Oz in the News 12.28.16

27f4aa3c2f65bb495374c33533a3cc3aCamera that shot ‘Wizard of Oz’ makes today’s cinema cams look like toys Today, we take it for granted that movies (and photos) are in color. But the creation of full-color motion pictures was an iterative process that took decades to perfect. The Wizard of Oz, while not the first full-color feature, is perhaps the most iconic example of early color cinematography. The Technicolor DF-24 Beam Splitter camera is what made it possible. The move in recent years to digital cinema has reduced costs and improved ease of use. But perhaps the most obvious difference between the cameras of today and the DF-24 is size. Mounted atop its wheeled sled, the Technicolor camera stood over eight feet tall. But the size and complexity of the Technicolor camera was worth it. The technological advance of color was about much more than adding eye candy. When The Wizard of Oz premiered in 1939, it provided moviegoers with much-needed escapism at a time when Americans were caught between the Great Depression and the growing threat of another war in Europe. Just as the awestruck Dorothy stepped out of her Kansas home into the magical world of Oz, so too did the audience get to leave its world behind — if only for a couple of hours.

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