Dana Schneider, owner of Dana Schneider Jewelry, had the responsibility of designing the signature Mockingjay pin for the highly anticipated blockbuster The Hunger Games.
This isn’t the first time Schneider’s jewelry has appeared on film.
Schneider moved to Los Angeles in the late 1990s after breaking into the jewelry business the decade before and within a year was working on the jewelry design for her first film, From Hell, starring Johnny Depp.
“Growing up, I was always the kid who loved to watch movies and television,” Schneider tells JCK. “When I went to the movie theater I looked at the jewelry and became inspired.”
Since then, her jewelry has been featured in more than 40 movies, including The Green Lantern, The Matrix, and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.
The pin she designed for The Hunger Games—which is worn by star Jennifer Lawrence, who plays survivalist Katniss Everdeen—symbolizes rebellion in a post-apocalyptic world, and forms a central component of the movie. “My job was to replicate the design on the book cover, but make it look realistic,” Schneider says.
After three months and many meetings with costume designers and various models, Schneider successfully created four identical Mockingjay pins cast in sterling silver, plated in 22k gold, and aged with patina. “The pin had to be strong, but look genuine, antique, and delicate,” Schneider says. “Since the The Hunger Games is an action-packed movie, it had to survive a lot of stunt work.”
“In all the movies I work on, I want to do the best I can to bring characters to life,” Schneider says. She felt especially connected to the characters in the Hunger Games trilogy. “I’ve read all three of the books. When Judianna Makovsky, the costume designer for the film, first mentioned The Hunger Games, I knew how important the Mockingjay pin was.”
Even with her lengthy film résumé, Schneider continues to design pieces for her own collection, sold on Etsy. “Even when working on my personal collection, I tend to design for characters,” she says. "I think of a character in a movie and come up with jewelry I think that person would wear."
Although Schneider moved back to Ohio a few years ago—where she often collaborates with Rego, an Ohio-based jewelry manufacturing company—she travels to Los Angeles frequently to meet with costume designers. “There’s nothing else I’d rather do. I carved out a niche that I love and consider myself very lucky,” she says.