Monthly Archives: May 2013

Oz in the News 5.31.13

JerseyJack_WizardPinballJersey Jack Pinball Starts Shipping Wizard Of Oz Emerald City Special Editions  Jersey Jack Pinball Inc. has begun shipping the production version of its first game, The Wizard of Oz. Pinball machines are on their way from the company’s 42,000-sq.ft. building in Lakewood, NJ, to the more than 1,400 customers worldwide who preordered the JJP original.  Guarnieri exclaims, “My Oz is finally seeing these incredible games make their way out of our factory and into the homes and arcades of our unbelievably loyal and patient customers. We hope this game will bring smiles to their faces for many years to come.”

It’s all about Oz this weekend  Oz-Stravaganza Co-Director Colleen Zimmer said, “We’ve gone from books and to movies and to other authors continuing the series and to After the Wizard, The Wiz, Wicked, I mean it just keeps going in all directions and just grows and grows and grows.” Most of the Oz-Stravanza events will get started this afternoon with fireworks capping off the night at 9:30 p.m. You’re also encouraged to stop by the “All Things Oz” museum to check out some very cool exhibits.

Oz in the News 5.23.13

d1c3681a67429f69708f2489769423eb_largeThe Steam Engines of Oz original graphic novel  The Steam Engines of Oz is a family-friendly, EPIC SteamPunk infused story, set 100 years after the events of The Wizard of Oz. A lot has happened in the Land of Oz since Dorothy’s departure, clicking her heels together and saying, “there’s no place like home!” Created by Sean Patrick O’Reilly (CLOCKWORK GIRL, KADE, EZRA, PIXIES) and Erik W Hendrix (DEADLY HARVEST, THE EVIL TREE, THE BOOK, CHAMPIONS OF THE WILD WEIRD WEST), with art from Yannis Roumboulias (DEADLY HARVEST) and colors from Chandran (INTRINSIC), our story follows young Victoria Wright, who works beneath the Emerald City, making sure the vast machines below the city keep running. She finds out, however, that her actions, which seem so small, actually have much larger implications.  Along the way, we find out what happened to some of the beloved characters from The Wizard of Oz and other stories set in the Land of Oz, as well as meeting new characters. So, what happened to the Tin Man, Scarecrow, the Wizard of Oz himself, and others? Well, you need to read the book to find out!

‘Patchwork of Oz’ This Year’s Theme of Oz-Stravaganza  A total of 21 special guests will make appearances throughout Oz weekend including cast members from the film “After the Wizard,” Jordan VanVranken, Jermel Nakia and Orien Richman. Also appearing will be Hugh Gross, writer and director of the film. Judy Garland’s movie stand-in, Caren Marsh-Doll, Munchkin by marriage Myrna Swensen, L. Frank Baum’s great grandson Bob Baum and his wife Clare will all be returning guests. Another of L. Frank Baum’s great grandsons, Roger Baum, and his wife, Charlene, will return to Chittenango for the first time in a few years to speak about the new Oz animated movie to be released next year based on Roger’s book Dorothy of Oz. From the recently released Disney movie Oz the Great and Powerful Quadling child Ann Marie Arcuri and Wizard stand-in Al Jakel will be an exciting addition to the festival. New guests to Oz-Stravaganza! are movie critic Ryan Jay and  the expert on the 1903 Wizard of Oz musical David Maxine.

Oz in the News 5.22.13

ozombie-ios-1If American McGee Doesn’t Get Alice He’ll Put Zombies In Oz McGee is toying with the idea of putting zombies in a steampunk version of the Wizard of Oz. “There’s so much fun stuff to explore,” says McGee, “so many interesting characters and locations to discover.” It could go anywhere. A tentative narrative has Scarecrow, dissatisfied with the brains the Wizard gives him, going on a rampage across Oz to turn everything he meets into a zombie. Oz itself becomes a post-apocalyptic wasteland, in the game McGee’s calling – at least for now – OZombie. If the idea interests you, there’s a Facebook page over here you might want to look at. Also a Twitter feed. Now tap your heels together and say, ‘there’s nothing like brains …’

New Pinball Machine is a Game Changer for the Industry: We’re Not in Kansas Anymore  After a 2+ year journey down the Yellow Brick Road, New Jersey based Pinball Manufacturer, Jersey Jack Pinball, Inc. (JJP)  has started shipment of their much anticipated first game, The Wizard of Oz Pinball Machine. Games have started to make their way from the company’s 42,000-sq foot building in Lakewood, NJ to over 1,400 customers worldwide who have pre-ordered the machine. The game includes a magnetized flying monkey that scoops up your ball, Dorothy’s house which spins and drops on the feet of the Wicked Witch of the East, a crystal ball that displays animations through a small backlit LCD monitor, ruby red “slipper flippers,” and countless other aspects of the classic movie.

Oz in the News 5.18.13

6a00d83451efb469e201311008d62e970cLocal collector to auction rare Judy Garland Oz dress  Local Hollywood memorabilia collector, Barry Barsamian, has decided to sell his iconic Judy Garland “Dorothy” dress at auction. This rare costume is from the early and rare Richard Thorpe October 1938 filming of The Wizard of Oz. Debbie Reynolds “twin” to this dress sold in 2011 for $1,119,300! There are only two documented dresses known to have survived the past 75 years from the Thorpe filming. Barsamian’s and Debbie Reynolds. Barry’s dress has even more provenance… his Dorothy dress toured all 48 Continental states from 1975 to 1976 as part of the Bicentennial celebration of the Smithsonian Institution’s Freedom Train. The Judy Garland “Dorothy Gale” blue cotton pinafore with polka dot trim and puff-sleeved blouse was designed by MGM studio legend Gilbert “Adrian.”

Zooey Deschanel’s Oz obsession  ”When I was two, I saw the ‘Wizard of Oz’ and became completely obsessed with [‘Over the Rainbow’]. My parents have a video of me singing it when I was two. Coming at a song for the first time, having no history of knowing any songs before, it’s an interesting memory to have. It was the first song I learned the words to. It was difficult but I was determined.”

Oz in the News 5.17.13

gI_134685_2-Panel-Billboard-for-MGM-Film-1940-for-webFarnsworth Presents The Wonderful World of Oz Exhibition on 75th Anniversary of Iconic Film  To coincide with the 75th anniversary of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s classic motion picture The Wizard of Oz, the Farnsworth Art Museum will open the exhibition, The Wonderful World of Oz, on Saturday, October 12, 2013. The show, drawn from the world’s most comprehensive collection of Oz materials, which is based in Maine, will run through spring 2014 in the museum’s Crosman Gallery. Included in the Farnsworth exhibition will be the most complete surviving costume (worn by the green Lollipop Guild Munchkin), one of Dorothy’s pinafores and blouses, examples of the many illustrated versions of Baum’s books (including the finest known copy of the first edition, first state “green imprint” of Baum’s initial book in the series), rare or one-of-a-kind posters from the various motion picture and stage productions, and a remarkable array of other Oz memorabilia from the Willard Carroll / Tom Wilhite Collection. Among the major pieces to be displayed is the Hourglass that the Wicked Witch of the West uses in the 1939 film to show Dorothy “how much longer you have to be alive.” Margaret Hamilton, who played the witch, lived during her later years on Cape Island, off Newagen, Maine.

Lost Girl a new take on the Wizard of Oz  The Massey University Drama Society will celebrate 50 years with a production of Lost Girl. Written and directed by Div Collins, winner of the Manawatu International One-Act Playwriting Award in 2008 and 2010, the play is loosely based on characters and events from the 1939 film, The Wizard of Oz. Dorothy Gale is a lonely 30-something who receives a mysterious parcel containing a familiar blue dress and ruby slippers. She is given directions to follow through the city, and on the way reunites with friends she hasn’t seen since childhood. While adult-Dorothy travels, we also see her and her friends as they last played – a final thrilling journey in Oz. They move deep into the forest of broken clocks, a place where time goes funny and the yellow-brick road may not be the road to follow.

Oz in the News 5.16.13

Behind the scenes: Oz the Great and Powerful  By January 2012, edits of live-action footage began reaching Sony Pictures Imageworks. Simultaneously, work began on some of the film’s more complex digital environments. It was an evolving process, and part of this creative evolution was in terms of the film’s 3D demands. Scott Willman, the film’s stereography supervisor, came on board immediately after the principal photography was complete, for which the on-set 3D stereographers had been Ed Marsh and James Goldman. One of Wilman’s key responsibilities was to oversee how animated characters would tie in with the movie’s 3D aesthetic. Willman recalls that Raimi’s feedback upon reviewing the 3D footage was to “make it bigger”.

L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Teaser Trailer

Oz in the News 5.11.13

Judy-Garland’s-dress-worn-in-the-Wizard-of-Oz-has-sold-for-480000-at-auction-in-Beverly-HillsJudy Garland’s actual Dorothy dress comes to Ireland  For every Irish person The Wizard of Oz is an obligatory Christmas watch and a childhood favourite. This summer get closer to the star than you ever could have imagined by visiting the Newbridge Silverware Museum of Icons in Dublin to see their new temporary Garland display. The blue and white gingham pinafore costume worn by Garland in her most memorable performance as Dorothy, which recently sold for a record sum of $480,000 USD, is on display from May 22nd- July 31st.

Studio Behind Animated ‘Wizard of Oz’ Sued for $1.2M  It doesn’t always pay to follow the Yellow Brick Road. Daniel Zucker is suing Gigapix Studios in Los Angeles Superior Court and alleging securities fraud and breach of contract over a  $700,000 loan related to a planned computer-animated version of “The Wizard of Oz.” Zucker claims Gigapix never repaid the money in his lawsuit. Zucker also invested money in the film and is seeking $1.2 million in damages and attorney’s fees.

Louna Release ‘Oz’ Themed Video For “Business”  Russian rockers Louna have released a heavily loaded video for “Business”. Based heavily upon the Wizard Of Oz mythos, the video takes the militaristically atheistic lyrics and combines them with politically charged imagery. In the video, two warring factions of munchkins use any means to kill one another, including bombs, balloon explosives, and suicide vests. Meanwhile, the Wizard watches over as a mask, no expression present as senseless slaughter after senseless slaughter is committed.

Oz in the News 5.8.13

x800px-usj-wizardofoz.jpg.pagespeed.ic.vw6fNCK7ijAmerican McGee’s Spicy Horse working on a shiny new Oz game “It will be based on the entire Oz series – almost all 14 titles – so expect to see unique things not seen in previous incarnations,” Spicy Horse Community Manager Kelly Heckman says.  The new Oz game is still in its early stages, and Spicy Horse has yet to decide which genre it will be – strategy, puzzler, platformer, action, FPS – though the studio has a few ideas. The game will be cross-platform between tablets and PC, Mac and Linux, and while Spicy Horse likes the idea of a physical product, it has no concrete plans in that regard.

South Dakota woman “Rediscovering Dorothy” from Wizard of Oz  She’s a courageous girl trying to make her way through an unknown land, helping incomplete men find what they need along the way. “So even though you may never have heard of Matilda Joslyn Gage’s name you know her spirit because it comes through in the character of Dorothy,” said Carey Graeber. “Turns out she was the architect of the women’s suffrage movement. She was a lot of the brains behind the fight to get out the vote, and she was written out of history by Susan B. Anthony,” said Graeber.

Callison: Telling the story of Oz’s Dorothy  It was in Aberdeen, in the home of her parents, Karl and Doris Graeber, now of Sioux Falls, that she first saw “The Wizard of Oz.” Because the Graebers owned only a black-and-white television set, it wasn’t until Graeber was in college that she learned the Oz scenes in the movie are in color. An all-black-and-white experience didn’t detract from Dorothy’s story, however, that of a little girl who meets male characters who are not whole human beings, who need someone to lead them to their goals.

We’re off to see the lawyers  Judge William Cohen, who was defending Glinda, played by attorney Teri Corsones, started deliberations with a surprisingly strong opening, describing Dorothy and her attorney as “liars, cheats and frauds” who are only looking to make money from “a good person.”
“My client is a good person,” Cohen said of Glinda. “All she wanted to do was help her and what does she get? She gets sued.”

“David Lynch Meets Wizard Of Oz”: Check Out Vincent Minor’s New Music Video “Dead Air”  The critically-acclaimed gay artist blows back into our life with the belated release of the music video for “Dead Air.” It’s been described as “David Lynch meets The Wizard Of Oz.” We totally get that reference.

Oz in the News 5.3.13

oz-great-powerful-bluray‘Oz The Great and Powerful’ on Blu-ray June 11th!  Bonus features include “The Magic of Oz The Great and Powerful (Second Screen Experience)”, “The Enchanting Characters and Creatures of Oz”, Bloopers, “Mila’s Metamorphosis” and “Walt Disney and the Road to Oz”.

No Place Like Home  “We have all kinds of new characters and yet this one, little Dorothy still survives after all these years. As I think it’s interesting for people to find out where she came from and how she came to be,” filmmaker Carey Graeber said. Making the historical documentary, Rediscovering Dorothy made Graeber an expert of sorts on Baum and on the “Wizard of Oz.” Particularly the strong women in his life including, Mathinda Joslyn Gage, who was instrumental in the suffrage movement. Graeber says that encouraged Baum to write down Dorothy’s story, the tale of a strong-willed girl in a time before women were considered equal to men. Graeber is still raising money to finish the movie. She will talk about the process and the historical figures behind Baum’s book following the 2 p.m. Sunday performance of the Wizard of Oz at the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Sioux Falls.  Watch the trailer here.
Dancing to Oz in Fresno  They’re off to see the Wizard — in the form of a story ballet. California Arts Academy presents seven performances of an original ballet based on the beloved “The Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum. The production features more than 200 local dancers. Special guests Michael Peterson and Jennifer Hurd-Peterson will portray the Wizard and the Green Girl.

Oz in the News 5.1.13

51P5-zfqGjL._SX500_Positively Ozitively Travel by hot air balloon to Oz with Dot, Dorothy’s daughter, for adventures with beloved Wizard of Oz characters in this Studios pre-school series.  Watch the first episode here.

James Franco’s quirky ‘Oz’ journey: Exclusive clip “I just got bored with the regular B-roll behind-the-scenes kind of things that are so conventional and cookie cutter,” says Franco, who stars as Oscar Diggs in Oz. “It felt like they were not asking the questions I wanted to ask. I thought I would do the interviews and find out what I wanted to know.” An exclusive sneak peek of the 22-minute segment is revealed here and is anything but boring. Starting with Franco waking up from a nap on the Detroit set, he interviews key members of the cast and crew including director Sam Raimi and his witch co-stars Mila Kunis and Michelle Williams.