Recently I had a chance to see the 4k DCP of Wizard of Oz at the Aero Theater in Santa Monica. It was glorious, with just enough film grain to maintain texture, but with colors that exploded off the screen. I love the movie, and had never seen it projected, and this experience was a delight.
Afterwards I got to thinking: wouldn't it be interesting to post-convert the movie to 3D? But here was the rub for me: only the Kansas scenes. Adding depth to the sepia-toned book ends would magnify the idea that this was the 'real' world, and when Dorothy's Oz adventures were 2D it would reinforce the fantasy of it. Of course that isn't how a post-convert would work, but I kind of fell in love with this less obvious idea.
Now there is a post-convert coming, supposedly only to Blu. I imagine if it's good Warner Bros will simulcast it out to theaters in select markets, though. But the question I have is how the post-convert will work. Will the entire film be converted to 3D? Or will Warner Bros stick with the spirit of the original and only convert the Oz sequences?
If that's the decision, I'm all for it. The change from sepia to color is essentially a gimmick. It's an expertly, beautifully used gimmick, but it's certainly secondary to the storytelling. And it's a gimmick that could be nicely enhanced with the 3D gimmick. Imagine sitting in a theater with glasses in hand, waiting for an onscreen cue to don them. Now imagine the moment when Dorothy opens the door of her crashed house to reveal the riot of Munchkinland's colors, but with the added effect of incredibly dialed up 3D depth. That sounds incredible.
Wizard of Oz is one of my favorite films; it moves me deeply every single time I watch it, and it gives me a complete sense of cinematic rapture. I feel like 3D would be right in line with the film's over the top attempts to create wonder in the audience, and done right I think 3D could even enhance the movie, especially for more jaded audiences.