Writing ‘The Wizard of Oz’

Picture by Rishi Bandopadhay on Flickr

Picture by Rishi Bandopadhay on Flickr

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’, as a book, and ‘The Wizard of Oz’, the movie adaptation, are a bit different. For the producers, it was a challenge to adapt so many books written by L. F. Baum in only one movie. That’s why 14 writers were necessary. But it’s true that only 3 did most of the job and were recognised: Noel Langley, Florence Ryerson and Edgar Allan Woolf.

L. Frank Baum was an American author who had so many jobs before being a writer. His mother-in-law told him that he could write books because he had a lot of imagination. He used to create lots of stories for his children. That’s when he started to imagine the Land of Oz, but he needed a name. One day, in the library, he was having a look at the Encyclopaedia and he saw the volume ‘O to Z’ and he got inspired.

The first book of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ was so popular that many kids used to write the author asking for more stories. That’s why he decided to publish a book every year about the adventures in Oz. He wrote 13 books and once he died, another author, Ruth Plumly Thompson continued writing some more books. Baum created a world very well organised that lot of people can feel inspired to imagine some more adventures and stories.

There is one of the writers of the film that did an important job, more than the rest. It was Noel Langley. He was the youngest writer of the team but he had a great idea. In only 11 days he adapted the book to a script for the film and presented it to the producers. The writers Florence Ryerson and Edgar Allan Woolf did a few changes but Langley wasn’t happy at all. He was very disappointed with the final result, but later he admitted that it wasn’t that bad.

Picture by Insomnia Cured Here on Flickr

Picture by Insomnia Cured Here on Flickr

Noel Langley changed the colour of Dorothy’s shoes. On the book were silver and he changed for ruby. Also, made the story look completely different. Dorothy’s journey to Oz was a dream. At the beginning, you can see lots of characters and people from Kansas and then, in Oz, all those people play a different character in the magical world. That’s something that he introduced and works really well because you can see all the characters playing different roles in two different worlds.

Many screenwriters were necessary to create ‘The Wizard of Oz’. It’s a film for kids but is more than that, as we can see for all the artistic work behind it. The writer L. F. Baum created a world that can be adapted and imagined again, like all the great ideas by Noel Langley for the film. The movie and the books can inspire a lot of people and that’s the best of arts.

Cesar

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