Erica Throws Her Hat In The Ring For The Hunger Games Mall Tour and Comes Away With A Signed Poster After Meeting The Cast! Jennifer Lawrence! Josh Hutcherson! Liam Hemsworth! Autographs!

Oh Hunger Games, it’s like Twilight only good… Sorry Anushika. I’ve actually been looking forward to this film series for a long time now. There was an announcement that the cast would be doing a mall tour to promote the film and only 100 people would get in to an autograph signing with the cast.

Here in Los Angeles it was Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson. Not a bad lineup!

Erica and Scotty decided to throw their hats in the ring while I decided to spend the weekend with Theo. LOL… Check out Erica’s recap of events after the jump!

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I knew this was going to be a very tough and a very long day, but I underestimated just how much drama would be involved!

About a week ago, Lionsgate announced there would a mall tour for cast members for the Hunger Games and the kick off would be in LA with the three leads! I immediately called for information and was told one story. It turned out not quite to be the real story. Sigh!

The first 100 people at the store that morning would get VIP wristbands that guarantee a group photo with the cast (Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth) and apart Ross (director), an autograph and then access to the Q & A. For the next week, they repeated the same procedure — no camping out, no lining up too early. The mall and parking lot would be closed, the line begins at 8 am and the VIP wristbands would be issued at 9 am.

just to be sure this was the case, I visited the store and checked in with friends and we all got confirmation of the process. These rules were also repeated on Facebook. So it sounds pretty solid, right? Right?

Just in case, a few friends head out in the middle of the night and at 2 am, they are turned away by security and told to come back at 7 am. Not trusting things to stay the same, Scotty and I head over at the ungodly early hour of 5 am, fully 2 hours before the mall is supposed to open. We arrive and sure enough, the parking lot and entry closest to the store are all closed and we’re told that everything opens at 7 am. So far, all is in-line with the rules.

So Scotty and I decide to walk a bit more and discover a huge line on a bridge that connects to the plaza where the Q & A will be. We head over to investigate and learn from security that, yes, the other doors will open at 7, but this will open at 6. What!?

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We join the line and a quick head count puts us at around number 150 in line. Since they are going to give out 100, this does not bode well! We ask around and found out that one guard decide to let people form a line at around 3 am. Ugh! My friends, who got here earlier an hour earlier than that join us and are now at around 150 when they were here an hour earlier than those at the head of the line. We learn that many people around us all got here earlier, only to be turned away. Since we all played by the rules, we are at the end. Ugh!

So the people at the front of the line got there by pure chance and are being rather pompous about it which isn’t endearing to the ones who got shafted. Oh yeah, with cranky, sleep deprived people, this is not going down well!

Our group decides to wait to see what happens. Sure enough, with people arriving to claims spots that were saved for them, we are suddenly around 250 and, well, we clearly don’t have a prayer of a chance.

At around 7:45, they take the first 100 people from the start of the bridge to the Microsoft store where meet and greet will be. Everyone else is held back and all routes to the store are blocked. And so that is how the “first” 100 people get wristbands.

Scotty and I leave in disgust. Ugh!

Later that afternoon, still a little grumbly, Scotty and I head back since we’re in the area and we can take some pictures of the event to write a rather nasty post on this here website. However, this story, gentle reader, has a very different ending!

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Scotty and I arrive and see that the VIP folks are flying though the meet and greet line. They are flying through so fast that I figure they might let some more people into line since there’s still quite a bit of time before the Q & A begins for the bigger audience.

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We watch the proceedings and soon see a group of about 10 wristbanded people head into the store. Arg!

How do we get wristbands!?!

http://www.mikethefanboy.com/the-day-i-met-edward-cullen-i-mean-cedric-diggory-well-robert-pattinson-photos-autographs-twilight-madness/

We head over to the plaza where the Q & A will be and we see people with various posters and other swag that KIIS FM and other folks have been giving out. Then I spy another group with freshly attached wristbands head to the meet and greet. Yep, this is the source of the wristbands!

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Arg! If we hadn’t been given the shaft so badly this morning, I probably wouldn’t be so determined, but we see a bunch of people who were behind us on the bridge this morning. And they are all smiling with crushed autographed posters!

(Why o why would you go through all this pain and crush the poster!?!)

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As I talk to some folks, I learn that wristbands have been given out for various little contests and other things they’ve been conducting to keep the 1000 fans entertained during the day. Since I’m not willing to get up on the stage for the dance off (and everyone should be thanking me for that!) I dash off when I see a guy randomly handing out wristbands to the crowd!!!

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With a little help from a mom and her two lovely girls, Scotty and I score a pair of wristbands just when the meet and greet is winding down!! Holy Katniss!

We head over to the Microsoft store and see security running and converging on someone. As they apprehend the person, I see it’s a professional grapher with a stack of photos in hand. Upon closer inspection, I see it’s the kid that ran after Robert Pattinson and was body slammed by security. I have no idea what this kid did, but I think he needs to learn about boundaries…yeesh!

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Anyway, Scotty and I get into the store with the magic wristbands. The staff is very particular and they take our bags so we can’t sneak in any last minute, personal items or cameras. We also have a personal handler who will hand us the poster and walk us through, making sure we don’t do anything out of bounds.

They hand us posters for the signing and thank God, they aren’t enormous one-sheet posters! I was worried since Lionsgate tends to favor giving out one-sheets at Comic con which is a lovely gesture, but rather huge. Thankfully these are mini-posters!

The first people in line got posters which say “2012 Tour” on the top and have a hologram on the back. I think they ran out since we get the official movie poster image. Yeah!

As we wait, I see a stack of trading cards which have been signed by the actors. Swag for some other contest or something, I’ll bet.

And finally (finally!) we see the cast. I’m not sure if it’s changed, but Gary Ross (the director) is not there and they are no longer doing pictures. Instead, the three actors are squished together at a small table.

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Liam Hemsworth is first and his 6’5″ frame looks rather large as he’s squeezed into the folding chair and table. A person working the event (with a staff badge) jumps into line ahead of me. He puts a poster in front of Liam who signs it.

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Then the guy gives Liam another one to sign. Liam is a bit surprised, but gamely signs two posters for the 45 year old balding man. (I wonder if Mr. Bald is Team Peeta or Team Gale…)

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Anyway, I finally get to the table and Liam signs my poster. He looks up and I thank him for signing. This is actually the first time I’ve met him without his brother. Normally Liam is watching as people mob Chris Hemsworth so this is my first chance to see Liam for something he’s done. He’s as polite and nice as ever, if a bit shy. It’s hard to see this nice young man as an action star, but I guess we’ll see in the Expendables 2!

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Next is Jennifer Lawrence who is friendly and chatty. She has a smile and bright comment for everyone – very opposite her roles in Winter’s Bone and X-Men: First Class. I can see that she’s doodled on the black table cloth and has drawn some kind of alligator/dinosaur.

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Josh Hutcherson, the last person at the table, also has graffiti on the table, but he’s written words down. I can’t read it upside down, but it’s curious that they had that much time to doodle!

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Anyway, Josh is really chatty and I ask him if he’s ready to (SPOILER ALERT!) go crazy in the third book. He laughs and says: “I’m so ready! In fact, let’s go crazy now!”

And with that, we’re whisked out of the area, collect our bags and we head to the Q & A. Woo hoo!
We are directed into the area up front where the noise is deafening and the litter substantial. The stage is about 15 people deep so Scotty and I hang back and wait for the Q & A to begin.

The sun is setting and I realize we’ve been here at dusk and dawn today. Oh yeah, it’s been a long day!

They continue to do contests with the crowd and the winner of the big trivia contest wins a new laptop computer, customized for the Hunger Games. The winner is crestfallen and asks if she can trade the laptop for a chance to meet the cast. The staff are flabbergasted and don’t know what to say. They clearly did not expect their grand prize to be rejected. In the end, they tell her “no” and she goes away disappointed with her brand new, shiny computer. Ah, First World problems!

Finally it’s time to start the music! It’s time to light the lights! It’s time for the Q & A to begin and I suddenly wish I brought ear plugs with me. I can see Gary Ross in the crowd, but he’s sort of staying back, content to watch the madness.

They begin showing the trailer footage and the crowd cheers for every scene. When Katniss gives the District 12 salute, the audience responds in kind.

The crowd goes into a frenzy (and the stage starts to shake) once the introductions begin. Watch as the crowd goes wild when the three actors hit the stage!

The Q & A moves quickly with rapid fire questions and quick responses from the cast. It really is only 20 minutes long, but it is rather packed with questions.

Liam is calmer than the rest and doesn’t miss a beat when he accepts a marriage proposal from a fan.

Jennifer is laughing and honest in her answers. It was hard to get any clear picture of Josh as the Peeta fans went into a frenzy anytime he answered a question.

Watch the videos as they tell you about what personal token they would take to the games, about pranks on set, the first time Jennifer and Josh met and about the best day on set (which involved crawfish and leeches!).

And thus ends our loooooooooong Hunger Games day! It started off so incredibly frustrating but ended well. Scotty and I left feeling incredibly exhausted and happy after so much drama.

The seventy-fourth Hunger Games begin on March 23rd!

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Comments(4)
  1. Jack March 5, 2012
  2. Erica March 6, 2012
  3. Jack March 6, 2012
  4. Mike R. March 14, 2012
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