We all have our favorite movies to watch in our home theater, some of us favor the CGI-filled action and sci-fi flicks of today, while others prefer the widescreen spectacles of the 50's and 60's, and others prefer the B&W classics of yesteryear. For me, I like all types of films, but one filmmaker has always had a special place in my movie collection, and that is Ray Harryhausen, who has passed away at the age of 92.
Before CGI, this legendary filmmaker single-handedly brought fantastic creatures to life in films such as the 7th Voyage of Sindbad, Jason and the Argonauts, Mysterious Island and the original Clash of the Titans, one-frame-at-a-time. These films brought enjoyment to not only a multitude of movie goers, but provided inspiration for the great fantasy and sci-fi filmmakers of today, such as George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Peter Jackson, James Cameron, and More.
I actually had the pleasure of meeting Mr Harryhausen on a few occasions, including at some past San Diego Comic-cons, as well as during a past tenure as an assistant color designer and historical film researcher at Legend Films.
So, if you have a Ray Harryhausen film in your collection, today would be a good day to pull it off the shelf, insert it into your DVD or Blu-ray disc player, and go back to a time before CGI and see how one man influenced generations of filmmakers and film fans. There may have never been a Star Wars, Jurassic Park, or Lord of the Rings without the influence of Ray Harryhausen.
Visit the The Official Ray Harryhausen Website for more details on his life and films. Also, check out a video montage of some of his film work. Photo © Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com.