Sam Raimi arrives at the world premiere of "Oz The Great and Powerful" at the El Capitan Theatre on Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013 in Los Angeles. Jordan Strauss/Invision/Associated Press
(Detroit Free Press) -- When "Oz the Great and Powerful," was casting its army of Winkie guards, recruiters looked to the Motor City and Michigan State University.
The most famous Winkie is metro Detroit native Bruce Campbell. The beloved cult actor and longtime friend and colleague of "Oz" director Sam Raimi has a cameo as one of the 10-foot-tall soldiers of Emerald City.
The towering Winkie corps is also populated by local extras like Kevin Hall of Detroit.
"We were fierce," says Hall of his Winkie brethren, "Everyone is 6-foot-6 and above."
Winkie manpower was also provided by the MSU Drumline, which normally can be found whenever the Spartan Marching Band is on a football field.
Ten drummers from the 30-plus students that make up the line played vintage-style drums in the movie. Wearing Winkie uniforms, they were part of an Emerald City scene requiring tons of pageantry.
"In that scene, we were supposed to be very militaristic in style," says Jon Weber, an MSU instructor of percussion who has been teaching the drum line since 1996. That's appropriate, since the Spartan Marching Band's history is rooted in the military and ROTC.
The students did their scenes without a hitch. "I was very proud of them," says Weber.
By the way: Raimi, the wizard of this "Oz," is a former MSU student who left the East Lansing university to go off and become famous for making "The Evil Dead."
Hey, would he direct a movie with a maize-and-blue witch?
Contact Julie Hinds: 313-222-6427 or email@example.com