MASTER OF THE MAJICKS
I am thrilled to welcome to Cinephobia Radio, legendary visual effects genius and the man responsible for igniting the imaginations of kids all over the world, Mr. Ray Harryhausen.
At the tender age of 13, Ray fell madly in love with the 1933 classic King Kong. From that moment on, all his thoughts were bent on a career in stop motion animation.
In 1946,he landed the dream gig as a technician on Mighty Joe Young, working directly underneath his mentor and inspiration, Willis O'Brien, the man responsible for Kong's visual effects. In 1953, he made his first stop motion creature feature The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms, based on a short story by his childhood pal and fellow Kong devotee, Ray Bradbury. For the next 30 years, Mr. Harryhausen continued to innovate and evolve the art of combining stop motion with live action in a process he called Dynamation. Working alongside producer Charles H. Schneer, he created some of the greatest fantasy adventure films ever made, including The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad, Mysterious Island, Jason and the Argonauts and their final collaboration, 1981's Clash of the Titans.
In 2003, Ray teamed up with British film journalist Tony Dalton to publish An Animated Life, a beautifully illustrated account of Harryhausen's entire career and the techniques behind his craft. They followed that up with The Art of Ray Harryhausen, an in-depth look into the production designs and visual inspirations that informed Ray's work. Earlier this year, they released their third collaboration, A Century of Stop Motion Animation (From Melies to Aardman), the first comprehensive history of how the art of stop motion animation has evolved since the birth of cinema.
Back in March, Mr Harryhausen and his co-writer Tony Dalton were kind enough to chat with me on the phone about their fantastic new book. So join me as we celebrate the career of a geniune living legend and one of the most beloved figures in American cinema.
:- Stuart Feedback Andrews