Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Ray Harryhausen

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Very sad news today...

Ray Harryhausen, the stop-motion animation legend whose work on "The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms," "Jason and the Argonauts" and other science fiction and fantasy film classics made him a cult figure who inspired later generations of filmmakers and special-effects artists, has died. He was 92.

In the pre-computer-generated-imagery era in which he worked, Harryhausen used the painstaking process of making slight adjustments to the position of his three-dimensional, ball-and-socket-jointed scale models and then shooting them frame-by-frame to create the illusion of movement. Footage of his exotic beasts and creatures was later often combined with live action.

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The fantasy world of Ray Harryhausen inspired Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, James Cameron and many other filmmakers, some of whom have paid cinematic homage to the special-effects maestro.

As a kid, I always loved his movies and never missed a new one when they came out in the small theater near my town. He definitely transformed the way special effects were developed over many decades.

His creatures, at the time, definitely were memorable...especially this one from the original Clash of the Titans (with a very young Harry Hamlin).

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She definitely needs something for that dry fly-away hair.

He will be missed, but not forgotten.

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