OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL
Props & Stunts
Before Michelle Williams could fully embody the good witch Glinda, she needed one more element to complete
her transformation -- the Good Witch's magic wand, which fell to the film's veteran prop master, Russell Bobbitt
(the "Iron Man" trilogy).
The wand was one of dozens of key props manufactured by Bobbitt for the film's characters. His treasure
chest included 5000 gold coins, which Evanora uses to lure Oscar into her lair ("We made 5000 pieces, which
included the Yellow Brick Road on one side, and an image of L. Frank Baum on the other," per Bobbitt); Oscar's
music box, used to charm his female conquests; and a trio of
magical jewels, one each for the three witches in the story.
"The three witches have different magical powers," actress
Weisz explains about the key props each character uses in the
story to bring forth their magic. "My magic power is lightning
that comes from my fingertips. All of which emanates from an
amulet around my neck. Glinda has a magic wand from which
she can manipulate water. And, Theodora can create fire from
her magic ring."
Bobbitt provided one more key prop, without which the witch wouldn't be a witch. That being the broom,
which "we find in Glinda's world, where it's clean and pure," Bobbitt relates. "Once the Wicked Witch gets a
hold of it, she brings her powers into the broom, and it morphs itself into a dark, twisted broom."
"I fly and I float," says actress Kunis about her stunt work in the film, much of which takes place on the broom.
"Like as high as our stages are (45 feet). I buzz people and sometimes go through crowds. What you see in the
movie, I did all of it. It was pretty insane. But, I did it all myself."
Kunis spent countless hours on days off with stunt coordinator Scott Rogers, who reunited with Raimi after
designing the computerized cable rigs that allowed actor Tobey Maguire to soar as Spider-Man in the second
and third installments of the filmmaker's popular trilogy.
"She's really tough," observes Rogers about Kunis' fearless approach to the required stunt work (all of which
she did herself without the safety net of a professional double). "I don't think we actually could fly her fast
enough. Everything we did, she's like 'let's go faster!' She really enjoyed it and was a pleasure to work with. I'm
trying to think of the right word to describe Mila. You know, just 'game.' She was game for whatever we did.
And that instantly made our job easier."
With all four main cast members, "We first had to see if they were willing to leave the ground," Rogers admits.
"You know, a lot of people can be adverse to being very high in the air. We were real fortunate that everybody
from James to Mila to Michelle to Rachel were all okay with us taking them 30 feet in the air."
To perfect his high-wire act, so-to-speak, Rogers says that "we developed an apparatus that would allow us to
lift Mila, to pick up one end of the broom, or to let it out so she could pick it up, put it under her, and take off,
then rotate and fly around in a 3D space. These were technologies and theories that had all been built upon
since 'Spider-Man 2.'"
"The apparatus is called a foy," he continues in further clarifying a trick of his trade. "This foy system has been
part of filmmaking and live stage shows for probably decades. Now, this system we used has never existed
before, as far as I know. To be able to fly somebody in a 3D space back-and-forth, up-and-down, side-to-side.
Also, to puppeteer the lead actress, allowing her to get on-and-off a broom all in one open shot. It was quite
an accomplishment, of which I'm very proud."
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