Watch the Francis Lawrence Q&A from our IMAX Screening of ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2’

     December 24, 2015

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I’ll forever be grateful to Francis Lawrence and not just because he’s a cool person to talk to and a director I admire. I’ll be grateful because he agreed to be the first participant in our yearlong IMAX screening series.

If you didn’t know, we just announced a screening series that will focus on both classic and new IMAX films. The goal is to show a film every month in Los Angeles with a filmmaker Q&A and, when possible, do a meet-and-greet after the screening for attendees. Our first screening was The Hunger Games Mockingjay – Part 2 with director Francis Lawrence and we just announced our second screening, Captain America: The Winter Solider in 3D at IMAX headquarters in Los Angeles with Joe and Anthony Russo (click here to try for tickets). Since the majority of Collider readers won’t have the opportunity to attend these screenings, we will always record the Q&As and make them available on the site.

francis-lawrence-hunger-games-imax-screening-seriesWhich brings me to my Q&A with Francis Lawrence, which took place after our IMAX screening of The Hunger Games Mockingjay – Part 2.


Usually when I host a Q&A after a screening you’re given about 15 to 20 minutes. Standing to one side is a studio representative and everyone is worried about getting the person to the next event. So what was great about the Q&A with Francis Lawrence was we didn’t have a limited amount of time and I had the freedom to ask whatever I wanted without any sort of time restriction.

During the wide-ranging conversation he talked about the experience of making three films in three years, deleted scenes, IMAX, the story behind the ‘Batman v Superman’ billboard in ‘I Am Legend’, getting an R rating with the MPAA over an early cut of ‘Mockingjay – Part 2’ and grappling with the MPAA in general, taking inspiration from Ridley Scott’s ‘Alien’ for his sewer scenes, balancing the graphic content of the books with the PG-13 rating, the ultimate Hunger Games Blu-ray box set, and so much more. If you’re a fan of the Hunger Games franchise or Francis Lawrence, I promise you’ll enjoy watching what he had to say.

Again, a huge thank you to Francis Lawrence for being the first person to participate on our IMAX screening series. I’ll always be grateful.

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Francis Lawrence:

  • hunger-games-catching-fire-francis-lawrence-liam-hemsworth

    Image via Lionsgate

    The pressure of making three major franchise movies in three years.

  • What day after Thanksgiving did the family say, “When are you going back to work?”
  • Has there been any talk about one movie from Mockingjay – Part 1 and Part 2?
  • Has there been any more talk of the ultimate Hunger Games Blu-ray box set?
  • How many deleted scenes are missing from Part 2 and are there a lot of deleted scenes missing from your other films?
  • Did you ever feel there was a shot or a sequence that you wanted to do so badly but ran out of time and couldn’t do it?
  • How filming in Hawaii for Catching Fire slowed down production.
  • On collaborating with Jennifer Lawrence and what surprised him about her performances.
  • Film or digital, and why?
  • Is there an IMAX digital camera you want to use in the future?
  • Are you thinking about using IMAX cameras in the future, and what have you seen in technology that has really impressed you?
  • On the amount of takes he likes to do.
  • On shooting one shot more than 100 times while filming I Am Legend.
  • the-hunger-games-mockingjay-part-1-mahershala-ali-francis-lawrenceThe story behind the Batman v Superman billboard in I Am Legend.
  • What he learned in filming six movies, including three Hunger Games movies.

  • His experience working with Philip Seymour Hoffman.
  • What is it about The Hunger Games that resonates with so many people around the world?
  • Talking the balance of appeasing the book fans and making a movie.
  • The scene he shot but didn’t even include in the deleted scenes of Mockingjay – Part 1.
  • On possibly returning for the Hunger Games prequels and where he’d like to see the franchise go.
  • Would you direct another franchise?
  • As a director how do you know when you’re going to drop the hammer and when you’ve done it successfully?
  • On balancing the graphic content of the books with the PG-13 rating.
  • On getting an R rating with the MPAA over an early cut of Mockingjay – Part 2 and grappling with the MPAA in general.
  • On designing the mutts.
  • On taking inspiration from Ridley Scott’s Alien for his sewer scenes.
  • What’s the most common note you give to your actors as a director?
  • Who does he invite to his family and friends screenings?
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Image via WB


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