Visual Effects Pioneer Ray Harryhausen Dies

Visual Effects Pioneer Ray Harryhausen Dies
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Visual effects master and stop-motion model animator Ray Harryhausen, best known for his work in “Clash of the Titans” and the “Sinbad” movies, has died. He was 92.

The Harryhausen family announced his death on Facebook. The tribute read:

“Ray’s influence on today’s film makers was enormous, with luminaries; Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Peter Jackson, George Lucas, John Landis and the UK’s own Nick Park have cited Harryhausen as being the man whose work inspired their own creations.

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.

Over the period of the next 46 years, he made some of the genres best known movie, such as “Mighty Joe Young” (1949), “It Came From Beneath The Sea” (1955), “Mysterious Island” (1961), “One Million Years B.C.” (1966), “Clash of the Titans” (1981), and three films based on the adventures of “Sinbad.” 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’s genius was in being able to bring his models alive. Whether they were prehistoric dinosaurs or mythological creatures, 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.”