Tuesday, May 7, 2013

RIP Ray Harryhausen


RIP Ray Harryhausen: 1920 – 2013

 
The family of Ray Harryhausen has just announced that the visual effects and stop-motion legend passed away today. Here is the family's statement:
 
The Harryhausen family regret to announce the death of Ray Harryhausen, Visual Effects pioneer and stop-motion model animator. He was a multi-award winner which includes a special Oscar and BAFTA. Rays influence on todays film makers was enormous, with luminaries; Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Peter Jackson, George Lucas, John Landis and the UKs own Nick Park have cited Harryhausen as being the man whose work inspired their own creations.
 
Harryhausens fascination with animated models began when he first saw Willis OBriens creations in KING KONG with his boyhood friend, the author Ray Bradbury in 1933, and he made his first foray into filmmaking in 1935 with home-movies that featured his youthful attempts at model animation. Over the period of the next 46 years, he made some of the genres best known movies: MIGHTY JOE YOUNG (1949), IT CAME FROM BENEATH THE SEA (1955), 20 MILLION MILES TO EARTH (1957), MYSTERIOUS ISLAND (1961), ONE MILLION YEARS B.C. (1966), THER VALLEY OF GWANGI (1969), three films based on the adventures of SINBAD and CLASH OF THE TITANS (1981). He is perhaps best remembered for his extraordinary animation of seven skeletons in JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS (1963) which took him three months to film.
 
Harryhausens genius was in being able to bring his models alive. Whether they were prehistoric dinosaurs or mythological creatures, in Rays hands they were no longer puppets but became instead characters in their own right, just as important as the actors they played against and in most cases even more so.

 
HARRY HAUSEN, Raymond Frederick
Born: 6/29/1930, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Died: 5/7/2013, London, England, U.K.
 
Ray Harryhausen’s western – SFX, producer:
The Valley of Gwangi – 1969

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