‘Hunger Games’ Exclusive: Take A Tour Of The Capitol Like You’ve Never Seen It Before
There’s a new “Hunger Games” website launching later this morning, and I had the opportunity to take the grand tour yesterday before they flipped the switch. Find out all about the new hub for all things “Hunger Games” related, including an exclusive pic and some easter eggs you won’t want to miss!
There’s only a few more days until the theatrical release of “The Hunger Games” nationwide. But your wait to visit the Capitol is over! The Capitol Tour website was designed to be the central hub for all things relating to the movie (but not just the first movie). In addition, the interactive features of the site go leaps and bounds ahead of anything that has been done before on a movie website. And as if that wasn’t cool enough, there are several media clips that you haven’t seen (or heard) before that are live on the website. Let’s take a look at each section that was available for my review yesterday, and then we’ll revisit the overall impression the site makes.
The Welcome Center
Once you’ve logged on to the site, you’ll be taken (via train, of course) to The Welcome Center. Here, you are greeted by a fashionable lady in turquoise who will be your tour guide throughout your visit to the various areas of the Capitol. If you take a few minutes to look around, you’ll see the train come in, as well as a few airships flying in the background. You’ll also see familiar characters in the scene, such as Haymitch Abernathy and Effie Trinkett. Hover your mouse over them to get some info on the characters.
Upon closer inspection, you’ll notice that there are slight animations built into the scene. The dogs tails are wagging ever so slightly. Haymitch’s coat and watch fob are dangling in the breeze. Effie’s dress is sparkling. These are examples of a type of animation called “cinemagraph.” With subtle changes in the image, the illusion of movement is created. It’s a rather nice touch.
Your next stop is the Guide. You can always access the guide from the lower-left corner of the screen. Once the guide pops up, you’ll see a selection of tiles. You can also scroll to the right to see more places to visit from within the guide. As a side note, the website was designed in partnership with Internet Explorer 9, which is why that is the recommended browser. Having also checked out the site in Chrome, I can say it works just fine. Now that you know that little bit of information, it will come as no surprise that the inspiration for the tile setup came from the new Windows Metro interface.
The Control Room
Once you enter The Control Room, our lovely tour guide is waiting to brief us on the usefulness you will find here. As you probably already know, this is a pivotal location in the book and movie. From your station here, you will be able to view the map of the arena, just as Seneca Crane does. If you’ve registered and connected with your Facebook account, you’ll see more familiar faces here. Drag and drop them in the center to see their visitor info. In fact, the social element plays a heavy part throughout the site, where you’ll find your friends hanging out all over the place. Highly recommended for citizens to take part in the social aspect of the site!
Okay, we’ve covered a couple of bases so far. Are you ready for your first easter egg? While you’re in The Control Room, type “ivolunteer” (without the quotation marks) on your keyboard. If you do it right you’ll be treated to an exclusive, never before seen clip from the Reaping. But don’t stop here! There’s still more to check out.
The Avenue of Tributes
The next stop on our whirlwind tour is The Avenue of Tributes. You’ll find it on the second page of The guide. Once you enter this part of the tour, our guide will be there once again to fill you in on what to expect. Be patient and wait until she finishes, and you’ll be treated to something special. Watch the big screens and you’ll be able to see and hear the official address from President Snow for the first time from start to finish.
Now don’t leave just yet! Take a look around and see who else is here. Yes, you’ll find Katniss, Peeta, and Cinna in the foreground. Hover over them for more info on the characters. Ah, but wait! It’s time for your second easter egg. Click on Katniss and Peeta and you’ll be rewarded with a special never-before-seen video clip. Now you can go back to the guide and explore the rest of the site.
There are still some areas of the site that are not “authorized for citizens” at this time, but I’ve been assured they are coming soon. Of special interest should be The Training Center, where we’ll get to see the tributes as they train for the Hunger Games.
The overall look and feel of the site is unlike any other movie site I’ve ever seen. Using HTML5 ensures cross-browser compatibility and although there is a heavy Microsoft IE9 influence (the logo is all over the place), it’s only natural since they worked with Lionsgate on the website development. The media that is currently available on the site is phenomenal, with loads of pictures and all of the trailers and TV spots we’ve seen thus far available for viewing. The transitions on the site are pretty snappy if you’ve got a decent internet connection and computer system. Slower connections and systems might see some lag, but my experience was good.
As the movie moves forward and plans are made for “Catching Fire,” this site is designed to stay the central hub for the movies, much as the Capitol remains a central part of the series. It will be interesting to see how the site progresses with the addition of new content. Overall, The Capitol Tour was better than I expected, and definitely raises the bar for all other movie websites. If you’re even remotely interested in “The Hunger Games,” and especially if you’re a fan, you should go check out the site. It’s a one-of-a-kind movie site that fans are going to love, and everyone should experience.
Once you’ve checked it out, come back and let me know what you think in the comments!
Official Synopsis: Every year in the ruins of what was once North America, the nation of Panem forces each of its twelve districts to send a teenage boy and girl to compete in the Hunger Games. Part twisted entertainment, part government intimidation tactic, the Hunger Games are a nationally televised event in which “Tributes” must fight with one another until one survivor remains.
Pitted against highly-trained Tributes who have prepared for these Games their entire lives, Katniss is forced to rely upon her sharp instincts as well as the mentorship of drunken former victor Haymitch Abernathy. If she’s ever to return home to District 12, Katniss must make impossible choices in the arena that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.Tags : catching fire, elizabeth banks, hunger games synopsis, hunger games trailer, Internet Explorer 9, jennifer lawrence, josh hutcherson, Lenny Kravitz, liam hemsworth, Lionsgate, mockingjay, stanley tucci, the capitol tour, The Hunger Games, Wes Bentley, willow shields, Woody Harrelson
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