Most movie companion sites are been-there-done-that: a few choice images, background music, a dramatic synopsis and buttons to buy tickets as quickly as possible. That's fine, but with a movie like The Hunger Games, where the alternate world is nearly as complex and detailed as our own, there's an opportunity for more. And the studio behind the thrilling young adult fiction adaptation, Lionsgate, is clearly seizing that opportunity.
TheCapitolTour.PN is an immersive online experience that takes Hunger Games fans deeper inside the world presented in March 23rd big screen release. A representative for Lionsgate explained to Hollywood.com that the studio worked with Microsoft for over six months to create The Capitol Tour, which is optimized for Internet Explorer 9 , utilizing the latest in HTML 5 technology to paint a living portrait of the city at the center of Hunger Games dystopian world. Visitors to the site are greeted at the Welcome Center, a replica of the station Katniss and Peta arrive to by train (which you'll also see by scrolling around). The bustling environment is fully realized, and thanks to a process called Cinemagraphing, which animate small touches, like cloth blowing in the wind or the moving of facial expressions, help to make the entire graphic even more tangible. Scrolling across various people, places and things bring up information pop-ups, with backstory and details on characters well-known and obscure.
But the Welcome Center is only the first stage of the intricate Tour. Using The Guide feature, visitors can navigate away from the main hub to various offshoots of the site, including a bird's eye view of the Capitol's skyline and a look inside the Control Room, where gamemakers work busily to prepare for the Hunger Games competition. Seneca Crane can be seen dictating orders, but if visitors login with their Facebook accounts, they'll be able to integrate their own friends into the games, checking vitals and preparing for battle. There's also a topographical map with the design of the movie's actual battlefield, which users can manipulate in 3D. And here's a little Easter Egg: type "IVOLUNTEER" while in the room, and a special scene from the movie, a clip from Effie's Reaping speech, will appear.
The other live function of the site is the Avenue of Tributes, which fans will recognize as the entry way for incoming Hunger Games participants. The crowd is scattered with roll-over pop-ups, Facebook-integrated banners and the first audio from President Snow's 74th Hunger Games address. The real secret here is another exclusive clip that can only be accessed by clicking Katniss and Peeta (in that order). The combination will unveil a new scene between the HG duo.
Thankfully, TheCapitolTour.PN isn't a one-off venture, but a long-lasting hub for all things Hunger Games. According to Lionsgate, the site was designed with the aid of writer/director Gary Ross and his team of creatives, who hope to evolve the expansive web experience so that it can "live on for the life of the franchise." even told us they're preparing new content for the site, including the Training and Memorabilia Centers, to be released in the upcoming months—after the movie hits theaters. Meaning, fans will have a place for all things Hunger Games for years to come.
TheCapitolTour.PN goes live in a few hours (so keep checking back), but here's a first look image from the site: a shot of the Control Room, which perfectly embodies the movie's unique, futuristic design.