Here is an example of how L. Frank Baum went about making a silent film adaptation of his book, The Patchwork Girl of Oz (1914).
It is an odd film, to say the least, but L. Frank Baum had decided to further cash in on the popularity of his Oz children’s books by producing his own motion picture adaptations. This allowed him to control the cinematic productions, presumably to ensure they captured the tone of his books, but also to reap more profits than if he’d simply license the stories to another film company. The adaptations were inexpensively and imaginatively made, but the company lasted only a few months before production was suspended.
The Patchwork Girl of Oz (1914) features the familiar Baum characters, including Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodsman and the Cowardly Lion, and also other characters that are familiar to Oz book fans, including Scraps, the patchwork girl.
In a supporting role as Dorothy is Mildred Harris, only four years before she became the first wife of Charles Chaplin.
This was one of several films Baum produced and each has its own uniqueness and odd flavor. These were, after all, very different times than today and moving pictures was still in its infancy.
James C. Wallace II
Royal Liaison of Oz