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The Wizard of Oz Essay

The Wizard of Oz uses film form by using similarity and repetition. With Dorothy being the main character, she is always reappearing in the film. As well as all of the characters, The Tin Man, The Lion, and The Scarecrow, have similarities to Dorothy. Each of them need something, Dorothy needs to go back home, The Tin Man needs a brain, The Scarecrow needs a heart, and The Lion needs courage. The film also progresses from the beginning to the end, as well as the characters. Dorothy starts at one spot, follows the yellow brick road and eventually makes it to her destination to see The Wizard of Oz, gets what she wants and ends up back home. The characters grow as they go. You can really evaluate this film because it is very interesting and catchy. The director carries the story very well in his Narrative form.

Film Style

(Mise-en-Scene)

The viewers can pick up a lot from the film The Wizard of Oz. The setting is always pretty much the same, there is a lot of different colors, different shapes, and patterns. The filmmaker is always grabbing our attention with the variety of things that show up throughout the film. Something else that the viewers notice a lot is the characters, especially Dorothy. Each of their costumes represents the character, leaving the viewers to remember them by what they are wearing. The main thing that is remembered about Dorothy is her ruby red heels that end up getting her back home. Dorothy receives the ruby red heels at the beginning of her adventure and she wears them all throughout the film down the yellow brick road, and at the end of the film the ruby red heels have a big significance. Dorothy ends up getting let in to see the Wiz of Oz only because of the ruby red heels. Eventually, Dorothy clicks her ruby red heels together and they magically get her back home. (Cinematography)

The Cinematography that the Wizard of Oz used is a benchmark for Technicolor’s three-strip process. The individual colors stand out everywhere, and there is never a trace of chroma noise. The image is brighter and sharper in the film. The contrast of the film really affects the mood. Since the contrast is so bright the viewer is bound to stay focused and aware because everything is so catchy and noticeable. Also, the exposure changes throughout the film. At the very beginning the film starts in black and white and changed to color as the story progressed. The filmmaker uses a lot of Long Takes, each shot of Dorothy meeting someone new is pretty lengthy. (Editing)

The Wizard of Oz is an early film but editing is used quite a bit. First off, the absence of color in the beginning and the ending of the film. This sets an overall feeling of Dorothy being home. Next the film turns to color once Dorothy dreams of being in a different world, the color, yet again, set an overall mood for Dorothy in this new world “Over the rainbow.” The first steps of Dorothy being in the world of The Wizard of Oz gives off an example of inside and outside editing. The shot begins with a close up of Dorothy’s face and the camera slowly moves out to show everything else around Dorothy, which was the start of the yellow brick road and Munchkin land.

After the viewer see all of that, the camera moves back in to Dorothys face when she says that they are not in Kansas anymore. One editing transition used a lot in The Wizard of Oz is the fade-in and dissolve. Another is cross-cut, two events occurring at the same time but in two different locations. This is used in the scene at the poppy field, after Dorothy and her friends meet the Lion. The shot zooms out to the Witches crystal ball, and fades away. Then the Witch looks into her crystal ball and can see the poppy field, zooming back in to see Dorothy and her friends on their adventure to see The Wizard of Oz. (Sound)

The perceptual properties of film sound used in The Wizard of Oz are the loudness (volume) and pitch. The scenes where the group sing “We’re off We’re off to see the Wizard, The wonderful Wizard of Oz, You’ll find that the man is a whiz of a Wiz, If ever a Wiz there was, If ever, if ever a Wizmthere was, The Wizard of Oz is one because, Because, because, because, because, because, Of the wonderful things he does, We’re off to see the Wizard, The wonderful Wizard of Oz,” the volume as well as the pitch always go up. The rhythm flows really well. An example from the Wizard of Oz that shows non-diegetic sound is when Dorothy is talking to the Wicked Witch and the Good Witch. The characters conversation is mirrored with the music playing in the background. The non-diegetic sound supports the narrative. As well as helping the viewer’s get an emotional attachment to the shots. (Narrative)


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