrings were made of nails."
Shooting Sam Claflin for the Hunger Games publicity campaigns is apparently a breeze (surprise, surprise). Palen called the actor "a natural. He never wanted playback. He'd say, 'I know what I look like.'" But then again, he admitted, "It's impossible to take a bad picture of Sam Claflin."