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December 2013

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edit this The Hunger Games: Catching Fire L By MARC LOFTUS Senior Editor/ Director of Web Content Alan Bell comes on board for The Hunger Games' follow up. Much of the film was shot in Atlanta, with additional scenes captured in Hawaii. 10 OS ANGELES — Editor Alan Bell recently extended his working relationship with director Francis Lawrence, this time cutting the second installment in The Hunger Games franchise. Bell, whose credits include The Green Mile and The Amazing Spider-Man, worked with the director (I am Legend, Constantine) on the 2011 feature Water for Elephants. Lawrence has since committed to directing two additional installments of The Hunger Games, and Bell is already at work on the third release. The second film, Catching Fire, opened in theaters on November 22, and stars Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson as Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark, who've been targeted by the Capitol after their Hunger Games win. Here, Bell talks about working with the director — both in Atlanta, where shooting took place, and back in LA — and how he was able to put his own spin on the already-successful franchise. POST: Was it your prior relationship with Francis Lawrence that led to this collaboration? ALAN BELL: "Yes, I had done Francis Lawrence's third movie, Water for Elephants, and I really loved working with him. When I found out he got The Hunger Games, I was hoping and praying that he would ask me back, and he did. I hadn't read the book [but] said yes, based on our relationship. When I read the books, I was very, very pleased. It's a compelling story." POST: There are already additional films in the works? BELL: "He is actually directing the third and fourth, and I am currently working with him now on those movies. He didn't direct the first movie. It's a blessing and a curse to come behind someone else. You want to live up to your predecessor, and you also want to Post • December 2013 give the material as much justice as possible, and put your own spin on things. Hopefully we've accomplished that" POST: Does it help that the first film was so successful? BELL: "It was nice that there was a road map and all of these characters were solidified and presented in a way that we could expand on them, so we didn't have to do a lot September and shot all of September, October and most of November. Then they shot in Hawaii for six or seven weeks. I was in LA cutting while they were in Hawaii." POST: Did you work from home in LA or at a studio? BELL: "I do have a set up at home, but I rarely use it because studios are so concerned about security. You can't really put Catching Fire reunited editor Alan Bell with director Francis Lawrence. The two previously collaborated on the feature Water For Elephants. of work to create these characters, since that had been done in the first movie. Obviously, there are new characters introduced in the second film." POST: When did you get involved? BELL: "I was finishing up The Amazing Spider-Man when Francis called me and said that he was doing the film and wanted me to come on board. I took a few meetings with him and we talked about it. At that point, there wasn't a script that he was willing to spread out, so he said, 'Read the books. We are essentially going to make the books.' We had a couple of conversations about the movie at that point in time… I started about a week before they started shooting." POST: Where were you editing? BELL: "I flew out to Atlanta, where we did principal photography for the most part, except for a couple of weeks in Hawaii, which I didn't get to go to, unfortunately. This was literally last year. I left Atlanta about this time last year and went back to LA, and they all went to Hawaii. We started the beginning of anything on your laptop. The stakes are so high. We have an ongoing situation for post, and I can say it's on the West Side of LA." POST: I understand Catching Fire was a film shoot? BELL: "The movie was shot on film, so we went through a more traditional film to digital workflow. It was shot on film in anamorphic and in IMAX. There were a few spherical days as well, which were then blown up to IMAX, but the majority of the movie was shot in anamorphic 2.40:1 and IMAX, which is almost 4:3." POST: How did you receive footage? BELL: "The film went to Deluxe and was processed, and then Efilm scanned it and sent back dailies via their Eview system, as well our Avid bins and dailies, and our synched sound. And our assistants built bins for me." POST: Can you talk about your editing set up? BELL: "My system is a little bit unique. On that movie I started working on a 24-inch HD Cintiq tablet, which is a monitor that you can draw on. I used that, and I started using a gam-

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