31 July 2012

The Legacy of Oz in Culver City

Yesterday I went on the Sony Pictures Studios tour, which shows people working sets and backstage departments instead of giving them a theme-park ride.

The guide told us that an area where the ground had been painted yellow was connected to Sam Raimi’s upcoming Disney movie Oz, the Great and Powerful, about young Oscar Z. Diggs’s arrival in Oz. This seemed resonant since Sony Pictures Studios is the remaining part of the old MGM lot, including buildings where Judy Garland went to school and where the studio recorded its music while making its 1939 Wizard of Oz.

Through a complex series of corporate setbacks and real-estate transactions, the regal MGM lot now celebrates the legacy of once-low-rent Columbia Pictures. (In the same way, the MGM Wizard of Oz is now Warner Bros. intellectual property.)

Right now the Sony studio is undergoing a major construction project: a 90-foot-tall rainbow that will arc from a spot in front of the executive offices, over some other buildings, to another spot. That of course commemorates The Wizard of Oz, even though no rainbow appears in the film. If we hadn’t already been on the border of tourism and movies, it would all have been very ironic.

1 comment:

Glenn Ingersoll said...

Take that California trip!