Hunger Games is scheduled to begin filming Monday May 23
Hickory Daily Record has the headline: Hollywood comes to Hildebran.
Henry River Mill Village is being transformed from a once-forgotten, dilapidated mill town to become part of a dystopian society.
Dingy clothes hang on a clothesline of an empty home. Windows of the houses along the road are boarded up with plywood. What appears to be an animal pen has been built against the side of one of the houses that fronts the road, and what looks like a rabbit hutch sits around back. Rusted farm equipment also is scattered around the property.
And it appears the old mill store is being transformed to become the site of the bakery for a film version of the book “The Hunger Games,” which has the working title of “Artemis.” Scenes for the movie are set to be filmed at the Hildebran site.
“The Hunger Games” is part of a trilogy of books from author Suzanne Collins that revolves around North America rebuilding after collapse. Other books in the trilogy are “Catching Fire,” and “Mockingjay.” The film is a Lionsgate production and Gary Ross is set to direct it, according to information on the Internet Movie Database.
Henry River Road, which runs through the heart of the village, was still open Thursday. State Department of Transportation officials said a part of the road would close Thursday morning for filming and remain closed until 5 p.m. May 26.
Brand Lingerfelt, chief of Icard Township Fire/Rescue, said filming at the site is supposed to start Monday and finish Wednesday. He said the road closed around noon Friday, except to emergency vehicles. But come Monday, the section of road at the village will even be closed to those, he said.
Lingerfelt said his fire department has worked out a mutual-aid agreement with Mountain View Fire Department while the road is closed.
A detour around the closed road will be 1.7 miles to get from Henry River Road to Interstate 40. The detour will go from Henry River Road to Costner Road to Old Shelby Road and back to Henry River Road, he said. Detour signs will be posted, according to state transportation officials.
Hilton said he was told that during filming, Henry River Road at the village will be covered with dirt.
The majority of the filming at the village will likely take place outside. Kristine Hilton said crews have been working to put a new front on the old general store — it has an awning and the windows have been replaced — but she said it’s her understanding that improvements aren’t being made to the inside of the structures. The word “Pastries” is now on the building.
So far, there have been no reported sightings of actors, and that might be the case throughout filming at the site. Folks who attempt to stop and linger near the site are told to keep moving. Security guards — off-duty officers with the Burke County Sheriff’s Office — are working at the location.
A light-blue, large container with the words “Rain for Rent” was at the location Thursday. Rain for Rent is an irrigation, liquid and solid handling business based in California with locations throughout the country, including North Carolina, according to its website.
Numerous local people say plans call for a structure in the village to be blown up.
Hilton wants to know when that’s slated to happen. The family has a skittish dog that runs away at loud noises. Hilton’s husband, Bruce, has been checking in with those working at the location to get some type of time frame of the expected blast so the dog can be secured.
Lingerfelt said an explosion will be simulated.
“There won’t be explosives used,” Lingerfelt said. “It’s all air pressure.”
Lingerfelt said crews have been testing, simulating an explosion for several weeks.
“If they (residents in the area) haven’t had a problem at this point, they’ll be fine,” Lingerfelt said.
Although the Hilton’s home overlooks the village, large trees obstruct the view. Kristine, who hasn’t read the trilogy of books yet, said she might be more excited if she could see more of what’s going on in the village. As it is, all of the activity is just a lot of noise.
Her sister-in-law, who lives in Ohio, has read the books and was visiting the area recently. She was so excited that part of the first movie in the trilogy will be filmed at the village that she had to snap some photos of all the activity before she left.
She has been encouraging Kristine to read the books.
“I probably will read them now just out of curiosity,” Kristine said.
Who is excited? Anyone going to check it out? Would love to myself but it is a tad far to travel during the work week ;)
If you do check it out let me know :)