A longtime Burien resident and emergency room nurse has taken a leap into the world of filmmaking by Executive Producing her first documentary, “The Collector,” which focuses on a man who has a huge collection related to the classic film “The Wizard of Oz.”

Marghee Baldridge and friend.

Marghee Baldridge, a registered nurse and nursing educator at Burien’s St. Anne’s Hospital, credits her childhood summers in Maine for sparking the project. Enchanted by “The Wizard of Oz,” she dreamt of owning Dorothy’s ruby slippers and even visited the island once owned by Margaret Hamilton, the actress who played the Wicked Witch of the West.

As a child, Baldridge hoped that somehow she would magically become Dorothy and wear those ruby slippers. Her mother kindly explained that this would probably never happen; however, many times she would take her around the harbor to a dock across the water from an island owned by Hamilton, but she never saw her or any other witches.

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“When we there and sat on the dock across from the island, I would constantly beg my mother to remain there until I saw the wicked witch,” Baldridge said. “Of course to no avail. I never did see her circling the island on her broom; however, I continued to visit the dock in later summers with my own children to relive the joy I had felt as a child.”

Years later, a chance encounter with Hamilton’s son rekindled her fascination. The experience, coupled with her desire to explore her creative side, led Baldridge to propose a documentary about the film’s memorabilia and its most dedicated collector, a man named Willard Carroll.

Several years ago, while back at the dock with her daughter-in-law, Carrie Wachob (who happens to be a screenwriter and videographer), she proposed a documentary. As a result of this decision, she contacted Hamilton Meserve, Margaret Hamilton’s son, who during their discussion revealed there had been an Oz exhibit at the Farnsworth Museum in Rockland Maine.

“I promptly researched the exhibit and watched a small clip about the owner of this collection, Willard Carroll, who was an American producer, writer, director, and animator,” she said. “I knew right then our documentary would be about him, who was also the world’s largest private collector of Oz memorabilia; owning over 100,000 items.”

Partnering with Wachob, Baldridge embarked on a year-long journey to bring their vision to life. They contacted Carroll, who agreed to participate, and assembled a production team, including a director, photographer, and composer. The original score is by Carlos Garcia known for Ant-Man and the Wasp Quantamania (2023); Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023) and the Incredible Animal Journeys (2023). Wachob had contacts who introduced them to Anderson Boyd, an editor known for Winter’s Bone (2010).

The project, filmed in both Maine and Washington, presented numerous logistical challenges. Baldridge, who funded the documentary alongside Wachob, also played a key role in research, interviewing Carroll, and producing the project.

The resulting 15-minute documentary film delves into Carroll’s life and passion, showcasing his vast collection of Oz memorabilia; here’s the synopsis:

“After watching The Wizard of Oz when he was five years old, Willard Carroll started a journey down his own yellow brick road to become a pop culture fanatic and award-winning filmmaker. Owner of the world’s largest private collection of Oz memorabilia, Willard gave up the big city for Maine, and is living proof that one story can change the entire trajectory of your life.”

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Currently, Baldridge and Wachob are submitting the documentary to film festivals, hoping to share Carroll’s fascinating story with a wider audience.

For Baldridge, the experience has been more than just filmmaking. It’s about the pursuit of passion, the power of storytelling, and the connections forged along the way.

Is being a nurse similar to producing a film?

“I often tell my nursing students that as an RN, we wear many different hats,” she said. “We interview our patients to discover their health care needs. We plan for and provide patient care, and evaluate the patient’s response to care. We serve a diverse population, which means we must be culturally sensitive to the individual needs of those we serve. I think these skills translate into all I do in life. Certainly, being organized, fearless in pursuit, and forward thinking are important traits of an emergency room nurse.”

Beyond her filmmaking debut, Baldridge remains deeply connected to Burien. She has worked at St. Anne’s Hospital for nearly 40 years and serves as adjunct faculty for Highline College’s nursing program.

So, the next time you’re getting checked at St. Anne’s and Marghee’s collecting your blood sample, be sure to ask her about her film!

For more info, visit their production website here:

https://www.bitingowl.com

And the IMDB listing here: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt22985278/

Film Credits

  • ​Featuring WILLARD CARROLL
  • Executive Producers MARGHEE BALDRIDGE & CARRIE WACHOB
  • Produced by CARRIE WACHOB
  • Directed by JIM PICARIELLO & CARRIE WACHOB
  • Director of Photography LINDSAY MANN
  • Edited by ANDERSON BOYD
  • Sound Recordist JASON MANN
  • Original Score by CARLOS GARCIA
  • Re-recording Mixer ERICH RETTERMAYER
  • Colorist JACKIE NG
  • BTS Still Photography KYLE CHICK
  • Additonal Footage by SHANE COLE
  • Special Thanks to THOMAS L. WILHITE and dogs TERRY, MARIA, and ENNIO

And…that’s a wrap for Marghee! Congrats!

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1 Comment

  1. Congratulations, Marghee! What an amazing accomplishment! I hope I’ll have the opportunity to see the film. I love “Wizard of Oz” (maybe not as passionately as you!) I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment of how nurses’ education prepares them to fill a variety of roles in nursing. You have made an impact in your 40 years. Best wishes on this endeavor!

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