Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Greg Goodsell

5/7/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Before CGI, Harryhausen thrilled audiences with monsters, magic and fantasy worlds

Computer generated imagery - or as it is called, CGI, has given movies of today an unlimited palette in which to sketch fantastical sights to movie audiences. It wasn't always that way. In the case of movie special effects mastermind Ray Harryhausen, it was literally a case of one movie frame at a time. Harryhausen has passed away at the age of 93.

Ray Harryhausen was a definite 'hands on' type of guy when it came to special effects. His creatures were painstakingly animated and then photographed frame-by-frame.

Ray Harryhausen was a definite "hands on" type of guy when it came to special effects. His creatures were painstakingly animated and then photographed frame-by-frame.

Highlights

By Greg Goodsell

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/7/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Movies

Keywords: Ray Harryhausen, special effects, mythology, science-fiction, fantasy, horror


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Many of those working in the movies today in the fantasy film genre - such as Peter Jackson, Guillermo Del Toro, James Cameron and Steven Spielberg were introduced to the world of special effects through Harryhausen.

"Harryhausen's fascination with animated models began when he first saw Willis O'Brien's 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," an official statement from his family read.

"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), 'The Valley of the 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."

Harryhausen was a definite "hands on" type of guy when it came to special effects. His creatures were painstakingly animated and then photographed frame-by-frame. "In Ray's 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."

The Ray & Diana Harryhausen Foundation, a charitable Trust set up by Ray on the 10th April 1986, is devoted to the protection of Ray's name and body of work as well as archiving, preserving and restoring Ray's extensive Collection.

A multi-award winner which includes a special Oscar and BAFTA, Harryhausen saw the writing on the wall in 1981. With the advent of computers, "Clash of the titans" was his final film.

The news of his death has many luminaries in today's entertainment world giving credit where credit was due.

George Lucas: "Ray has been a great inspiration to us all in special visual industry. The art of his earlier films, which most of us grew up on, inspired us so much." "Without Ray Harryhausen, there would likely have been no 'Star Wars!'"

Director Peter Jackson also gave his testimony to Harryhausen. "'The Lord of the Rings' is my 'Ray Harryhausen movie.' Without his life-long love of his wondrous images and storytelling it would never have been made - not by me at least"

Finally, from Steven Spielberg: "I think all of us who are practitioners in the arts of science fiction and fantasy movies now all feel that we're standing on the shoulders of a giant. If not for Ray's contribution to the collective dreamscape, we wouldn't be who we are."

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.



Comments


More Movies

Harrison Ford returns to hunt down robots in 'Blade Runner' sequel Watch

Image of As Rick Deckard, Harrison Ford played an agent well versed in hunting down illegal artificial humans called replicants.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While our expectations for having our own rocket ship in the 21st Century have been largely met with disappointment, the present is still considerably brighter than the one in the classic science-fiction epic "Blade Runner" in 1982. Congested cities, perpetual ... continue reading


Artistic, challenging 'Birdman' wins Best Picture at 87th Annual Academy Awards Watch

Image of A challenging allegorical fantasy concerning a screen actor's identity crisis,

By Greg Goodsell

It was an artistic, challenging film, which made demands on its viewer and depicted a most unflattering portrayal of the motion picture industry. "Birdman" took the Oscar for Best Picture anyway, at the 87th Academy Awards. "Birdman" beat out such favorites as ... continue reading


Bond likes them fast: actor Daniel Craig gets to drive amazing Aston Martin DB10 as 007 superspy Watch

Image of Looking forward to a weekend cruise in his new Aston Martin, Daniel Craig appears eager to slip into the role of James Bond in

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Spectre," the latest installment of the James Bond spy thriller series, kicked off with location shooting in Rome last week. Some Romans were lucky to witness a spectacular car chase along the banks of the Tiber River. James Bond, as played by Daniel Craig ... continue reading


How Anastasia Steele's fairytale in '50 Shades of Grey' would really end Watch

Image of

By Mary Rezac, CNA

Valentine's Day plans do not typically include domestic abuse. DENVER, CO (CNA) - Yet thousands of couples are already pre-purchasing their movie tickets for "50 Shades of Grey," a film which many critics are saying romanticizes and attempts to normalize violence ... continue reading


Film noir femme fatale Lizabeth Scott dies at 92 Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Lizabeth Scott, a blonde, willowy actor with a smoky voice and checkered past, lit up the Hollywood film genre that would later be termed by the French as "film noir." Hardboiled stories about detectives, no-good broads and petty criminals, Scott was the single ... continue reading


Highly controversial 'American Sniper' rakes in $200 million Watch

Image of Some people have celebrated the movie for its unflinching portrayal of combat in Iraq. Others have assailed it as war propaganda.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Nominated for Best Picture and Best Actor, "American Sniper" stars Bradley Cooper as the legendary sniper Chris Kyle. On the track to make $200 million, it may go on to beat 2004's "The Passion of the Christ," which currently ranks as the highest-grossing ... continue reading


Director James Cameron delays 'Avatar' sequel's release until 2017 Watch

Image of Writer and director James Cameron will be filming his three sequels to

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Director and writer James Cameron's science-fiction fantasy epic "Avatar" remains the top-grossing film of all time. This means one thing in success-minded Hollywood: sequels. Cameron, who plans to film all three "Avatar" sequels at the same time - and then ... continue reading


Second-generation Hollywood producer Samuel Goldwyn Jr. dies at 88 Watch

Image of The younger Goldwyn would make his mark on the film industry in the 1980s and 1990s. His legion of hits scored large with both critic and audiences.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The son of one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, Samuel Goldwyn Jr. grew up with all the glitter and glamour that would entail. But one thing was clear to him, even as a young boy: His father frequently mortgaged their lavish Hollywood mansion in order to ... continue reading


George Clooney mocks himself at 72nd Annual Golden Globes awards ceremony Watch

Image of Actor George Clooney sported a

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

Accepting his Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 72nd Annual Golden Globes awards ceremony, actor George Clooney made fun of his negative "Monuments Men" reviews and discussed his marriage to Amal Clooney. It wasn't all jokes and laughter: Clooney also wore a "Je ... continue reading


Actor Angelina Jolie meets with Pope Francis after 'Unbroken' screening Watch

Image of Glamour icon and director Angelina Jolie met with Pope Francis at the Vatican after a screening of her film

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Glamour icon and director Angelina Jolie met with Pope Francis at the Vatican after a screening of her film "Unbroken," about Olympic track star and prisoner-of-war Louis Zamperini. Vatican representative the Rev. Federico Lombardi said the film shows "positive ... continue reading


All Movies News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 1:10, 16-20
10 Hear what Yahweh says, you rulers of Sodom; listen ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 50:8-9, 16-17, 21, 23
8 'It is not with your sacrifices that I find fault, ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 23:1-12
1 Then addressing the crowds and his disciples Jesus ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for March 3rd, 2015 Image

St. Katharine Drexel
March 3: Saint Katharine Drexel, Religious (Feast Day-March 3) Born in ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter