The state first took an interest in the movie in 2010, said Guy Gaster, production services executive for the North Carolina Film Office.
“A combination of the tax incentive, the state’s talented crew base and our diverse array of locations that matched the production’s needs all led toward them selecting N.C.,” he said in an email.
In 2011 — the first year a 25 percent tax credit was offered to film productions — the state’s film industry generated $220 million in spending.
“The Hunger Games” helped generate a significant portion of that.
Thompson Wall, a UNC sophomore who writes for The Daily Tar Heel’s Diversions desk, was also cast as an extra in the film.
Both he and Ferguson played “gamemakers,” or citizens who control the film’s titular event.
Wall, while thrilled to be in the film, said he found the movie’s selection of Shelby — his hometown — exciting but unfortunate.
“It was kind of depressing that they filmed the poor, impoverished state of District 12 in Shelby,” he said.
Ferguson said filming scenes took longer than he thought it would.
“For a three-second scene it took four hours with, like, 20 different camera angles,” he said.
“You don’t think that all those green screens can turn into that, so it’s really cool.”
Ferguson and Wall were told to make certain hand motions in front of a green screen, leaving it to special effects to translate those movements to actions in the film.
“We were told how the green screen would work, and there was a flat table and we could manipulate our little area to move a tree or throw a fire ball,” he said.
But even after all their time and work on set, neither Ferguson nor Wall know for sure if they will be featured in the final movie.
“I know the scene I was in, but I don’t know if I was caught on camera,” Wall said.
Senior Kristin Hardin, also an extra, is sure she’ll make it in the film after seeing herself in the film’s trailer and one of its posters.
Hardin played an audience member during a television interview with the winner of the Hunger Games.
“The whole scene was exactly how I had pictured it in my mind,” she said.
Friday’s premiere of the film will mark the first time that any of the three students will see the final product.
“The whole thing was so surreal,” Wall said. “I am going to see the movie by the end of the week and we are all going to make a huge event of it.”
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