Ray Harryhausen, the genius of visual effects, died on May 7th in London at the age of 92. He will be remembered for his cutting-edge stop-motion animation film monsters, which inspired a generation of film makers including Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, George Lucas and Peter Jackson.
Harryhausen was born Raymond Frederick Harryhausen in Los Angeles in 1920, and from an early age he had an interest in dinosaurs and mythical creatures. When he saw the 1933 version of King Kong, he was inspired to pursue a career in film model animation. He built his models by hand, and filmed them one frame at a time, which gave his animated sequences an unparalleled sense of reality.
The Visual Resources Centre at NCAD has one of Harryhausen’s best known films, Jason and the Argonauts, which includes a famous animated sequence involving an army of living skeletons. According to its creator, the sequence took three months to film. Our library also stocks Tony Dalton’s book The art of Ray Harryhausen, published by Aurum in 2005.
For more information about Ray Harryhausen, see the Guardian’s Harryhausen obituary.