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BYU students, grads vying to get original song into final Hunger Games film

(Habib Miranda)


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PROVO — A group of former and current commercial music students at Brigham Young University have written a song they are trying to get into "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2."

The rough draft version of “Live or Survive” was originally written by BYU students Taylor Miranda and Eliza Smith, who were assigned to write a song for the end credits of the Hunger Games for their songwriting class with professor Ron Saltmarsh about a year ago, according to Miranda.

Miranda said in Hunger Games, the characters are sacrificing everything for a chance at a better life, and "Live or Survive" replicates that choice whether to play it safe or just survive.

“And it kinda ties in with what we’re trying to do too in that we’re kind of taking on something that seems impossible maybe to other people in our situation but we’re gonna risk it all to fight to really get this song out there and kind of fulfill our dreams of the song.”

Saltmarsh liked the song, Miranda said, and encouraged them to move forward with it.

After feeling like the “song could really go somewhere,” Miranda said she and Smith approached former students Richard Williams and Nate Young about forming a musical group and trying to get the song into the Hunger Games.

About a week and a half ago, Miranda’s husband, Hibab, and Williams filmed the newly formed musical group, TREN, performing “Live or Survive” in Young’s studio Modern Audio in Mapleton. Williams then edited the video, Miranda said.

As of Tuesday morning, that video has more than 105,000 views on Facebook and nearly 3,500 views on YouTube.

TREN has promoted the video on Facebook more, because members of the group have been able to reach the people they know, but they would love for both videos to “go through the roof,” Miranda said.

Originally, the group planned to keep the song a secret as they sent it in to former music supervisors and people associated with the Hunger Games, but because they don’t have a big name or big contacts, they decided to share it with the public in hopes to get more people to see it, like it and share it, Miranda said.

Though Miranda and Smith wrote the lyrics and melody, Williams and Young added orchestration, something Miranda said they consider to be equally important to be called writers. TREN plans to continue to write music together, and hopefully write for more major films, Miranda said.

Miranda said the group will try to push as hard as they can to get the song into the movie, but if not, they’ll still fight for it to go somewhere else, like other movies with a similar theme.

So far, the video has been well-received. One commenter wrote about listening to the song for hours, Miranda said.

“Our goal right now is just to get as much support as possible," Miranda said. "So every share, every view really means a lot to us and it really helps propel us towards our goal,” Miranda said.

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Megan Marsden Christensen

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