‘Wizard of Oz’ draft scripts head for auction block

Above, an early version of a script to the movie ‘The Wizard of Oz’ being kept in the vaults of the Smithsonian’s American History Museum. (AFP)
Updated 08 November 2018
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‘Wizard of Oz’ draft scripts head for auction block

  • The first three original draft screenplays, dated between April 5 and May 14, 1938, are being sold alongside a fourth draft
  • ‘It is the single most important manuscript in Hollywood history’

LOS ANGELES: A collection of draft scripts for “The Wizard of Oz” and other material from the archives of the 1939 film are going up for auction in December and could fetch up to $1.2 million.
Los Angeles auctioneers Profiles in History said on Thursday four handwritten draft screenplays by Noel Langley were being sold.
Langley, who died in 1980, was one of about a dozen screenwriters who worked on the big screen adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s children’s book that catapulted Judy Garland to fame and became an enduring movie classic.
Langley’s first three original drafts, dated between April 5 and May 14, 1938, are being sold alongside a fourth draft of the screenplay, written by Florence Ryerson and Edgar Allan Woolf, and a fifth draft from August 1938 by Langley.
“It is the single most important manuscript in Hollywood history,” Brian Chanes, head of consignment at Profiles in History, told Reuters.
Chanes said the more than 150 pages of handwritten manuscript notes and pages were “the genesis of ‘The Wizard of Oz,’” tracing its development and changes from first draft to the final version.
Some 16 photos of special effects, including the tornado sequence that transports Garland’s Dorothy from Kansas to the magical land of Oz, will be included in the single lot.
The archive is being sold by an anonymous private collector who bought it years ago from the late Los Angeles memorabilia collector, Forrest J. Ackerman, Chanes said.
Profiles in History put an estimated sale value of $800,000 — $1.2 million on the archival material, which will be auctioned during its Hollywood memorabilia sale in Los Angeles from Dec. 11-14.
Langley, Ryerson and Woolf all received credits for the screenplay when the movie was released in 1939, but several others also made uncredited revisions and contributions.
“The studio assigned a number of script writers and each scriptwriter did not know the other was working on it. The others kind of fizzled out,” Chanes said. “Noel Langley is the one that really set the stage.”
“The Wizard of Oz” won just two Oscars — for its music — after it was released in 1939 but went on to become one of the best-known musicals in Hollywood history. In 1989, it was among the first to be preserved by the National Film Registry.


Startup of the Week: Sketching one’s own path to success

Updated 13 November 2018
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Startup of the Week: Sketching one’s own path to success

  • Turkistany used the Moshkhmt character to draw a full graphic novel that was exclusive to Comic Con Dubai 2018 and will be published soon in the Middle East

JEDDAH: When people attain a high level of creativity and are able to dive into their imaginations, they tend to create their own world and maybe their own creatures in their head. This is how a creative young Saudi artist defined her brand, Moshkhmt.
The word “Moshkhmt” is Saudi slang meaning pencil scribble. As the name suggests, it is all about one’s power of imagination. It is all about one’s unique perception of the world and to express it through a simple sketch without uttering a word.
Haneen Turkistany, 24, the founder of the brand, explained: “Fear was the main motive for me to start and create the character Moshkhmt.”
Turkistany used the Moshkhmt character to draw a full graphic novel that was exclusive to Comic Con Dubai 2018 and will be published soon in the Middle East.
The brand offers products such as sketchbooks, notebooks, pins, stickers and wrapping sheets with creative signs and logos using the character Moshkhmt. It also focuses on the moon, stars and the outer space. All products are available at @crate.ksa.
Explaining the basic concept and aim of Moshkhmt, Turkistany said: “Moshkhmt is there in each one of us, young and old. It is there in our memories and dreams, our joy and pain. It could be a loved one or a target we aspire to achieve. Moshkhmt is not just a brand. It is a story in every heartbeat, and I can say that life is mainly my audience.’’
Such startups encourage the creative side of all talented Saudi youths, as they make them realize the ultimate goal in life is not just material well-being or to run after wealth. With the right attitude and using one’s talent in a positive manner, wealth and success follow. This is what Turkistany believed in and launched her brand in July 2017.
She is not only an artist but also an intellectual with a message to convey to the world. “All I wish for is that people should stop underestimating the power of their feelings (and ideas),” she said.
Turkistany is working on getting her brand recognized for its main concept and plans to continue developing her sketches and character to achieve international recognition.