Skip to content

Special effects mastermind Ray Harryhausen dies

By Greg Goodsell
5/7/2013 (3 years 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 (3 years 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."

---


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'


Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for APRIL 2017
Young People.
That young people may respond generously to their vocations and seriously consider offering themselves to God in the priesthood or consecrated life.


Comments


More Movies

What 2017 releases will YOU watch this summer? - A FULL LIST of summer releases Watch

Image of What amazing films will hit theaters this summer?

This summer some pretty amazing movies are going to hit theaters, so which ones are YOU excited about? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


New Series Connecting Heaven and Earth To Be Released During Holy Week

Image of City of Saints will be released online during Holy Week.

From the Norbertines of St. Michael's Abbey and Chuck Kinnane, director of The Human Experience, Child 31, and Generation Hope, comes a new ... continue reading


What are the effects of Disney's introduction of a gay character? Watch

Image of Beauty and the Beast features Disney's first openly gay character.

Disney's remake of "Beauty and the Beast" is turning heads for its amazing cast, classic story and, more notoriously, its use of Disney's ... continue reading


Spoiler-free review of 'The Shack' Watch

Image of The Shack movie poster (IMDB).

Without having witnessed a single film trailer, or reading the book upon which it is based, I set out to watch "The Shack." What I ... continue reading


Steven Spielberg opens up on his latest film 'The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara' Watch

Image of Steven Spielberg is moving forward with his latest film

Steven Spielberg, best known for directing films such as "Jaws," the "Indiana Jones" films and "Schindler's List," is working on a new film ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

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

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.