NOTE: The following contains spoilers for THE WIZARD OF OZ. If you are worried about being spoiled by one of the most popular films in history, then God help you.
THE WIZARD OF OZ FC1 NOTES
Hello! Thanks for turning around the previous cut to us so quickly. We really appreciate the time and effort your team has put into the previous cuts but unfortunately, we are VERY disappointed with the state of the show thus far. While we understand that sometimes we veer off of the approved outline during production, the cut as it stands is just too different to us to approve. We'd like another Fine Cut before lock. A lot of changes need to take place before we're done, so we are unable to give time coded notes at this time. As it stands right now, the Oz sections are way stronger than the Kansas sections, so we should really focus on our strengths and minimize our weaknesses. Oz is a very interesting place but we really don't know anything about it. The audience is craving takeaway info about new places so let's give it to them. Any fun restaurants in Oz? Shopping? Exciting local customs and fashions? Think less "Lord of the Rings" and more Anthony Bourdain. We also want to do a restructuring as well (see below). The characters also need more definition and a bite pass is absolutely necessary.
Please double check to make sure all the songs being used are cleared.
DOROTHY IN KANSAS
Is there something wrong with the output? This section is in a weird sepia tone black & white, not color. Our research shows that younger viewers will only accept black and white footage in a Beyonce video. Please fix this in Color Correction.
We first see Dorothy and Toto running along a street talking about a mean Mrs. Gulch. Who is Mrs. Gulch? Where are we? You and I know that she's in Kansas but we cannot assume that the audience does. Please build out an opening montage showing us Kansas and add a chyron that says "Kansas." If we tell our audience explicitly what's happening right from the jump, they will be with us the entire time.
Dorothy is an appealing character; she's sweet and likable in a flyover state sort of way. But her intentions are a bit muddled. Please put in a bite along the lines of "I live with my aunt & uncle on a farm in Kansas and my dog Toto is my best friend; Toto bit a mean neighbor, Mrs. Gulch." In her own words, of course.
Dorothy does a nice job on "Somewhere Over The Rainbow", but the action has completely stopped at this point and I am BORED. She wants to go someplace else but this sentiment has absolutely no set up! Guys, this is really, REALLY sloppy. How can I root for her if she doesn't tell us exactly how she's feeling at all times? Please add a sound up of her saying something like this to Toto.
I really think we can cut down the rest of this section. Let's go from the song, to a bit with Mrs. Gulch threatening to take Toto away, to the tornado. (The scene with Professor Marvel can be a web extra) Everything else is really slow and bogging down the action. Also outside of Dorothy, neither her aunt & uncle nor the agricultural workers are really camera ready. Are there any attractive farm hands around? We really don't want to alienate our audience so early into the proceedings.
ARRIVING IN OZ
Wow, Munchkinland looks amazing! So bright and colorful. I really want to go there! Is there a less violent take of Dorothy arriving in Oz? We don't want our audience to think that they have to kill a green woman in order to visit this fun place.
The denizens of Munchkinland are very interesting. Considering the current appeal of little people shows, we think there is a lot of potential here. Any more scene work with Dorothy and the Lollipop Guild? This could be a potential backdoor pilot of "Little Women: Lullaby League." Please double check your footage and let us know.
Dorothy spends so little time in Munchinkinland. Does she do anything else while there? Any fancy hotels?
The Wicked Witch of the West makes a great entrance, but this is BEGGING for a bio bite from her. How close was she to her sister? Why are the shoes so important? What does the Mayor of Munchkinland think of her? Let's think outside of the box here and really build her up. She's very important to the rest of the episode so she needs as much set up as possible.
YELLOW BRICK ROAD
Let's put in a bite from Glinda about how important the Yellow Brick Road is to Oz. Right now it just seems like a pretty pedestrian path and not a main thoroughfare.
General note: do a graphics pass and show Dorothy's progress through Oz. How can I root for her to get to the Emerald City if I don't know how far she has to travel?
SCARECROW, TIN MAN, COWARDLY LION
This is a big note for all three of these characters. They all have potential but the current scene work with them is cheap and lackluster. The Scarecrow wants a brain but comes up with great ideas; the Tin Man has no heart but he's crying all the time. Guys, we CAN'T be this sloppy. We are better than this. Remember, in our style guide, characters are defined by ONE personality trait that NEVER CHANGES. We should to the following:
SCARECROW -- wants a brain -- therefore must be dumb and say stupid things.
TIN MAN -- wants a heart -- must be cold and unfeeling.
COWARDLY LION -- wants courage -- must be afraid at all times.
WICKED WITCH OF THE WEST -- mean, wicked -- angry, vengeful, obsessed with shoes
The scene work with the Lion is the most consistent but for the other two, this is just amateur hour. All the their introduction scenes will need to be recut along these lines. Remember, the audience is counting on us to give them the best story possible!
Let's put a disclaimer at the top warning about the dangers of drug abuse. Either that or we cut the poppies.
The montage of Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion's spa day in the Emerald City finally has some of the sexy, glamorous footage that we've been craving. The haircuts, the buffing; this is great. Let's show them doing more in the Emerald City. Any other sights to see? Any great shopping? Can we add a pick up scene of them getting some essentials from Target? We have a great relationship with them and this product integration would really help with the budget.
Please cut the Lion's "If I Were The King of the Forest". We think it would be better as a podbuster.
SEEING THE WIZARD
The Wizard seems intimidating but no one is saying he IS intimidating. Any bites about the scary wizard? Maybe from the Tin Man? (A bite from the Cowardly Lion is just too on the nose at this point.)
DOROTHY'S CAPTURE BY THE WITCH
While we really do feel for Dorothy as she's watching footage of Auntie Em missing her, we do think that a montage of unseen footage of Dorothy spending quality time with her aunt would really drive that emotion home. Maybe to a Sarah McLachlan soundalike lyric cue? Just thinking out loud here.
The Scarecrow comes up with idea for infiltrating the Witch's castle? EXCUSE ME, he doesn't have a brain! This is what I'm talking about! Is there another take where the Tin Man comes up with it? If we're stuck with this, please add a bite from the Tin Man along the lines of "For a guy without a brain, I'm surprised the Scarecrow came up with this idea. Maybe he's smarter than he thinks!" This will then give context for the end. Right now, this is just too incongruous to really work.
Dorothy's rescue works really well, but the Witch's death by water comes completely out of nowhere. It's just too jarring. Any scene work with her hating water in the Munchkinland section?
Ending the entire episode on "it was all a dream" really kills the travelogue strengths of the show. Since Oz is way more appealing than Kansas (what isn't?), we'd like to kill the epilogue completely. End the episode with Dorothy saying "There's no place like home", and then add a montage of her arriving in Kansas. We need to keep the episode as sexy as possible; ending it on a dreary farm in the middle of nowhere goes against our network brand. Also, a closing wrap up bite from Dorothy would really help put a button on the proceedings.
We look forward to the changes; please get these to us by noon tomorrow. Thanks!