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.”

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