Kickin’ It With Kristen Brancaccio – Mockingjay: Burn

by Antonio Garcia

Hunger Games fans, unite! I got in touch with Kristen Brancaccio for this episode of Kickin It With!

4cr: Hi Kristen. Welcome to Kickin’ It With. How about you tell our audience about yourself?

Hi all! I’m an actress and writer from Bethlehem Township, New Jersey. But don’t hold that against me. I’m known online primarily for my comedy work with The Key of Awesome (I played Lorde, Hermione and Justin Bieber’s girlfriend- twice.) I also wrote & starred in a comedic webseries called The Intern Diaries. But what most people don’t know is before I started doing comedy, I played a lot of dramatic roles, (I was very involved with my high school’s Shakespeare troop and my first feature film was a dark, psychological thriller). So I’m excited to return to my roots and do something non-comedic again!

Outside of acting, I’m really into rock climbing and traveling. The two go hand-in-hand, actually; I lived and studied in Ecuador back in 2012 and learned to rock climb in the Andes mountains! Doesn’t get better than that. I enjoy movie-hopping, hanging out in libraries and long walks on the streets of NYC (where I used to live!)

4cr: You decided to run a Kickstarter campaign to secure funds for filming a fan film tribute to the Hunger Games called Mockingjay: Burn. What will your role be in this project, and what can we expect from this fan film?

I’m producing and starring as Katniss in ‘Mockingjay: Burn’. I want the audience to feel as though they’re experiencing the events of Mockingjay in real time- particularly the scenes where Katniss is in District 8 when the Capitol attacks. So we are going to shoot part of ‘Mockingjay: Burn’ like a war-time documentary. This is the propo we see in the ‘Mockingjay’ book: raw, loosely edited, difficult to process. The other half of our short film will show the ignorance and frivolity of the Capitol. We plan to do this by shooting some Capitol-style TV shows and commercials to show alongside our Mockingjay propo. These will be funny, flashy and extravagant. We have several YouTube personalities attached to collaborate with on this segment.

Mockingjay 1

4cr: Why exactly do you need $6,000 for making Mockingjay: Burn?

We plan to shoot on a Red EPIC, which is quite expensive to rent (to give you an idea, the Red EPIC is the same camera used to film ‘The Hobbit’ movies, among others). We are shooting at a desert location over the course of a weekend, so we’ll need to pay for the food, housing and transport of our cast & crew- this will be our largest expense. We also need props and costumes. We are creating custom military patches and IDs for the District 13 rebels. One costly piece of prop is a proper bow for Katniss similar to the one described in the books. It is important to us to attain a cinematic quality in the final product, so we don’t want to skimp on any department.

4cr: Did you always plan to work on a fan film for the third book in the series, or were you first considering doing something with the first two books for The Hunger Games?

I actually wanted to be Katniss in the official Hunger Games films! I remember when the casting breakdown for the first movie was released, I immediately called my manager at the time and begged to be submitted to audition. Unfortunately I was never called in. I discussed with Leo (the director) about doing an adaptation of the third book because the more mature tone (compared to the first two) and themes of war and propaganda were something we felt strongly about.

4cr: What are some of the rewards that backers can get from pledging to your Kickstarter campaign?

First off- I JUST received word we will be offering custom military District 13 patches to ANYONE who donates $15 or more!! This hasn’t even been listed on our Kickstarter yet; we weren’t sure if we’d be able to get enough patches to provide them as rewards. But now we can! Some other prizes include awesome hand-made bookmarks (made by me- I’m a big arts-n-crafts kinda gal) and, if you live in/near LA, one reward is the opportunity to visit us on set! Also regardless of how much you pledge, every backer in the LA-area can come to a meetup/hangout with us, not to mention the screening party!

4cr:How long will Mockingjay: Burn be?

The main film will be approximately 10 minutes long. However the Capitol TV show segments will link to extended versions on the respective YouTuber’s own channels!

Mockingjay 2

4cr: Thank you for your time. Would you like to add something more?

Just a HUGE thank you to anyone who donates to the project! If you hit me up on twitter, I’ll thank you personally: @KristensReality

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