Ray Harryhausen

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World's Greatest Effects Guru Ray Harryhausen Dies Aged 92

Ray Harryhausen Nick Park Steven Spielberg George Lucas James Cameron

Ray Harryhausen, a visual effects guru often considered to have been the finest in the movie business, has died aged 92. Best known for his pioneering work on Star Wars, Jason and the Argonauts and Clash of the Titans, Harryhausen made his models by hand and shot them frame by frame to create some of the best-know sequences in cinema.

The technique was taken up by the likes of Nick Park, co-creator of the Wallace & Gromit movies who called Harryhausen "one of the true greats" this week. Star Wars creator George Lucas said that without him "there would likely have been no Star Wars." Shaun of the Dead director Edgar Wright said, "I loved every single frame of Ray Harryhausen's work.He was the man who made me believe in monsters."

Harryhausen's finest moment came when he animated seven skeletons who came to life in Jason and the Argonauts - a sequence that took three months to film, according to BBC News.

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Special Effects Trailblazer Ray Harryhausen Dies, Aged 92

Ray Harryhausen

Ray Harryhausen, the mastermind behind some of Hollywood's most iconic and groundbreaking special effects, has died aged 92. The screen icon worked on such visionary films as Clash of the Titans and Jason and the Argonauts and went on to influence the likes of Steven Spielberg, James Cameron and George Lucas along the way.

Born Raymond Frederick Harryhausen in Los Angeles in June 1920, the animator worked in a time before effects could be handled on a computer, hand-making his models and painstakingly shooting them by each individual frame in a process that would take weeks to complete, but would result in some of the best-known action sequences seen in classic cinema. The official statement of Ray's death from The Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation Facebook page reads, "Harryhausen's genius was in being able to bring his models alive."

Clip from the groundbreaking skeleton fight from 1963's Jason and the Argonauts.

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Ray Harryhausen Saturday 16th February 2008 12th Annual Art Directors Guild Awards held at the Beverly Hills Hilton - Arrivals Los Angeles, California

Ray Harryhausen

Comic Book: The Movie Review

27 years after his appearance in Star Wars, Mark Hamill makes his directorial debut in a movie about... comic books? In this mockumentary, Hamill is just about the only actor who isn't playing himself. Instead, he's Don Swan, a comic book collector and store owner who is asked to consult on a Hollywood film about his favorite comic book character: Commander Courage. Hamill rounds up the usual comic book crowd (folks like Stan Lee and Kevin Smith, who wouldn't dream of missing an appearance in a film about comic books), plus manages to work in appearances from Hugh Hefner, Ray Harryhausen, Jonathan Winters, and Donna D'Errico, among others.

Swan gets a camera crew to tail him to Hollywood -- where Commander Courage, a supposed WWII era patriotic hero -- has been reinvented as Codename Courage, a ninja-like fighter of terrorism everywhere. But quickly he's on to the San Diego Comic-Con convention, where the bulk of the film takes place. It's hard to tell where the staged stuff for the movie ends and the fanboy ga-ga stuff begins: Among the countless shots of scantily clad fanbabes, costumed kids, and hugs with random convention exhibitors and fans there's a semblance of a story. Basically that involves Swan trying to convince everyone he meets that the old Commander Courage is better than the new Codename Courage (including a scene with Hamill and Stan Lee on a panel at the convention. Just don't think about it too much or you'll start to ask yourself just why Swan would be sent to this convention in the first place. It works only in the sense of putting the characters into oddball situations, but it's got little to do with anythig in the plot.

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