The Wizard of Oz

The Wizard of Oz

Angela Groeschen as Dorothy

Photo by Rory Dale

Additional work on this project

Poster Design

The Wizard of Oz Poster

Production Photos

The Wizard of Oz Production Shots

A Little History

Originally I was tasked with creating still projections for the show, but as production meetings progressed and excitement about the show grew, it became apparent that I may be able to offer a little more, and the idea to create the animated Tornado sequence, floating Wizards and morphing Auntie Em and Wicked Witch, were developed.


Anaglyph Experiment

We considered the idea of projecting the Wizard in 3D and so I researched and experimented with several anaglyphic images. Unfortunately due to the budgetary constraints of obtaining two identical cameras, and two identical projectors, plus hundreds of 3D glasses, we did not proceed past the experimental phase.

The Wizard

Several more tests were conducted to discover the viability of some of our other ambitions, and first was the Wizard. I took a little footage, imported and masked it, adding it to the original set design sketch. From here I colourised it in After Effects.

Once happy with the test and the potential, we shot the real footage.

With this I was able to animate a variety of effects and really just play around to create the finished projection.

The Witch

Morph Filming

Next was the morphing of Auntie Em into the Wicked Witch. Again I shot some footage and performed a quick test.

Satisfied, we set up the shoot for the final footage.

Running the show required three people. I was the Live Sound Engineer and Projectionist, and we also had a Light Board Operator, and a Stage Manager calling cues, even operating the power to SFX fans with a foot!


Design, shoot, animate, and composite video and still projections for The Wizard of Oz. By L. Frank Baum, Music & Lyrics by Harold Arlen & E.Y. Harburg, Book adaptation by John Kane. Produced at Playhouse on the Square in Memphis, TN, March 12 - April 18, 2004.

About these videos

The video footage was shot on MiniDV, captured in iMovie and imported into After Effects. All animations were created in After Effects on an iBook G3 800Mhz, with a little help from a 1Ghz G4 iBook, a 1Ghz G4 PowerBook and a 1.8Ghz G5 PowerMac for DVD encoding and authoring.

The Projection Design for this show was awarded a special Memphis Theatre "Ostrander" Award.


The Wizard

Auntie Em morphs into the Wicked Witch

The Wizard is revealed

Synopsis of The Wizard of Oz

"There's no place like home." Swept somewhere over the rainbow by a fierce tornado, Dorothy finds herself in the magical land of Oz. Her quest to return home leads her down the yellow brick road to see the Wizard while trying to elude the clutches of the Wicked Witch. Despite dangers and surprises in the way to the Emerald City, the homesick heroine meets an unlikely trio of heroes who offer wisdom, love and courage during her darkest hours. Based on the enduring classic book and film, this enchanting musical promises to warm the spirits of the entire family.