Tuesday, May 7, 2013

RIP Ray Harryhausen

Ray Harryhausen 1920-2013

Do you like the special effects in films like "The Avengers," "Avatar," "Lord of the Rings," or "Harry Potter?" It's okay, I know I sure do. It is sometimes hard to imagine a world without cutting-edge special effects. Myself as long as everyone else, are being spoiled by the special effects industry right now. We may have not even realized it. But there was something before special effects. Those included model building, claymation, and stop-motion. Those departments had pioneers of their own.

One of those pioneers was Ray Harryhausen, a man who had a lengthy career in the monster movie and creature feature genres. He had a wonderful talent of making his creature models come to life. Some of his most famous work was "Clash of the Titans" (1981), "Jason and the Argonauts" (1963), "Mysterious Island" (1961), "It Came from Beneath the Sea" (1955), "20 Million Miles to Earth" (1957) as well as many other classics he created monster models for.

Ray Harryhausen died at age 92 today. His family made a statement on Harryhausen's official Facebook page. You can read it below:

"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. 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."

It is sad to think that 2013 has already taken so many great movie minds to heaven. But much like Roger Ebert, Ray Harryhausen's work will live forever. His movies were classics and we will have them to watch forever. Through his work, he will live forever.

There is a really cool tribute video I posted below, it highlights some of Harryhausen's best work

RIP Ray Harryhausen

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