Jul 30, 2014
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'Oz' Comes To Town For A Day

A small stretch of Main Street became a film set on Thursday.

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When location scouts went searching for sites around Norwalk to shoot a movie, they stopped to check out St. Stephen's Church. Then they walked next door, to Deborah Ann's, to take a candy break.

"The director thought it was so adorable that they actually wrote a scene for it," said Laura Hill, the production supervisor for "The Witches of Oz," a film she described as a continuation of the original "Wizard of Oz" movie, where "instead of Dorothy coming to Oz, Oz comes to Manhattan."

The movie, funded by Connecticut investors, has been filmed in sites around Fairfield County—Bridgeport stood in for the streets of New York City on film in December.

And on Thursday, the crew came to film in St. Stephens, Deborah Ann's and the Orange Elephant. Two actors, Ari Zagaris and Paulie Rojas, stood behind the counter at the candy store shortly before noon rehearsing a scene and bantering with the crew.

The movie's big names—Christopher Lloyd as the wizard as well as "Lord of the Rings'" Billy Boyd—were not filming Thursday, but Hill, a life-long "Back to the Future" fan, spoke enthusiastically of how down to earth both actors were.

"Once he signed on, all these people were interested in signing on," Hill said of Lloyd, despite it being a low budget film made by a brand new Norwalk-based production company, Blackthorn Pictures.

The film crew's day in Ridgefield marked their second-to-last day of filming, and filmmakers hope to secure a small theatrical release later this year.

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