By Bill Desowitz | Thompson on Hollywood March 30, 2012 at 5:59PM
Without a doubt, the most fascinating design aspect of "The Hunger Games" is the futuristic control room, where the gamemakers not only keep tabs on all the Tributes but also stack the deck against Katniss whenever possible.
While the look of this survival-of-the-fittest, reality-TV nightmare evokes Hitler's Third Reich, the control room is actually the most futuristic component of the movie. This was crucial to director Gary Ross and VFX supervisor Sheena Duggal, who had only 23 weeks to pull off 1,200 total VFX shots on a very tight budget. But when Lionsgate enthusiastically supported a temp version of the movie early on, they increased the VFX budget, allowing Duggal to spread the wealth among a dozen more companies.
"There was such tremendous pressure on us that we were constantly looking for creative ways to make up for the lack of time and money," Duggal says. "And then we had to work really hard to come up with extra solutions and then sell these out."
She needed all her skills to pull off the look and functionality of the control room.