Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Hunger Games - Book vs. Movie

I first read The Hunger Games in the fall of 2010 and it immediately became my favorite series. Now, with the movie release getting closer, I decided to re-read them. Right now my opinions are solely based on the trailers I've seen - they may change once I actually see the movie. Mostly, this post is just about the inconsistencies I've spotted between the books and what is going to be in the film.

(Short rant: Why screen writers feel the need to change things is beyond me. Suzanne Collins even helped write the screenplay and things were changed. If it was MY book, I wouldn't allow it. To me, the book is written enough like a script as it is. I know that there is a "time-issue" seeing as how you can't even read the book in 2 1/2 hours - and let's face it, that's considered a long movie these days... which is bulls***... but I digress...)

I have to say before I start - even though there are blatant changes in the movie, I'm still beyond excite to see it! Mostly, I'm just excited to see it all played out and see the Capitol fashions. Now, on to the few things I've already seen that bother me...

First thing - very IMPORTANT thing in my eyes - the 2nd trailer that was released shows Katniss giving the mockingjay pin to Prim saying "as long as you have it, nothing bad will happen to you". THIS NEVER EVER HAPPENS IN THE BOOK! There is only ONE pin and Madge gives it to Katniss in the Justice Building before Katniss goes to the Capitol for the games. Prim never even sees it (I guess until she sees Katniss wearing it while she's watching the games.) Why would you add/change such an important symbol in the series?! Ugh. I'm really curious to see the rest of this storyline. (I'm guessing Prim will give it to Katniss at the Justice Building so "nothing bad will happen to her" in the arena... sigh.)

Second thing - a minute detail that really confuses me as to why it would be changed, but again is an important symbol in the books: the book says she takes the middle 3 fingers of her LEFT hand, touches them to her lips, then holds them out (to a person usually.) The trailer shows her using her RIGHT hand! There are 2 reasons I can think of for this (the 2nd I just thought of while writing this, the 1st is funnier and more personal to me.) First reason: Jennifer Lawrence can't hold her 3 fingers together on her left hand, so they changed it to the right. You laugh, but I actually have the opposite problem - when I try to hold my pinkie down with my thumb on my right hand, my other fingers involuntarily curl, but it's no problem on my left hand... Girl Scouts was hell for me :P Second (the more logical reason, that Suzanne Collins maybe never considered): using her left hand would disarm Katniss while doing the gesture. If she used her right, she can still hold her bow and even have an arrow ready if needed... just a guess.

I just have to say this: I get goosebumps every time I hear the 4 notes at the end of the trailers. Every time.

Now for personal opinions about the casting:

Katniss: I think Jennifer Lawrence is too pretty to be Katniss. Not that I see Katniss as ugly, but she's young and underfed and dirty most of the time.

Peeta: I don't know how to describe it... I saw Peeta as more of a pretty boy than Josh Hutcherson... skinnier, but still strong. The muscle that he put on for the movie makes him look more like a football player - nobody in District 12 is that well-fed, not even the baker's son.

Haymitch: Woody Harrelson will be awesome. I think I saw Haymitch as heavier but I got really excited when I heard this casting choice.

Gale: Liam Hemsworth works. Strong, tall... No complaints.

Effie: Elizabeth Banks will be SO CUTE!

Cinna: Ugh, very unsure about Lenny Kravitz, but I don't hate the idea as much as when I first heard it. I saw him (still do) as more of a Neil Patrick Harris/Sean Hayes type. Tall, skinny, short brown hair, artistic and stylish but not overly "gay".

Caesar Flickerman (Stanly Tucci), Seneca Crane (Wes Bentley), President Snow (Donald Sutherland), Claudius Templesmith (Toby Jones) = I think they're all perfect for the parts!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Review of Holga 135BC

I just got this camera on February 3, 2012 and wanted  to quickly shoot through a roll of film to experiment.

The first thing I did when I took the camera out of the box was read the small "manual" that came with and played around with the camera before I put any film into it. This was beneficial for me because I got a little more comfortable with it without wasting film. I felt the shutter in both N (standard) and B (hold open) mode and watched how the shutter opened from the inside. Then I put a roll of 400asa into the camera and decided to try a bunch of things while shooting - test its limits. Here's what I found after developing my film:

The box mentions "uncontrollable vignetting" and light leaks - which I knew about. I decided to buy the 135BC so it always has some sort of vignetting but I did notice that it can vary from picture to picture - which is not at all a bad thing. I haven't noticed any light leaks in my camera (so far).

The pictures I took outside turned out great, but the indoor ones are VERY dark, even while shooting with direct sunlight through the window. This is unfortunate because it's somewhat limiting (but what can you expect from a plastic lens?) I am fortunate enough to already have an external flash to put in the hotshoe, but the flash with its batteries is about twice the weight of the camera so it can be a bit cumbersome.

Every now and then I would notice a difference in aiming. By that I mean: since the view finder and lens are separate, it's hard to know if you're getting the whole object in the frame or not. (I haven't shot a disposable camera in some time, so I must be out of practice.)

I should mention that I did leave my camera in my car while I was at work one day, then took pictures when I got home. The camera was pretty cold but I tried it anyway. It seemed like the cold made my shutter stick. I was afraid it would overexpose my pictures so I put the cap back on until it clicked back in place. I let the camera warm up before using it again and it was fine.

I did end up with a couple pictures on that roll that I am really proud of. Overall, none of what would be considered "bad stuff" really bothers me. I just see it as part of the charm of the Holga. And really, I knew what I was getting into.

Here are the 2 pictures I love:

Sunday, February 12, 2012

DIY Camera Bag (Purse)

Ok, I have been seeing these posts all over the place and I've been wanting to make one myself for a while. I should back up and explain... I now have 5 cameras I use for different occasions: a point and shoot Nikon Coolpix, a Nikon D80 DSLR, a Kodak EasyShare DX7590, an Olympus OM-G film camera and I just bought a Holga 135BC camera. I bought a purse from Best Buy that is made to hold cameras - slightly padded and a couple dividers. This held my Nikon D80, an extra lens, my wallet, iPod, and Coolpix just fine when I went on a field trip for a class in college. It doesn't hold much else though, and it's kind of stiff. I wanted a cuter purse, and one that could hold more than just my D80 (I like to shoot film and digital back and forth now). I got a sewing machine for Christmas this year and I knew I had to at least give it a try.

I found a few blogs of other women who'd made their bags to get some tips, but no one really had a pattern (and that's ok, it's all about how you want it and the size of the bag differs). This weekend I had a lot of extra time (weekend off, boyfriend out of town) so I went to look for a purse first. I ended up at JCPenny and found the perfect purse - not just for my cameras, but overall... it has so many pockets! AND it was only $14. I figured even if it didn't work for my cameras, I had to buy it.

Then I went to Hobby Lobby to buy what others had suggested:

-1 yard of fabric (soft, so it doesn't harm the camera)
-some quilting batting (I didn't want to buy the 1 inch foam like others. I find it TOO thick)
-some velcro

The purse and other supplies cost me all of about $26!

First thing I did was measure the bottom and sides of the purse. Then cut the fabric and foam for it. (sorry I didn't take pictures of the whole process. I wasn't really planning on writing about it at the time)

The next thing I SHOULD'VE done but didn't and it made my job much harder was sew on the velcro to the sides. I just didn't think of it at the time and no other blog seemed to mention sewing the velcro on before putting the stuffing/foam in. Whoops! Oh well, it's fine for now. (The batting isn't very stiff so I may end up making new sides for it if I find some 1/2 inch foam sometime... then I'll sew on the velcro before. There's plenty of fabric left over.)

I actually made the bottom and sides all one piece by sewing three edges in a pillowcase fashion, then sewing two lines to separate the bottom from the sides (as a way to fold them). Then stuffed the batting in and stitched up the ends - I just ran a stitch along the end, nothing pretty because who's going to see it anyway?

For the inserts, I measured approximately the width between the sides and from the stuffed bottom up to the top. I cut that size out of the batting and added an extra 2 inches (or whatever the width of the velcro on either side.) I sewed the bottom, right sides together, then flipped it around so the wrong sides were together, sewed up the sides to fit around the batting snugly, then sewed on the velcro to the extra width on the sides.

Really, that's it. I keep rearranging the inserts in my bag to see where I like them the best. Right now I can fit my Nikon D80 (with lens attached), an extra lens, my Holga, and still have space for my Olympus or external flash. I put my wallet in one of the side pockets, my Nikon Coolpix in a tiny front pocket, and my iPod in the other. Then my phone fits in another pocket! Whew! Any questions, please ask... I'll try to help as much as possible.

Nikon D80 (lens attached), extra lens, Holga,
and Olympus OM-G
My wallet fits in one of the side pockets