Posted on Thursday, January 31st, 2013 by Peter Sciretta
17. The yellow brick road takes on the environment it’s in.
In the Dark Forrest, rocks, leaves and dirt cover the edges of the yellow brick road. The road is dinged, darker, disrupted by roots, warped and buckled on small hilly ground – definitely seen better days. .
In the Emerald City, the road is perfect and shiny. In China Town, the road is much thinner to match the scale of the miniature buildings.
18. China Girl lives in a land called China Town.
The buildings have teapots for roofs. The environment looks like a new land you might find at Disneyland. Pieces of the China Girl’s house are cracked off like cracked dinner wear. New Deal constructed the buildings in Los Angeles and they have been flown to Detroit and reassembled on this stage. China Girl is the sole survivor of the destruction by the evil raids sent by the wicked witch.
19. Oz Could Become Part of Disneyland
Disney Imagineers visited the Oz set, and were particularly taken with a concept image of a hot air balloon flying into Oz for the first time. They are exploring opportunities for a ride/attraction or maybe even a land in the Disney theme parks if the movie does well.
20. KNB Effects Is doing the special effects make-up on the film.
KNB started working with Sam Raimi in 1986 with Evil Dead 2, and has worked with the director throughout his career, including on his last film, Drag Me To Hell. KNB was picked for their comfort with and artistry in prosthetics work. KNB co-owner Howard Berger knew he wanted to be a special effects artist since he was 8 years old. The Wizard of Oz is his father’s favorite film, and it was that film and Planet of the Apes that inspired him to do this for a living.
By the end of the shoot, KNB will have applied makup on almost 4,000 Munchkins.
The Wicked Witch make-up takes one and a half to two hours to apply and covers the actress’ entire face except for her upper lip. The makeup is comprised of a forehead and nose section, a horseshoe bottom piece, and evil hand gloves. When Berger was first designing what she would look like, he kept it simple, believing that the studio would want the star’s face visible under neath the appliances. When he presented his concepts to Sam and the actress, both agreed to go much further.
30 makeup artists are working on the production, including some of the all-time greats, like Kenny Diaz who worked on Carpenter’s The Thing and is the guy who has been doing Ronald McDonald’s makeup for almost 40 years.
The makeup artists have to arrive at 2am to begin working for a 6am crew call time. None of the makeup appliances are ever reused. Each day is a new application and at the end of the day the noses are thrown away. So they need to create tons of silicon and foam appliances, every day they receive shipments of boxes from LA.
Berger used to do the makeup for Robert Englund in the Nightmare on Elm Street movies. Englund quickly learned to rip a piece of his makeup off right after they called wrap every day, which would mean he couldn’t be pulled in for another take, shot or second unit. Berger told [the actress playing the Wicked Witch] this story and she has adopted the practice of asking her fellow cast members (like Franco) or crew members to rip a piece of her makeup off after they call wrap.
KNB Effects held a Halloween party for the production. The invitations taped around the production office use an image of the hat box ghost from Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion.
21. One of the big innovations on this film is a light set-up that simulates the sun.
One of the big innovations on this production is a 168 pars, 180k-watt light set-up that simulates the sun. It is the biggest single light that’s ever been made. Created specifically for this production, and never done before. The light allows them to light a huge 200ft set with a single source, something that wasn’t achievable in the past. The amount of heat that comes from the light is so incredible that they need to turn it off in between takes. The lights in the array are completely modular and can be expanded if needed.
22. Being on a set with a youngster can cost a lot of money.
Joey King goes around set with a potty jar, a piggy bank she named Dirty Word Diana. When adults cast and crew members swear around her, they must pay. She says that Casey, the first AD, “has a down payment, so he’s good for a while.” She is also required to have three hours of school a day while she works. Her elaborately decorated class room is located down the hall from the soundstages.
23. Sam Raimi Has Only Read a Few of the Oz Books.
Sam Raimi had only read four of the books. He was always afraid to read the books because he loved The Wizard of Oz and didn’t want to ruin it. After working on the development of this film he explored a few more of the book series and has enjoyed them.
When Raimi read the script, he realized it was a love poem to the original film, and he didn’t know it at the time, but Baum’s books too. He says it’s a very American story, about people rising up for freedom, and an ordinary man using only his ingenuity to dear the powerful evil witch warlords and save the world. But he also thinks its a more universal story than an American story.
- The gold coins in the film feature L Frank Baum’s portrait on the front with the saying ”The world is filled with wonders.”The back reads, “In giving, we receive,” with an illustration of Emerald City and yellow brick road. There is a minimum amount of coins required to print custom currancy at a mint, so they had to order 3,000. The extra coins were given out to cast and crew.
- Propmaster Russell Bobitt has a cameo in the film as Frank Baum.
- 3500-5000 pieces of clothes were used in the production: 50% were rented. Of that 20% was vintage. The rest was created specifically for this film. None of the costumes have ever appeared in another Wizard of Oz film. Styles range from the time period of 1890-1930. Costume designer Gary Jones worked closely with the special effects department, and have never been asked to change anything to confine to the effects.
- The fashion in the film has nods to modern day fashion: more flesh revealed, more ease of movement, less confining, and less caricatured.
- All the witches have corseted outfits.
- The Winkie guards wear cooling vests filled with ice underneath their big heavy coats.
- Sometimes there are as many as three Glindas shooting at a time. (Stunts, second unit, first unit, etc.) so they made six versions of her costumes.
- Glinda’s castle courtyard set took five months to build. Her home looks like a wondrous magical fairy-tale castle from a Disney animated classic that never was. Yellow beck road ends in a swirly circle in the court yard.
- Sam Raimi’s wife is a huge fan of Zach Braff, and helped champion him in the casting phase.
- Propmaster Russell Bobitt created an amazing map of the land of Oz for the film. The map is based on a map that was printed in one of the books, but with some of the locations moved around to fit story. It appears in Glinda’s library and used to explain the lay of the land to Oz.
- Magician Lance Burton spent a month and a half training James Franco to do the magic illusions seen in the film. They had to honor the magicians’ code on set, and only a few key crew members were allowed to know the secrets of the tricks.
- 11 brooms were created for the production. The flying witch’s broom prop wasn’t the first for Propmaster Russell Bobitt; he worked on Hocus Pocus almost two decades earlier.
- The traveling circus that Frank works at is called the Baum Brothers Circus.
- Glinda’s powers come from her wand, Theodora’s powers comes from her red ring, and Evanora’s powers comes from her green amulet. Glinda is very organic and able to produce bubbles. The crew used red and green lasers, aimed from off screen, to make them glow.