The Hunger Games gets furnished in N.C.

Alex Lemonde-Gray, April 19, 2012

It's funny how work can creep its way into your personal life. Not necessarily in a bad way, but I'm realizing that after some time in the home furnishings industry you start to see things differently. Let me explain.
I went to see a quaint, mom-and-pop film last night. You may have heard of it, it's called The Hunger Games and it took in $155 million at the box office last weekend. That's the third best opening weekend in movie history and takes top spot for a non-sequel. I may have lied about the mom-and-pop bit...
Based on the young adult novel of the same name, the first book in a trilogy by Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games takes place in a post-apocalyptic North America in which 12 poverty-stricken districts live and die for the pleasure of a greedy, self-indulgent Capital. As a reminder that rebellion is futile, the Capital requires each district to submit two "tributes" - one boy, one girl, each under 18 -for an annual gladiatorial style fight-to-the-death, The Hunger Games.
Phillips Collection's Seatbelt chairs, constructed of hand-weaved industrial seat belt material over a wooden frame, appear in this spring's hot movie The Hunger Games.
A few friends and I, sharing a couple copies, raced through the books last weekend to get up to speed. While being a quick and easy read, the books - as in most instances - present a more emotionally developed plot, but the movie excels in interpreting Collins' brief descriptions of the Capital into a stunningly visual city of the future. Shots of the Capital reveal Art Deco elements like sunburst and cold-faced people designs on futuristic buildings. What truly caught my attention though was inside the high-rises of this fictional city.
Upon arriving at the Capital, the story's heroine Katniss Everdeen is shown to her penthouse suite where she'll stay the few days prior to the Games. A lingering camera reveals images of a spacious room decorated with brightly colored modern furnishings set against dark metal colored walls and floor. Among the furniture was a set of Phillips Collection Seatbelt dining chairs in green arranged around a table.
I had one of those shocked moments, asking "What are you doing here?" in my head. This was my time off from riffling through hundreds of products, spotting trends and writing style stories. By the time I recovered the camera had completed its triumphant panorama of the room, and I had missed my chance to note any other of my inanimate friends chosen to comfort Katniss.
Mandy Hayden, lead designer at Phillips Collection, said the company was unaware its Seatbelt chairs would be in the movie until about three weeks before its release.
"We got a call from one of our customers telling us," Hayden said. "Apparently, our customer's son was reading a copy of the book with pictures from the movie in it, and they saw our chairs in one of the pictures."
Hayden traced the chairs' purchase to designer Margaret Hungerford (seriously), who was working for Ludus Productions, based in Concord, N.C. According to The New York Times, Margaret Hungerford has also worked in various set and costume design positions on other movies including Minority Report, Leatherheads and Contagion.
FUN FACT: The Hunger Games was filmed entirely in N.C., according to The Washington Post.
Spotting the chairs seemed timely as Phillips Collection is based in High Point, N.C., home of the upcoming Spring High Point International Home Furnishings Market, April 21-26. And all of us here at Home Accents Today are busy preparing to bring you all the news, styles and trends for and from Market. Look to our April national issue - still in the works - to see a host of new product introductions, and Market attendees be sure to grab our three live daily issues.
Did you spot any other specific products while watching The Hunger Games?

pPhillips Collection Seatbelt chair


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