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Wizard of Oz

The Wizard of Oz is one of the most popular productions we provide special effects for. With the recent popularity of Wicked, many productions need these same effects. While focusing primarily on this particular show, any production involving a "Wicked Witch" can benefit from this information.

If you look through the rest of our Fun FAQs and Helpful Hints section, you will find several other articles with great information on creating memorable effects for this show. The intent of this article is to condense that information into one "shopping list."

Listed below are some of the main effects used in most productions, as described in the script.

For Wizard of Oz, most productions us one of our MG01 or MG02 Flash Guns for the Wicked Witch to shoot fireballs. The advantage of using the MG02 Double Shooting Flash Gun is it allows the actress to fire two shots without having to leave the stage to "reload."  Both of these units are available in KITS, which give you everything you need for 16 fireballs!

For when the Wicked Witch reaches down to touch the Ruby Slippers, she gets "Shocked" by using one of our MG04 Flint Flashers. This extremely discreet device is easy to operate.

For the snow scene in the field of poppies, we recommend one or two (depending on the size of your stage) of our Snow Machines or Wizard Snow (dropped from a snow cradle):

Don't forget fog:
What production would be complete without fog!

For Glenda's entrance, many productions choose to fill the stage with bubbles from one or two of our Bubble Kings.

Now, let's talk about Pyro!

Many directors and designers want a "Flash of Fire and a Poof of Smoke" for each time the Wicked Witch enters and leaves the stage. A great way to create this effect is by using Theatrical Flashes, controlled with a Mini Pyro Controller.

A Theatrical Flash produces a bright white flash accompanied by a rolling ball of smoke and a low to moderate report. These effects are excellent for stage use and are very clean with little fallout.

Another option would be to use Pre-loaded Flashpots. These devices create a flash with smoke and a BANG! They are also available in different colors (Red or Green) but the smoke will always be white.

Realizing that several states require special permits to use Pre-packaged Pyro (like the Theatrical Flashes and Pre-loaded Flash Pots) and many cities/counties require permits to use them as well, these items are not for everyone. Here at Theatre Effects we have a saying, "When in doubt, leave it out!" These types of pyrotechnic effects are not for everyone... which is why many productions choose to instead use a Pyro Simulator!

The Geyser!

This powerful machine is capable of creating photo-realistic "flashes" with "poofs of smoke" that are completely harmless and require NO special permits. You can even create a 6-foot-tall BLAST of fire for up to 15 seconds! Being that it's completely safe, the Wicked Witch can make her entrances "through" the fire - which is extremely surprising to the audience!

The Geyser has several other benefits:

  • It's DMX controllable (so you can cue it with the rest of your lights).
  • It comes with a FREE Wireless Controller (so you don't have to use DMX if you don't want to).
  • It's CHEAP to operate (a gallon of our Quick Dissipating Fog Fluid will last for 200+ sustained blasts or 2000+ quick pulses!)
  • Did we mention you don't need permits to use this thing?!?!? ;)

You can find more information (and a great product video) of the Geyser here.

As always, the Wizards of Theatre Effects are happy to assist you with any questions you may have. Feel welcome to contact us any time at 1-800-791-7646

Want even more information? Check out our 3-part series: Wiz-in-a-Box


 

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