It’s finally time for Mockingjay Part One, third installment to The Hunger Games Franchise to come to the big screen and fans couldn’t be more excited. Although the movie premieres in theaters on Nov. 21, the Hollywood premier was held on Nov. 18, at the Nokia Theatre in Downton, Los Angeles. I am not ashamed to say that, I am one of the fans who camped out at LA Live for the white carpet premier. Besides me, a group of die-hard Hunger Games fans camped out overnight for the chance to see the movie before anyone else plus; another upside to camping out was being able to see the movie with the cast and crew of the film along with watching the celebrities walk down the white carpet.
But everything comes with a price. I can honestly say, the movie was great, but our journey to get there was not easy. With a fan base as strong as the Hunger Games, no one can expect anything less than head strong fans that are willing to go to great lengths to see Jennifer Lawrence walk down the white carpet.
Our journey began at 1 a.m, Monday morning cuddled up on the floor with nothing but a blanket, my camera and my purse. There were about fifteen or so other people ahead of us and about six people behind us, but as the sun started to rise, the line began to grow and people started to arrive in bigger groups. It’s safe to say the streets of LA Live were filled with sleep deprived fans, searching for the only Starbucks that opened at 5 a.m. in that area. With word from security that wristbands would be handed out at 3 p.m. the fans had nothing to do, but get excited and wait anxiously in line. Some brought games, ordered pizza while in line, and others decided to walk to the seven eleven down the street to get some sugar in their systems.
Paulina Martinez, 18, from Redondo Beach shared that this is her third Hunger Games camp out premier that she has done.
“I really like to see the friends that I’ve made in this process and it’s really fun to be on the carpet and meet all the famous people but since I’ve done it so many times I usually only come to see my friends that I can only see at these events.”
Martinez shared that she had met 22 other’s the first year she had done this at the Starbucks where fans would wait for the event to happen.
“The first year we were here my friends and I started the line, we were 22 individually so we called ourselves group 22. So I have a whole family at these events.”
She also wanted to share that this experience is worth it.
“I just think at these events a lot of people are like ‘you couldn’t pay me to be here all night,’ but it’s like a mini vacation. It’s so worth it, it’s really fun. I wouldn’t miss it for anything.”
Martinez wasn’t the only one who had made friends at the premiers. Abbie Jauinto, 19 and Esther Jauinto, 23 from Long Beach as well as Alisha Esquerado, 15 from Whittier had been camping since 6am. They shared that they had met their friend, Jordan from Canada last year at the Catching Fire Premier but she couldn’t make it this year.
“So we brought her with us,” Abbie said holding up a poster with Jordan’s face on it. The three girls also shared what they were giving up on the lovely, Monday afternoon, which was school. Since they were missing school I asked them who exactly they were missing school for.
“Josh Hutcherson,” Abbie said.
“Jennifer Lawrence,” Esther shared as Esquerado takes a different road and responds with Donald Sutherland who plays President Snow.
Fans came from as far as New Mexico and South Carolina, to get a taste of this experience. Kasey Little, 16, Eliza Litsbaugh, 14, and Alexie Little, 13 all from South Carolina camped out since 3:30 am.
However, Kasey Little was in crutches at the premier so I asked her how it was being in California and at the premier not really being able to walk.
“It’s fine, it’s honestly just a lot of walking so instead we have to drive a lot of places. The premier isn’t too bad, it leads to sitting. Plus it’s not like the line is moving or anything,” Little shared on her experience in crutches well waiting for her wrist band.
As the clock got closer to 3 p.m., the fans got more and more excited and finally the hour came where we were allowed onto the white carpet and wait for the celebrities to start trickling in. The carpet event started at 6 p.m. and the actual movie started at 8 p.m. As the celebrities walked down the carpet, stars such as Joey Graceffa, Youtube sensation, as well as Mark Hoppus from Blink 182 showed up to see the film. Of course the cast of Mockingjay arrived as well and the fans went crazy asking for autographs and ‘selfies’ which some lucky fans did get.
As the madness died down on the carpet and all the celebrities were ushered in, we were given our white movie tickets and we were then escorted into the Nokia Theatre. Inside they have you check in your phone, no electronics are allowed in the theatre and you are ushered in to find your seats.
Before the film started the director, Francis Lawrence said a couple words about his experience with the cast and crew. Lawrence brought up the main cast on stage to thank them on letting him be a part of this amazing experience. As the speech ended the Mockingjay symbol came onto the screen and more than 300 fans were able to experience Mockingjay Part One before many others. Fans enjoyed the film and thought that it was heart wrenching and the acting was amazing, but I’ll leave you to pass that judgment when you all go see the movie Friday, Nov 21st
“May the odds be ever in your favor!”