Warner Bros. have announced that The Wizard of Oz is to be released in remastered IMAX as part of the film’s 75th Anniversary celebrations.
The film will be available in the IMAX format for one week across North America starting from September 20, and following that a limited release blu-ray 3D version will be available, and the conversion has been a long process.
Warner started with a high resolution scanning of the original Technicolor camera negative. One restored, the 2D image was then transformed by creating a depth-map of each frame to construct 3D imagery and determine distances from the viewer’s vantage point. From then, a rotoscope was used to fully later shapes and objects, and also improve viewer distances.
Warner Technical Operations’ Vice President of Mastering Ned Price spoke about the conversion.
“People have asked for years about The Wizard of Oz 3D conversion. My answer was always, ‘We’re not doing it until it’s perfect.’ And now it is. As a kid, I was so enthralled by this film. Watching it, you just want to enter the frame, enter the Land of Oz. This new version will allow you to do just that.”
Jeff Baker, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Theatrical Catalog at Warner Home Entertainment, also spoke about the film’s enduring popularity ahead of the anniversary celebrations.
“Seventy-five years later, The Wizard of Oz continues its reign as a multi-generational favorite, with nearly 100 percent awareness among adults and more than 80 percent awareness among children. In this new 3D version, the film is bound to make history all over again—with both past and future fans.”