A sneak peek at ‘Mockingjay’ set

12:56 p.m Wednesday, April 2, 2014 Movies & TV

President Snow has some sumptuous accommodations awaiting him in Buckhead as “Mockingjay” continues filming in Atlanta.

The elegant Swan House, site of a good bit of filming for “Catching Fire,” is readying for the return of the “Hunger Games” series.

“Catching Fire” filmed in areas including the dining room, an outside courtyard and an upstairs room in scenes featuring Donald Sutherland’s character, President Snow, along with lead Jennifer Lawrence’s character, Katniss Everdeen, and others.

This time, workers are prepping a downstairs room to serve as Snow’s quarters. The room, normally stately and sort of subdued, has been rendered positively resplendent by Jeffery Ellis and his team at Atlanta Creative Studios.

“We’ve been busting it,” he said, and by that he means working long and hard hours. Initially, he thought workers could spray-paint the ceiling and do the detail work by hand. But the Swan House and spray paint have nothing in common. All the work must be done by hand, to protect the interior of the home, on the grounds of the Atlanta History Center.

“They said, ‘You’re not spray-painting anything!’” Ellis said. He also worked on “Catching Fire,” and other projects have included “The Walking Dead,” “Zombieland,” “Stomp the Yard” and a number of Tyler Perry productions. He also does corporate work but enjoys the hustle of movie-set design.

“The time element” is the biggest challenge, he said. “They keep changing it. You’ll finish and they’ll say, ‘What about this?’”

There’s a joke among folks in his line of work:

Q: How many artistic directors does it take to change a light bulb?

A: Does it have to be a light bulb? Could we try something else?

You get the idea.

“Mockingjay” is due to return in the next week or so, and as Ellis’ team works inside, a crew outside is prepping some of the exterior areas. The outside of the Swan House was featured extensively in “Catching Fire” party scenes, but Ellis wasn’t able to say exactly what will be going on this time. He did salute everyone at the Swan House.

“All the people here are great,” he said.

Springsteen partners with Atlanta charity

The Boss takes care of his own. Socially conscious rocker Bruce Springsteen is teaming up with the Atlanta Community Food Bank for a fun way to help the cause. Now through 4 p.m. April 17, fans can bid on two VIP tickets to his April 26 concert at Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood. The winner will sit in an exclusive, sold-out section with access to the E Street Lounge. (Incidentally, when we checked the Live Nation site on Wednesday, the only available tickets were for lawn seating, at $76 each.) Proceeds benefit the Atlanta Community Food Bank. The auction site is www.32auctions.com/BruceSpringsteenACFB.