Escape From Oz

A while back my good friend and model, Eight, had an awesome idea. How about getting the characters from the Wizard of Oz out of their element and into a modern scenario? Wouldn't it be cool to have them sitting around playing cards or shooting pool? Maybe we could even get the Wicked Witch to behave herself and join in the fun. Eight recruited myself and Atmtx to shoot this concept with her and a few other talented models.

Last week, we got the opportunity to put this concept shoot together. The original bar we had in mind closed down, so there was a last minute change of location. We were able to secure a spot at Slick Willie's pool hall in Austin to make this happen.

The costume, jewelry, and makeup artists and designers did a great job getting the models into character. I really like the minimalist approach they took. Apart from some makeup and some straw (the latter of which got scattered about our pool table by the end of the night), the models could just about pass for regular folks.

Being that this was a typical dark pool hall, we needed lots of light. We pulled the shoot off in strobist style with a few hot shoe flashes and an LED video light. For the group shots, we used two flashes, one on either side of the group, fired through umbrellas. Another flash was high and behind the models for some separation from the background. An LED panel provided fill.

We shot a bunch of poses that carried along a little story. The game started off cordially with Scarecrow doing the break while the others watched on. There was some trepidation about the Witch being there, but Tin Man agreed to play on her team.

The Witch and Tin Man got control of the table and things seemed to be going her way for a while. It looked like Dorothy, Scarecrow, and the Cowardly Lion might lose the game.

Tin Man missed a shot and the Witch wasn't happy about that. At her urging, Tin Man got a little testy with his friends. Dorothy admonished him to be a good sport. It's just a game, after all!

Cowardly Lion stepped up for his turn. While setting up his shot, the Wicked Witch decided to try and distract him with a seductive look. Oh no, the Lion missed! Dirty pool, Witch!

"Two can play that game", thinks Dorothy. Tin Man loses concentration on his turn. Things are heating up now!

All of the attention is on Dorothy now and the Witch was steaming mad!

Turning away for a second, the Witch dropped a bit of a mysterious potion in Dorothy's drink. "Have a drink, my dear", she said with a sly grin. "No, Dorothy!", exclaimed the Scarecrow!

Her plan to poison Dorothy foiled, the Witch tried to make things a lot hotter for Scarecrow!

"Leave Scarecrow alone!", exclaimed Dorothy! And so what started as a congenial game of pool quickly degraded into a bar room brawl. Even though far from Oz, the Wicked Witch once again showed her true colors! Be careful, Dorothy! She fights dirty!

I had a blast shooting this! Thanks to all of our models, designers, and artists for their hard work putting this together. Special thanks to Slick Willie's for use of one of their tables!