Art of Ray Harryhausen

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9780823084647: Art of Ray Harryhausen

As one of the most highly acclaimed stop-motion animators in movie history, Ray Harryhausen was responsible for the dinosaurs, animals, mythological creatures, and aliens in such classic films as The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, King Kong, Jason & The Argonauts, and War of the Worlds. These extraordinary creatures stole scene after scene from human actors, and this book shows how he developed them.

When writing his autobiography, An Animated Life, Ray Harryhausen and Tony Dalton realized that they were working with a collection of art too extensive to share in one book. As a result, this companion volume lets readers explore the hoard of artwork that Harryhausen has preserved in his London home.

Reproduced to the highest standards, this artwork includes preliminary sketches, elaborate drawings of key scenes, and storyboards, all produced as he prepared to undertake the laborious task of animating each creature. Also shown here are the tiny, elaborately articulated models that Harryhausen created to play enormous roles, and the bronzes he cast to preserve their forms in perpetuity.

The stunning array of images in this book is a tribute to the vast scope of Harryhausen’s imagination and artistic skills. It is a collection that no one interested in special effects or cinema history can do without.

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About the Author:

RAY HARRYHAUSEN, universally revered as the grandmaster of special effects in the pre-computer age, was born in Los Angeles but now lives in London.

TONY DALTON has worked as a film publicist and historian and now runs his own archive research company. Together, they have also written Ray’s autobiography, An Animated Life and A Century of Stop-Motion Animation.

From Booklist:

Fantasy-film geeks revere Harryhausen's technically dazzling, meticulously crafted movies employing the painstaking technique of stop-motion animation. This coffee-table volume showcases the material Harryhausen discovered in his archives while researching Ray Harryhausen: An Animated Life (2004). Harryhausen stresses that this book isn't as much about animation as about the previsualization that precedes making the models that will be filmed; accordingly, it focuses on sketches, key drawings, storyboards, and preliminary clay models rather than film stills. Thematic chapters cover Harryhausen's early work, including his stint with animation legend Willis O'Brien on the King Kong quasi sequel, Mighty Joe Young; dinosaur movies, such as One Million Years B.C.; sci-fi flicks such as the 1953 War of the Worlds; and the series of films portraying the adventures of Sinbad of, more or less, the Arabian Nights. Like O'Brien before him, Harryhausen hugely influenced younger filmmakers. In the introduction, Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson says he grew up wanting to become Harryhausen's apprentice and notes that the animator's films "have lost none of their ability to provoke wonder." Gordon Flagg
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