Camera Shots in The Wizard Of Oz
Camera shots in The Wizard of Oz greatly improved the overall quality of the film in many ways. For example in the scenes where Dorthy lands in Oz, Dorothy meets the munchkins and in the scene where Dorothy clicks her heels to return home. In these three scenes in particular the director does an excellent job of enhancing the overall photography in the scene and helping the audience to experience new things. The reaction to this movie was very successful especially since this was one of the first films to be released in color. Recently Time Magazine reviewed the movie and said, “The whimsical gaiety, the lighthearted song & dance, the lavish Hollywood sets and costumes are as fresh and beguiling today as they were ten years ago when the picture was first released.” This shows the director successfully created a film in which his camera work made people greatly appreciate the movie.
When the movie changed from black and white to color the picture of the movie was greatly enhanced. Before The Wizard of Oz was released audiences had not seen a movie in color. When the movie starts on a farm in Kansas the film is black and white but then when Dorothy is transported to Oz and she steps out her door we see a world of color. About the transition into color film critic Roger Ebert said, “What did I think? It made good sense to me.” This means that he agreed with the directors choice to add color to the film. The change comes at an unexpected time in the movie, Dorothy walks outside in to her Fantasy World, Oz and the audience experiences this from her point of view because like Dorothy the audience is experiencing this innovation for the first time. The picture of the movie was greatly enhanced because of the over the shoulder shot we see the contrast between Dorothy's drab normal world and her fantasy world and how different the two are because of the use of color. This contrast really helps the audience to see how extraordinary Oz is and the camera helps us to experience the same shock Dorothy is experiencing.
Another scene in which the quality of the film is greatly improved is the scene where Dorothy meets the munchkins in Oz. The director uses many different camera angles to convey to the audience what the munchkins are like. For example the director chose to use many high angle shots that really show the height difference between Dorothy and the munchkins. Wide angle shots were also used to capture the characters interactions. This affects the picture of the film because the use of the camera helps the audience to understand how different the munchkins are and to further show how different and extraordinary Oz and its people are compared to Dorothy’s home state of Kansas. This intrigues the audience and captures their attention.
In one of the final scenes of the movie where Dorothy clicks her heels to return home the director uses many different camera shots the convey an interesting picture to the audience. The picture that he is trying to convey to the audience is that Dorothy is leaving Oz and going home. There is a sequence of shots, the first is of Dorothy's face, then there is a shot of her ruby slippers. In one of the close ups of the shoes they are on a black background so they really stand out to the audience. We see the camera cut from a close up of her face to a close up of the shoes then the pictures overlap each other and there is a circular fade into the background. Then the screen is black for a moment and Dorothy wakes up home in Kansas and the film is once again in black and white. This is interesting to the audience because they are seeing Dorothy return home and the circular fade out along with the overlapping images which conveys to the audience that she is crossing back over into the real world.
In 1939 both The Wizard of Oz and Gone With The Wind were released at around the same time. These two movies were the first ones to use color. However The Wizard of Oz was memorable for many other reasons including the directors use of camera shots and angles. Throughout the movie the director used the camera in different ways to enhance the quality of the movie. To me the scenes that stood out the most were the scenes where Dorothy arrived in Oz for the first time, when she met the munchkins, and when Dorothy clicked her heels to return home. In these three scenes in particular I think the director did the best job of providing interesting pictures to the audience and using the camera to contribute to the overall quality of the film.