The Witches of Oz (2011) - production update

Leigh Scott (writer, director and producer) of The Witches of Oz has posted a note on Facebook detailing the current status of production.

"... During the shoot, we allowed the film to grow to meet the material. We followed our hearts instead of our wallets. The entire time, we all knew we were making something special.

In order to compensate for the expanding budget, we entered into a distribution agreement and made the decision to turn the film into a two part mini-series. We had already spent enough for two movies, and the first cut was over three hours long, so why not sell it that way?

During post-production we encountered the same thing that we did while shooting. The film demanded more, bigger and better. Unlike the production phase, we discovered that not everyone in our midst was up to the challenge. A few people we hired lacked the skill, drive, and determination to deliver. Some, I recommend, should seek a different career path altogether. Of course this has happened to me before. Nine times out of ten, the visual effects in smaller films underwhelm. Usually, you just do your best to cut around them, make them darker, and accept the fact that the business trumps the artistic integrity of an independent film. But that old attitude wasn't good enough. We went back and redid 90% of the visual effects. In fact, both videos floating around the internet feature these old effects.

We've given ourselves deadlines numerous times to finish the project. Yet, when we reach them and the film isn't 100% the way we want it, we ask ourselves "why"? Why put out something that you know isn't the best that it can be? We've come this far, why not go all the way?

That explains why the film isn't ready for release. While the two part version is a great mini-series or made for TV event, the theatrical version is the type of film that builds life long fans and warrants repeat viewing. It's just too on the money to not let people see it. And we will release it when we know it's right.

Oz is far too important to too many people to not give it the respect and the reverence that it deserves. People have worked too hard to see their labor and artistry not receive the praise that it deserves. The challenge to making a great movie is insuring that the sum is equal to the greatness of its parts. That takes a lot of time and a lot of detailed work.

There is a saying in Hollywood. Fast, cheap, good….pick two. We've made a movie that hangs with studio releases for a fraction of the cost. That means we can either make it fast or good. We choose good.

This is also the first film I've made that had enough interest to warrant speculation and rumors. Let me clear those up. The film is not a musical. Yes, there are two versions of the film and both will be available. Yes, we will be putting the film into theaters. No, it won't be on February 18th. And as for a sequel…well, I can't rely confirm or deny that at this point...

So there you have the update. It's a story of courage, heart, brains and realizing that you have all the skills and tools you need inside as long as you believe in yourself.

Hmmm…that's funny. Now where have I heard THAT story before?

They do say you should write what you know.


  1. This is the first I have read, of this project. It sounds delicious. Thank you very much.

    I like this post so much, that I plan on linking to it, in an entry on my blog. Will return, with a link to that entry, when I post it.

    Again, thank you.

    Gentle hugs...

  2. Aunt Amelia,
    Glad to meet another fan of Oz! Please feel free to check out more info here if this is the first you've read of it. (This is the original post where I keep all the updates as I find them.)

    Hopefully we'll see this in theatres soon!

  3. I have just watched the two parts. I am more touched then I could have imagined. I feel so many other can relate in their lives as I have. I really hope you continue this wonderful work and continue giving hope in the heart of all who watch it. In my eyes, this is a masterpiece that REALLY touches the heart!
    Thank You!!



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