Oz in the News 9.12.13

viewd-after_590Converting The Wizard of Oz to 3D – How Prime Focus Put New Depth in the Picture While Honoring the Original Work  In a way, the real challenge wasn’t the film’s condition, but its style of filmmaking — specifically, the more leisurely editorial sensibility of Hollywood’s Golden Age means there are fewer edits, and viewers have more time to examine each shot. “To give you some ballpark numbers, a 100-minute movie today is between 800 and 2,200 shots,” explained Del Conte. “Wizard was just about 650. It affected how our roto and paint teams would approach the work. We really adjusted our workflow to compensate for so many long shots.” Among the biggest challenges on The Wizard of Oz were the shots with dancing Munchkins, which featured anywhere from 50 to 100 extras spinning around (with their limbs moving toward and away from the camera repeatedly) amongst the film’s detailed foliage and other set dressing. Accuracy was a requirement, especially in close-up sots depicting iconic characters like Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion. “We had to be very accurate with the sculpting,” Jones said. “We don’t do any automated processes. The more you automate 3D, the worse it looks. So we really put a lot of focus on character sculpting – making sure it’s accurate and that you’re getting the same detail you would if you shot it. And getting that in shots that are more than 1000 frames long, the accuracy has to go way up.”

Follow the yellow brick road to ‘The Wizard of Oz’ at Smith Center  “The Wizard of Oz” is not as spectacular as Cirque du Soleil, but there is refreshingly no acrobatics. It’s not as hip or as current as a twerking Miley Cyrus or a Macklemore rap, but for the audience and me, that was a real pleasure. The energy, the effects and the costumes all made for an enjoyable experience of understanding the real meaning of “there’s no place like home.” Even with touring shows, understudies never substitute for listed performers unless a specific announcement is made before curtain up. Believe it or not, Nigel as Toto — in the role since 2009 — even has an understudy, and Loki is just as adorable.

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