Doug Aberle of Return to Oz
Director/Animator Doug Aberle was part of the team at Will Vinton Studios that helped create the Oscar-nominated effects for the 1985 Disney motion picture Return to Oz, namely, the clay animation that brought the Nome King and his minions to life.
Doug has been making films since he was a teenager. Starting with an old wind-up 8mm film camera bought at a thrift store, he gathered family and friends to make his cinematic epics. This continued through college at Oregon State University, where he practically lived in the theatre department and pushed the technology of the tiny campus television station to its limits, producing his own Sci-Fi TV series.
He joined Will Vinton Studios (then known as Will Vinton Productions) in 1983, to help out with commercial projects while most of the other animators were in the middle of shooting the stop-motion feature film The Adventures of Mark Twain (1986), for which he eventually animated most of the “mud people” sequence.
Then came Return to Oz in the mid-1980s. Doug animated the Nome King in the destructive “Ornament Room” sequence, for which he can claim that “I killed the Nome King!”
His nearly eighteen years at Will Vinton Studios saw Doug working on a wide variety of projects, from music videos to theme park projects, from Emmy award-winning TV specials to numerous television commercials, including the California Raisins. His personal films, Wire We Here (1994) and Fluffy (1995), won awards world-wide.
More recently, Doug has directed three feature-length CG films and is developing a number of projects, including a futuristic comedy where the Earth is being defended by sock puppets.
For more information visit his website at www.aberlefilms.com
Special Guests at OzCon 2017
John Fricke, Oz Historian
John Fricke is regarded as the preeminent Judy Garland and MGM Wizard of Oz historian, and he has written seven books on those topics. He's the recipient of Emmy Awards as co-producer of the PBS American Masters and A&E Biography Garland documentaries and was a Grammy Award nominee for his liner notes for the Capitol CD, Judy Garland: 25th Anniversary Retrospective.
John has appeared as a programmer and co-host on the Turner Classic Movies network and at their Los Angeles Film Festival; he's been interviewed on The Today Show, CNN, Entertainment Tonight, The Joan Rivers Show, NPR, and Sirius Satellite Radio, among many other outlets. John has lectured everywhere from MOMA in NYC and The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Los Angeles to The Deauville Film Festival in France and has recorded the commentary tracks for the DVDs of seven Garland movies, including The Wizard of Oz, Meet Me in St. Louis, and Easter Parade.
He regularly emcees the four national Oz Festivals and has been associated as an Oz spokesman/historian with the Smithsonian Institution, Warner Bros., MGM, Turner Entertainment, the New York Film Society of Lincoln Center, and The Paley Center.
John joined the International Wizard of Oz Club at age eleven in 1962 and since has served as club president, vice-president, board member, and editor-in-chief, contributing editor, and staff writer for the club’s journal The Baum Bugle.
Inanna McGraw, Royal Historian of Oz
Inanna McGraw is the seventh Royal Historian of Oz. She co-authored the books Merry Go Round in Oz (as Lauren McGraw Wagner) and The Forbidden Fountain of Oz (as Lauren Lynn McGraw) with Eloise Jarvis McGraw, her mother. She also wrote the introduction to The Rundelstone of Oz by Eloise Jarvis McGraw. Inanna’s earliest dream was to be a ballet dancer or an actress, but when that dream foundered, she turned toward art. She’s since done etching, printmaking, monotype, papermaking, calligraphy, book arts, and for a while she was a graphic designer and copywriter. Today Inanna creates her mythic, dreamlike paintings in encaustic, a technique that involves using hot wax to which colored pigments are added. Her greatest influence is the art of Pierre Bonnard. Her ambition is to leave figurative work behind and achieve complete abstraction in her paintings. In addition to being a professional artist, Inanna is a Reclaiming Tradition witch and priestess, and lives in Portland, Oregon.