Tag Archives: Katniss

back to katniss

25 March, 2015


“In every class, I ask them what makes them want to do archery and at least one will say Hunger Games or the little ones its ‘I want to be Merida in Brave’,” Ms Norman said.

So is quoted an archery coach in Victoria, Australia, and you can read the full article and watch the video here:


“Archery Victoria’s president Irene Norman said its membership had shot up over the past four years from 777 members in 2010 to 1740 in February this year as it rode a wave of popular culture references that was drawing new members every week…  It is not just little girls and teenagers either. Ms Norman said there were women in their 30s who came to archery clubs wearing Mockingjay pins.

“Sometimes I have to explain they won’t be able to get the effect they want if they use the same type of bow as in The Hunger Games,” she said.”

So it appears the ‘Katniss Effect’ is still packing them in to beginners courses around the world. This article is just one in a long line of similar newspaper and media features in the last couple of years, from the New York Times (twice) to NPR to the Guardian and the Telegraph amongst many others. It’s almost become a cliche – the interest in and take-up of archery, especially recurve and especially among teenage girls, has gone through the roof – what’s more interesting is that it seems to be sustained.

Jennifer Lawrence with US Olympic archer Khatuna Lorig, who trained her for the role. Photo: ESPN

Jennifer Lawrence with US Olympic archer Khatuna Lorig, who trained her for the role. Photo: ESPN

The main problem for archery as a community is sustaining all that enthusiasm and interest when the fantasy meets the reality, probably via a battered Samick Polaris in a chilly sports hall. Some are directly engaging with this, such as the publicity work of Archery 360 for the ATA, but it may well be on the ground that people really needs nurturing. Often, people’s entire experience and future in target archery hinges on the personality of the local club secretary or archery shop staff –  who might just be having a bad day, or (in the USA) may be busy explaining the penetration capabilities of scary-looking broadheads to a guy dressed in camo instead.

Everywhere, the image of the sport needs modernising.  There needs to be an ever-simpler and clearer path to welcome a wider demographic to the sport from the groundswell of interest which, with another film due in November and Rio on the horizon, seems set to continue.

The entertainment in the film and the various others is just that – it’s not the sport – but it can take people places. I’ve mentioned several times on this blog why I think the ‘Katniss Effect’ is a good thing (with plenty of reservations about the posters, and I’m not the only one). I personally know someone who took up archery after watching the film only a couple of years ago, and last December made the cut in women’s recurve at the UK Indoor National Championship besting several current UK internationals in the process. It’s entirely possible that the Olympic champion at Tokyo 2020 (or even sooner?) will owe that original spark of interest to a movie.


picture roundup

21 May, 2014

Don’t forget, The Infinite Curve’s archery blogging world is as much based around Facebook and Twitter as it is this here page. So if you aren’t following me on social media, you should. Because you’ll miss out on all this cool stuff:


This thing, via goniart.com. I know not what it means, but it’s great.



Mariana Avitia placed fifth in individual recurve at the Medellin World Cup. read more about it here.  Picture via @conade.



The Hunger Games: Catching Fire hits London’s buses. Woe betide anyone getting off.



Crispin Duenas of Canada on his way to winning the Gator Cup this month. Photo exclusive by Helen Claudio.



Aida Roman, Mariana Avitia, and Alejandra Valencia in miserable conditions at the Mexican Grand Prix earlier this month.



Joo Hyun-Jung of Korea shoots a Robin Hood in practice for the Medellin World Cup. In the ten. At 70m.



Beautiful 3D printed arrow-fletching rig. Via this company.




Got to make sure they have that good form down early. (via Carina Rosenvinge Christiansen)




Archery in Stanley Park, Vancouver, B.C., 1954. (via www.chronicallyvintage.com).





Finally, a target smiley, from the ever-awesome @saralopezb24.

See you outdoors. John x


oh, katniss

22 March, 2014

Well, the DVD of Catching Fire is coming out, and I took this picture of one of the posters on the London Underground:


…and she’s still doing that looping-her-finger-round-the-arrow thing in the publicity shot. Ouch. Of course, in the actual filming almost all the arrows are CGI’d on afterwards, because it’s too dangerous to actually fire arrows around on the set. Stage bows often use rubber bands instead of actual strings – which is probably the reason she can hold at full draw on her fingertips (above). Obviously the arrow was falling off the rest. But they could have put a clicker on for the publicity shot. Or, hell, a bit of tape would have held the arrow in place. Yes, it’s an improvement on the poster where she’s got her fingertip over the end of the arrow:


And the well used publicity shot from the first film, which looks more like an M.C. Escher painting every time I see it. I mean, is the arrow superglued to the back of her hand or something? And her bow arm angle versus the arrow is very strange…


I should stress that a) I liked the films (although the last act of Catching Fire really dragged) and b) they’ve done a ton for archery. My problem with most of the bad archery in ads and film is that it’s basically as easy to get it right as it is to get it wrong, and the general public recognise when something is authentic. Why get the publicity shots so wrong? I mean, they paid for Khatuna Lorig to train her how to shoot properly, right? That’s Hollywood for you though – get the headline story, and then… ah, whatever.