Hunger Times EXCLUSIVE Interview With Blacksparrow Auctions
Last week we got the opportunity to interview Blacksparrow Auction’s President Fong Sam about their upcoming auction, getting the costumes from the film and helping the Make a Wish Foundation. Read our exclusive interview below an find out how you can take part of the auction.
How did your company, Blacksparrow Auctions, come to acquire the costumes for The Hunger Games? Was it a deal you made with Lionsgate? Where they donated?
We acquired the entire wardrobe directly from the studio. After the completion of The Hunger Games, the production company decided to go in another direction for the sequels. So a new director and costume designer were brought in. As a result, there was no need to keep the original costumes. We made an offer for the entire collection and they accepted.
The costume designed for the young Capitol girl (for the Make a Wish Foundation), will all proceeds go to that organization?
We gave the Make-A-Wish costume to the little girl, Zoe Collier. After hearing about her story, we contacted Make-A-Wish in Colorado and asked them to get in touch with Zoe’s family. They did so and we sent the dress to them. To replace the dress in the catalog, we decided to add the shoes worn by Paula Malcomson (lot 226), who played Katniss’s mom. All proceeds for that lot will be donated to Make-A-Wish Greater Los Angeles.
I read on your disclaimer on the back of the book that costume auction amounts are set according to perceived value and not a predetermined amount, How did you go about evaluating the different (over 200) costumes?
My partners and I have been dealing with collectibles for a very long time. When we decided on the prices, we wanted to start them at a very reasonable level. We wanted everyone to have a chance at bidding for these costumes. So the prices, in our opinion, are very conservative to start.
I noticed the costumes worn on key scenes have higher values (like the interview dress worn by Jennifer Lawrence with a starting bid of $10,000), is this due to the fact that those scenes are some of the most iconic in the film or is it because of the actor/actress that worn them?
Many factors go into determining the prices. But the rule of thumb is: the more desirable, the higher the demand and the higher the prices that collectors and fans will be willing to pay. Jennifer Lawrence is perhaps the most popular actress in the world at this moment. Her body of work up to this point, at such a young age, is already quite amazing. Add a Best Actress Oscar to the mix and I think we may be looking at a once-in-a-generation actress. Clearly, in the Hunger Games, Jennifer is the star. So it makes sense that the most important scenes involve. So take these elements into account and it will make sense that the higher price items are the Katniss costumes.
I ask this because I notice that the outfits with higher set values are the ones worn by Jennifer Lawrence and sometimes Josh Huthcerson (Katniss and Peeta), whereas other items, like some worn by Donald Southerland, are valued at a lower amount.
The importance of the characters will determine the prices. There is value in the demand. Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson are the stars. Their popularity among fans reflect their star power, so to speak. Another thing to keep in mind is that the first Hunger Games movie set the foundation for everything that happens in the rest of the series. The characters’ development and evolution starts in the first movie. Catching Fire and the other sequels will build on top of that, so the costumes in the Hunger Games really are what we first come to see the characters as who they really are. That is important to keep in mind.
How long did it take Blacksparrow Auctions to catalog all the different pieces/outfits for the catalog?
This was a 10-month project. We began going through the inventory in January. Photography began in April and the catalogs were finally printed in October. It was a long process, but we wanted to be thorough and accurate. We also wanted the catalogs to be like an art style book. We wanted to showcase how truly great the costumes really are.
Did you have any input from the designer as far as getting descriptions and details for the catalog or did you have your own people appraise each piece?
We have spoken to the costume designer, Judianna Makovsky. However, the cataloging and research was all our own. We did this, in many ways, as a tribute to Judianna, who deserves all the credit for the imagination and creativity of the costumes.
Do you expect a high attendance to the event?
We expect a fair amount of fans to attend the auction. But as auctions go, much of the bidding will be on the Internet. The technology allows people from around the world to participate. We know that not all the fans can come to Los Angeles, but we are live broadcasting the auction on Google Hangout and Youtube, so even if you cannot attend you can watch the event.
Do you expect all 200+ items to be auctioned off and if not, what will you do with the remaining costumes?
We always hope that every items will sell at auction! If there are anything remaining after the auction is over, we will decide what to do with those items at a later date.
Does your staff (or do you) have a favorite costume?
The Effie costumes and the Fire Dress are the most popular among us. But I think some of the background costumes are so stylish that fans will be happy to get them. They are all wear-able, too. A lot of movie costumes are made just for use on-screen and may not be used as real clothes. I am happy to say that these Hunger Games costumes are some of the best made outfits I have every seen. They will look great in anyone’s closet.
For fun: If you were a Hunger Games character, who would you be and would you be a Capitol or District dweller? If you HAD to wear one of the costumes for a day, which one would you chose?
I think it would be fun to be a Capitol Citizen. The costumes are outrageous. If I had to be a character, I would like to be one of the sponsors. To get to support the tributes at their most desperate time–like when Katniss needed the healing balm after being injured–would be very satisfying. Also, Haymitch is a complicated, but great character. It would be fun to play him.
The auction will take place this Saturday, November 16 in Los Angeles at 11 AM at the following location
10888 La Tuna Canyon Rd, Suite L
Sun Valley, CA 91352.
Thank you to Mr. Fong Sam for taking the time to cordinate the interview with us! We truly appreciate it.