Oz in the News 4.23.15

887899-thumbWatch a Man Sing ‘Wizard of Oz’ Tune On Super-Fast MRI  The video wasn’t created for an all-MRI production of “The Wizard of Oz.” It’s an example of a high-speed, high-resolution MRI technique. The technique, which is being developed by the Bioimaging Science and Technology Group at the Beckman Institute, acquires about 100 frames per second.

‘Wizard of Oz’ in sand coming to Arlington  Fantasy in Sand will transform three million pounds of dry sand into sculptures up to 20 feet high and will feature 11 unique scenes from L. Frank Baum’s iconic book and a finale called America The Beautiful. The attraction, from Nashville-based 12 Degree Entertainment, will also contain Texas’ largest sandbox, a 2,000-square-foot area where children can create their own sand sculptures. Sandsational Sand Sculpting will mold the sand. The second planned experience, Fantasy in Ice, will take place in at least one city this year. Said Madden, “We plan to have Fantasy in Sand and Fantasy in Ice each operating in multiple cities in the next three years.” Fantasy in Sand details are available at www.FantasyInSand.com.

Oz in the News 4.22.15

fbi_oz3d_lf_150421_16x9_992Hollywood Schemers Ordered to Pay $34M Over ‘Oz’ Movie That Never Was  Two Los Angeles men were ordered to pay more than $34 million in restitution today after they were found to have tricked hundreds of Americans, many of them elderly, into dumping millions of dollars in a “Wizard of Oz” film that was never made.  Potential investors received cold calls from the company in which they were told Gigapix was a Pixar-like animation company that was about to produce an animated “OZ3D” film. The company even provided concept art from the film to potential investors as evidence of the film’s progress.

Follow the yellow brick road…all the way to Mapleton and its ‘Wizard of Oz’ garden  For a village with a population about 270, Mapleton draws a connection to one of the most ubiquitous movies in cinema history. No, the gigantic blockbuster wasn’t filmed here, and no, none of the starring actors called it their birthplace. For Mapleton, town officials say its “Wizard of Oz” garden is an outdoor tribute to the groundbreaking movie, one that’s quickly becoming a Dorothy and Toto fan club destination. The Hollis Park District, which has maintained the park since its 2002 opening, has brought in even more visitors the past four years thanks in part to the village’s annual Oz Fest, said Hollis Park District Director Jim Robertson. “It’s grown out of control,” Robertson said. “People come from Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Ohio and all over. People in England are hitting up our Facebook page. It’s a huge thing for the park district.”

Oz in the News 4.21.15

1623622_929633420392051_5458849273867328273_nCircusWest Takes You to the Magical Land of Oz! CircusWest Artistic Director, Jay Nunns, continues to push the envelope of “circus through story telling” a style that is unique to the West Coast. Alongside other coaches and senior students, he has built a show inspired by the timeless L. Frank Baum’s Wizard of Oz story infused with aerial artistry, daring acrobatics, and compelling circus acts to amaze and delight. The Circus of Oz features an innovative set design including portable projector screens that will move throughout the show to recreate each scene. For this year’s production, the CircusWest team has built a new 15 foot trampoline wall, framed like a house, from which performers will fly into the air. The show is taken to the next level with otherworldly projections by Production Assistant, Cameron Fraser, a CirKids alumni who has created breathtaking projections for stages across Canada and recently in the US.  The Circus of Oz runs for four days at the PNE Garden Auditorium, Vancouver, BC, May 7-10, 2015 with shows daily at 12:30pm & 7:00pm. Tickets cost $14 – $22 (special group rates available) and can be purchased online by visiting circuswest.com/tickets-to-oz.

Oz in the News 4.20.15

footerOneida Nation reveals Chittenango casino venue names  The Oneida Indian Nation revealed the names and themes of the venues at its new $20 million Yellow Brick Road Casino under construction in Chittenango. In celebration of L. Frank Baum’s classic book, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” all of the venues hew to the Oz theme:

• The Wizard Hall: A 500-seat bingo hall.

• Dorothy’s Farmhouse: From comfort foods to classic favorites, this counter-service restaurant will offer a variety of grill and deli-style options, including burgers, hotdogs and grilled chicken sandwiches, as well as dinner entrees. Open daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

• Wicked Good Pizza: A family-friendly sit-down and take-out pizza restaurant serving New York-style pizza and chicken wings. Open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. (till midnight Friday, Saturday)

• Heart and Courage Saloon: A large selection of draft and bottle beers, plus mixed drinks. This country-western style bar will feature live entertainment from local musicians. Open weekdays noon to midnight, weekends from noon to 2 a.m.

• Winged Monkey: A corner bar concept featuring cocktails. Open weekdays from noon to midnight, weekends from noon to 2 a.m.

Oz in the News 4.16.15

emerald-city‘Wizard of Oz’ Series ‘Emerald City’ Revived at NBC  The network has revived drama Emerald City, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. David Schulner is attached write, exec produce and serve as showrunner on the 10-episode drama, which hails from Universal Television, where he’s under an overall deal. Here’s the logline for the new take: In the blink of a tornado’s eye, 20-year-old Dorothy Gale and her K9 police dog are transported to another world, one far removed from our own — a mystical land of competing kingdoms, lethal warriors, dark magic and a bloody battle for supremacy. This is the fabled Land of Oz in a way you’ve never seen before, where wicked witches don’t stay dead for long and a young girl becomes a headstrong warrior who holds the fate of kingdoms in her hands.

Oz in the News 4.15.15

3nfqWdFCollection of Rare Photos From ‘Return to Oz’!  Much like The Neverending Story, Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal, Return to Oz isn’t dated at all, and is just as fantastic as I remember it being. In fact, I got obsessed all over again and started seeking out fresh information about it and learned that it was quite a troubled production. In fact, there was a fan-made documentary (since removed from the Web completely) that detailed all of the problem that started with a ballooning budget.  Thanks to Reddit user Scottland83 we have the following collection of rare behind-the-scenes images from the puppet-centric movie that was part of Jim Henson’s filmography.

Oz in the News 4.10.15

17465977-mmmain‘LEGO Dimensions’ video game brings The Wizard of Oz, more toys to life  A new video game experience called “LEGO Dimensions” combines actual LEGO brick building with interactive gameplay, similar to Skylanders, Disney Infinity and Amiibo. As TechCrunch explains, the starter pack will include a LEGO Toy Pad, which works with actual LEGO minifigures, bricks and sets to generate in-game content. It’s the first time that a LEGO video game has allowed different franchises to interact with each other in worlds outside of their own. It may also be the first time since a 1993 Super Nintendo release that Dorothy, Scarecrow and other characters created by Chittenango native L. Frank Baum have appeared in a video game.