Ray Harryhausen & Special Effects

Today I want to pay tribute Ray Harryhausen who is still going strong at the age of 92. His form of stop motion special effects, known as Dynamation, helped revolutionize the science-fiction and fantasy genres. I recently watched his seminal work, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad for the first time and while I really loved the movie, I must add this to my collection, what I equally enjoyed was one of the special features which was a documentary on his life and work. One of the things which Ray said really intrigued me. He said that since these were fantasy and science fiction stories that the special effects needed to not be 100% realistic and keeping them a bit unrealistic can enhance the story.

I actually tend to agree with him. I am living through two different eras of science-fiction and fantasy special effects. I grew up with the stop motion techniques of Ray Harryhausen and others and I am now living in the era of when CGI is becoming more photo realistic each day thanks to the films of Peter Jackson and James Cameron. I have really come to love the realism of the modern special effects but I also retain great respect and admiration for the types of effects Ray Harryhausen did.

Here is a select Filmography of the movies which particularly like.

Mighty Joe Young (1949) (first technician)
The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953) (visual effects)
It Came from Beneath the Sea (1955) (visual effects)
Earth vs. the Flying Saucers (1956) (special photographic, animation effects)
20 Million Miles to Earth (1957) (visual effects)
The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958) (associate producer, visual effects)
Mysterious Island (1961) (special visual effects)
Jason and the Argonauts (1963) (associate producer, visual effects)
First Men in the Moon (1964) (associate producer, visual effects)
One Million Years B.C. (1966) (special visual effects)
The Valley of Gwangi (1969) (associate producer, visual effects)
The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1974) (producer, visual effects)
Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977) (producer, visual effects)
Clash of the Titans (1981) (producer, visual effects)

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About billfoley63

I was born in 1963 and that is relevant to my development of my love for science-fiction and fantasy movies, comic books, superheroes and many other things attributed to Nerd culture. In the 60s I watched all the Saturday afternoon Godzilla and monster movies I could take. In the 70s I became hooked on Star Trek. I am also an artist (in my own mind at least) and a musician. I enjoy learning about physics, astrophysics, chemistry and earth silences such as meteorology, anthropology, paleontology. When I reached my late 30s I began to re-explore my nerd roots. I reconnected with my love of science fiction and fantasy movies along with the other science related topics. For this blog I will focus on movie and TV reviews for science fiction and fantasy and post my thoughts on up coming movies. I will also include some fun facts from the various sciences I enjoy along with weather facts and bits from royalty and history. What I will not discuss is religion and politics. I am married to a beautiful woman named Sarah and have a lovely daughter named Danielle.

Posted on September 5, 2012, in Captain's Log... and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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