Teens Make Hit Hunger Games Film on $30 Budget

They've made 9 more since, racked up 4.5M views on YouTube

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 1, 2013 2:29 PM CST

(Newser) – She gets stopped on the street sometimes, recognized for her portrayal of Katniss in a series of Hunger Games videos. No, she's not Jennifer Lawrence; her name is Maddie Moore and she's one of a group of teens in Charlotte, NC, that has been making videos based on the popular books since 2010. The idea came to them after they finished reading the series, but more than a year before the first movie came out. "It was like I never wanted it to end," Moore tells the Los Angeles Times. Their 10 installments have racked up 4.5 million views so far and have gained the teens a degree of celebrity.

The filmmakers were high school sophomores when they started the project, with a budget of $30. Moore's family farm, a nearby park, and cast members' homes served as sets; costumes were often sourced from Goodwill. When the videos started getting popular, Moore and two of her friends were invited to a science fiction convention to talk about filmmaking—and watch their mini-movies (each is about eight minutes long) on the big screen. So far, the teens haven't seen any money from the videos, but Moore has experienced one exciting perk: She was cast as an extra in the first Hunger Games feature film—and the director recognized her. Watch all the videos here.

A portion of the 'Hunger Games' book cover.   (Amazon.com)
  (YouTube)
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The first video.   (YouTube)

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