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 Posted:   Nov 1, 2012 - 6:44 PM   
 By:   sprocket   (Member)

deleted.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 1, 2012 - 7:45 PM   
 By:   The Man-Eating Cow   (Member)

When I saw "The 7th Voyage of Sinbad" as a kid, on the big screen (a re-release, obviously), that cyclops scared the piss out me. And when the movie was over, I couldn't wait to see it again. It's still one of my all-time favorite movies, and I've bought it in four formats (VHS, laserdisc, DVD, and Blu-Ray). And that wonderful, wonderful score...shivers. To this day, shivers. I think my first movie crush was on Princess Parissa; I have Kathryn Grant's signature on my copy of the DVD, which I'll part with only upon kicking the bucket.

Now, my two of my favorite things growing up were cowboys and dinosaurs, so "Valley of Gwangi" was a little taste of movie nirvana for me. Cowboys AND dinosaurs, in the same movie! As the kids say these days "OMG!".

The only Harryhausen movie which I love as much as "7th Voyage" is "Earth vs. the Flying Saucers", which has everything a fifties SF movie needs to achieve greatness. A macho scientist dude, his perky and sexy new wife, some Army guy played by Morris Ankrum, flying saucers, weird aliens, weirder technology, lots of pre-"Star Trek" technobabble, and Washington DC getting flattened by crashing UFO's. I mean, seriously, what the hell else can you want in a movie?

And his version of "Clash of the Titans" was infinitely better than its' remake.

Check out the YouTube clip in which Tom Hanks gives Ray his well-deserved Lifetime Achievement Oscar. Love it, love it, love it!

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 2, 2012 - 1:52 AM   
 By:   manderley   (Member)

Well, as I understand it, this gentleman created software which, when applied to the chosen elements onscreen, will add motion blur to the animation. It smooths out the herky-jerky quality that stop-motion cannot help but have. The effect is VERY subtle, but it's there if your eye is really looking at it.

A fascinating YouTube demonstration!

I perceive it (and understand what's occurring) quite clearly, Octoberman. Thanks for linking it.


I've always thought Harryhausen's films were great fun and that Harryhausen, himself, was a brilliant talent at imagining these characters and giving them life. His animation work was impeccable and he was wonderful at bringing inanimate puppets (if you will) before your eyes which seemed to have feelings and moods and reality.

My biggest drawback with Harryhausen's work is that his ideas and concepts were far beyond the ability of the technical elements of the day to be done in the best manner possible. Because of the limitations of the medium in which he was working, particularly in color, the films are tremendously grainy to look at because of the multi-duping of elements. While this was acceptable to a lay audience in the '50s and '60s, it has been a major problem in getting acceptable video translations/transfers into the marketplace for audiences in the '80s and beyond.

I know I'm being very picky and critical here, but I found many of his shots to be technically (not creatively) off-putting even when I saw them in the '50s and '60s. The battle with the skeletons in SEVENTH VOYAGE OF SINBAD, for example, is so breathtaking in its imagination and staging, that it always seemed such a crime the technical quality of the medium was not up to it.

At the same time, I have a feeling that Harryhausen was so wrapped up in his work and techniques that he didn't really look very far afield beyond his immediate attentions to his animations, to bring in newer technicians to help him solve the technical problems. His work, with a few alterations, is not much different in working technique that that done with KING KONG in 1933, but he is no longer working in black-and-white and the challenges of color and widescreen needed new technical ways of photographing them.

The placing of the live-action footage on small rear-process screens which were grainy, like pieces of ground glass, and for which the image was then duped when photographing the foregrounds always degraded the complete scene. One wonders why he was not experimenting with travelling matte processes of differing separation colorways over the years. This would give him a much better match between the foreground and background, for instance. In those days perhaps more experimentation with aerial image split-screens in one-pass on an optical printer might have helped too. Who knows.

The sad thing is that today, the Harryhausen tradition is carried on very easily in film-after-film, with new CGI and PhotoShopping processes that Harryhausen would probably have killed for 50 years ago. Certainly the creativity and imagination that Harryhausen exhibited is rarely there today---it has been supplanted by a new ethos---but the filming techniques are far superior.

Seeing the link that Octoberman has posted indicates that others are now solving some of the inherent problems that dimensional stop-motion animation once had.

I love Harryhausen's films for their imagination and creativity, but I find them fairly archaic now in their technical delivery of this creativity.

(I also wish that Harryhausen had benefitted from producers who could bring together enough financial resources to give him the budgets that he needed, better dialog in the scripts, and a few really good directors to stage and direct the actors for the scenes which didn't require effects. The most competent actors I can remember him ever having were in
CLASH OF THE TITANS.)

One of my very long-time friends is Jim Danforth, a special effects person extraordinaire, who worked with Harryhausen on occasion, in addition to doing his own Oscar-nominated projects.
We often talk about these days of animation and the changes that have been wrought through modern technology.

But still, the filmmakers of today have not quite captured the creative imagination and magic of the Harryhausen era. As Frank Sinatra says in THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT, "You can wait around and hope but you'll never see the likes of this again....."

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 2, 2012 - 11:25 AM   
 By:   Octoberman   (Member)

Whew! That's a relief! I was beginning to think it was only me seeing the difference (besides, of course, the guy that invented it!), and that soon the guys in the white coats would take me away in a net. (Not a bad way to go, actually. I already spend most of my time in my happy place.)

Thank you, Manderley.

(Any chance you could cajole Mr. Danforth to log on here and share some of his experiences? We of the Stop-Motion Generation would literally lap it up.)

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 2, 2012 - 12:19 PM   
 By:   neotrinity   (Member)



Sir M Must See - and Always Manderatory smile READING Department:

Ock, you echoed one of the sincere sentiments we were gonna ask re
the remarkably distinctive Mr. Danforth,



whose creations deserve a separate accolade thread of its own (subtle-as-a-matrix-a-bomb hint for those whose expertise eclipse's ours).



As for the illustrious individual whose Olympian offerings are always in an Asgardian class of their own, his contribution is a titled textbook case of how professional insight allied and balanced by actual experienced expertise elevates any and everything he percolates with his perspective.

The minute we see his name, our orbs (all three of 'em) can't ski across his syllables quick enough to absorb their the width of their quiet quality nor the breadth of their breathtaking interior view of the indispensable nuts and bolts behind the scenes of the wonder in front of it.

His points are pristine and merit further rumination, at which point we'll have our own take to bring on.

Till then, tho - and we owe you, in more ways than one, a helluva heavenly update, Sir M, now that we've finally achieved a measure of San Dee stability ...- durn, it only took over a flamin' yeer! - we will say, Always in All Ways:

[ you're an honor to know, interact with and be profoundly influenced by. ]

 
 Posted:   Nov 3, 2012 - 1:37 PM   
 By:   Jehannum   (Member)



I remember the Talos blowing my tiny mind when I was a kid. RH achieved great sense of scale and mass, something that has often been lacking in CGI (where massive bodies accelerate too quickly to give a realistic impression of momentum and inertia).

Also loved the skeleton warriors.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 3, 2012 - 4:06 PM   
 By:   manderley   (Member)

.....(Any chance you could cajole Mr. Danforth to log on here and share some of his experiences? We of the Stop-Motion Generation would literally lap it up.).....


I believe that Mr. Danforth would say that he is essentially retired and out-of-the-business now.

His work was always mostly a singular and solitary kind of thing.....nearly always alone with his dimensional models for the animated projects.....and his paintbrushes and paints for his matte work and production drawings. Jim is like that, too, mostly shy and retiring and modest about his work. Though he does occasionally appear at conventions talking about these things, it is not, I think, his favorite thing to do.

Today he is mostly occupied with painting---beautiful paintings, really---about subjects which interest him.

He has been working on an autobiography, with pictures, for a number of years, and I believe he may have placed it through an online publisher in the last year or two. I'll see if I can find out how those who are interested might download the book.


After 30 years together, about 4 years ago my partner and I were able to get married in California, which we did. Jim and his wife, and several other friends usually get together at our home for a little Christmas morning brunch each year, and we spend a wonderful day chatting about anything and everything. In the year of our marriage, we were startled that Jim and Karen had arrived with an unusual gift package as a wedding gift.

Apparently, for some months, Jim had been painting a picture to give us as a gift. Because Rick and I have a houseful of kitties, and we collect teddybears, and Rick is very involved in theatre-memorabilia collecting, and I am involved in movie-memorabilia collecting, Jim painted a gorgeous 12x16 oil for us, including all these connections. He calls it "In The Nursery". It depicts a turn-of-the-century English-style nursery, much like that in "Peter Pan."

Sitting on the floor amid the tops and toys and alphabet blocks is a large TeddyBear, who is being sized up by the family kitty. On the floor next to the bear is one of the old 19th Century revolving movie toys---a Praxinoscope---which presumably represents the movie me, and on the floor behind the kitty is a large, assembled Pollock's Toy Theatre---with full scenery, staging and characters, performing in Gilbert and Sullivan's THE MIKADO---which presumably represents Rick's theatrical interests. In a way, it's a pseudo portrait of the two of us.

The richness of the painting, the detail, the historical accuracy, and the observations within the imagery are really superb, and we are honored to have received this gift, which will remain a rare treasure in our little family.

We will be seeing Jim and Karen in a month-or-so, and I'll tell him he has fans even on the FSM website!

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 3, 2012 - 4:13 PM   
 By:   manderley   (Member)



Sir M Must See - and Always Manderatory smile READING Department:

Ock, you echoed one of the sincere sentiments we were gonna ask re
the remarkably distinctive Mr. Danforth,



whose creations deserve a separate accolade thread of its own (subtle-as-a-matrix-a-bomb hint for those whose expertise eclipse's ours).



As for the illustrious individual whose Olympian offerings are always in an Asgardian class of their own, his contribution is a titled textbook case of how professional insight allied and balanced by actual experienced expertise elevates any and everything he percolates with his perspective.

The minute we see his name, our orbs (all three of 'em) can't ski across his syllables quick enough to absorb their the width of their quiet quality nor the breadth of their breathtaking interior view of the indispensable nuts and bolts behind the scenes of the wonder in front of it.

His points are pristine and merit further rumination, at which point we'll have our own take to bring on.

Till then, tho - and we owe you, in more ways than one, a helluva heavenly update, Sir M, now that we've finally achieved a measure of San Dee stability ...- durn, it only took over a flamin' yeer! - we will say, Always in All Ways:

[ you're an honor to know, interact with and be profoundly influenced by. ]







Awww shucks, 'twarnt nuthin'! smile

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 3, 2012 - 6:21 PM   
 By:   Octoberman   (Member)

@ Manderley,

I hope my inquiry about FSM contributions from Mr. Danforth was taken in the same spirit it was given. I would never presume to intrude upon anyone's private, personal time like so many fanatics who walk around with some inflated sense of entitlement regarding the people they purport to admire.

I was thinking of something FAR LESS invasive or disruptive, respectful of the normal routine of the gent in question. Peeking in once in a while to share his thoughts on something or other (such as his perception of today's world of FX), or something of that nature.

Having said that, I am more than content to continue enjoying the work he has already given us without any further expectation, much in the same way that Mr. Harryhausen's work will astonish and delight all of us in perpetuity.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 3, 2012 - 7:50 PM   
 By:   neotrinity   (Member)

WRITE ON, Ock da Eloquent. smile

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 3, 2012 - 8:33 PM   
 By:   Christopher Kinsinger   (Member)

I had the amazing and wonderful opportunity to meet Mr. Harryhausen, Mr. Schneer, and Beverly Cross back on Memorial Day weekend in 1977. They were touring to promote SINBAD AND THE EYE OF THE TIGER.
I've loved Ray's work since I was a child, and today, having just turned 60, I still feel like a child when I enjoy his films again and again.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 3, 2012 - 11:38 PM   
 By:   blue15   (Member)

While on the Danforth detour:



Dinosaurs, Dragons, & Drama
The Odyssey of a Trickfilmmaker – Vol.1
An Illustrated Memoir by Jim Danforth
$40.00

http://www.archive-editions.com/jimdanforthbook.html

This is the story of visual effects artist Jim Danforth’s journey from a childhood in rural areas of the Midwest to the soundstages of Hollywood and London, and how a shy boy with no inside contacts managed to fulfill his dream of working in The Movies.

Volume One includes:

Jim’s work with Art Clokey, the creator of Gumby
Jim's feature film stop-motion animation assignments on:
Jack the Giant Killer, The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm, 7 Faces of Dr. Lao, It’s a
Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (and others)
Jim's involvement with the creation of the Pillsbury Doughboy

Volume One concludes with a detailed account of Danforth’s challenging assignment as designer, director, and animator of the visual effects for the Hammer Films production of When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth.

The book also contains Danforth’s recollections of interesting people he encountered during
his professional journey. The CD-ROM book includes ‘clickable’ sidebars and footnotes filled with additional facts, plus thoughts about various eclectic topics that interest Jim. Auxiliary sections describe various pre-digital film effects techniques and now-obsolete processes.

828 pages of main text, plus the Foreword, sidebars, and supplemental material. Over 720 photos, drawings, and paintings in the main text; plus more in the sidebars. Distributed exclusively by Archive Editions on a CD-ROM in a DVD-type "snap" case.

And back on track with RH:



Ray Harryhausen - Master of the Majicks
Volume 1: Beginnings and Endings
$74.95

http://www.archive-editions.com/rayharryhausenme.html

Pre-Orders Available NOW!

"Vol. 1 is planned to ship in time for Christmas. Yes, this is a very early pre-order offer, but your support now will not only guarantee your copy (or copies), but will help cover the considerable up front costs of printing and production. Majicks Vol. 2 and Vol. 3 are long sold out, and now command prices ranging from $350 to $500 to over $700 per copy on eBay and other sites. We have received inquiries about Vol. 1 over the last year on an average of 3-5 times a week. So don't delay— every indication is that our limited edition print run of Vol. 1 (the final volume in the set) will likely sell out quickly."

I've got volumes 2 & 3 and can't wait for #1. This is the end all be all on Ray & his work. And the FXRH Collection is now out - sold out at Archive Editions but available at other online sellers like Creature Features (publisher of the book).

http://www.creaturefeatures.com/shop/books/the-fxrh-collection/#!prettyPhoto

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 4, 2012 - 1:23 AM   
 By:   mulan98   (Member)

Wunderbar, Mu ...

was it published and, if so, where can one peruse it?




It was for an ILR station for broadcast as part of my review for the release of the movie.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 4, 2012 - 7:36 AM   
 By:   neotrinity   (Member)

smile Hokay ... so is their - an' yes, wee kin spel razz - at least a bloomin' TRANSCRIPT somewhar?

wink ... Y'no, sumtymes being curiously anal can be an absolutely admirable virtue ... big grin

 
 Posted:   Nov 10, 2012 - 2:15 PM   
 By:   sprocket   (Member)

deleted.

 
 Posted:   Nov 18, 2012 - 8:30 AM   
 By:   sprocket   (Member)

deleted.

 
 
 Posted:   May 7, 2013 - 5:21 PM   
 By:   neotrinity   (Member)



The Old Order Changeth - and Shalt Ne'er Be Royally Replaced Department:

 
 
 Posted:   May 7, 2013 - 9:05 PM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

I think one of the reason a lot of people love and admire RAY was because he was able to do something only a few people in this world can do. We all can act, direct, write screenplays, novels, edit movies, produce, compose music, write lyrics etc etc , but how many can create that type of magic.

 
 
 Posted:   May 7, 2013 - 9:36 PM   
 By:   Christopher Kinsinger   (Member)

There IS only ONE Ray Harryhausen.
There was no one like him before, and there will be no one like him again.
He stands alone.
A cinematic giant.

I had the honor of shaking his hand several times one weekend, 36 years ago.
While our hands were pressed together, I was nearly overcome with awe that I was in personal contact with the very hands that created all of those glorious cinematic creations that I shall always love.

 
 Posted:   May 7, 2013 - 9:42 PM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

i thought him and Bradbury would live forever.
well, they will.....

rip

 
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