Thursday, April 05, 2007

My Oz April Fool's Joke

In the early wee hours of April 1st, 2007, I made a post on the International Wizard of Oz Club's message board in "Oz Announcements."

I was using a fake, unregistered screen name "DreamWorks." The topic was "Oz Screenplay Optioned." (Click on the name to see the thread, because it's not going to be reproduced here!)

The post was a collaborative effort between myself and Sam Antony Milazzo, an Oz fan who lives in Maroubra, Australia.

I sent Sam an e-mail with it, and he sent me an e-mail with his editing and additions. I edited it together seamlessly.

The only true parts of our post were about how we wanted to write and adapt the Oz stories as movies. As of yet, we have not edited together a script, so of course, it has not been optioned by DreamWorks.

In fact, in my original version, it was not DreamWorks, but 20th Century Fox. Sam had the better idea of bringing in Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks. I edited my original ending (saying that the company who had optioned the script was considering it as a franchise in the footsteps of "Narnia," "Lord of the Rings," and "Harry Potter") to say it would follow up the Shrek series, with the (so far unproven) idea that the forthcoming "Shrek the Third" may be the last film in that series. So, I guess that may have been a double-whammy joke, along with contacting Willard Carroll, Tom Hanks vs. Robin Williams, and asking Eric Shanower and William Stout for their participation in the way of conceptual artwork. (Eric has said probably not, but Stout may be up for it.)

The joke was minimally recieved. I think the fellow who posts as "MB" got that it was a joke, as he said the film's release date would be 4/1/09. "Lalalei" said they hoped it was a joke. Eric Gjovaag, on the other hand, may or may not have gotten that it was a joke, as he said he would not believe an Oz film was in the works until he saw some official production photos, and that a script option doesn't guarantee the movie will be made.

I have a feeling that several people saw it, but also checked out the link at the end, and after reading that page, chose to remain silent.

One person who was not fooled was Aaron Pacentine. I let him know over the phone during my interview (we weren't recording) that it was a hoax so he would not ask questions. He thought it was hilarious, but hopes that the screenplay will be optioned and given the green light.

A couple days later, I posted under my usual screen name and admitted that it was a joke.

It was fun to come up with, though.

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