Recently, I discovered Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan on Netflix. We lost Harryhausen this year. If you are not familiar with his work, be sure to watch the tribute above from Film School Rejects.
I have long been a Harryhausen fan and have seen many shorts that touch on his work, but Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan is different. The story moves between Harryhausen discussing the evolution of his career and modern filmmakers discussing his influence on their own work; including Peter Jackson, James Cameron, Stephen Spielberg, Guillermo del Toro, Nick Park, Dennis Murren and Phil Tippet among others.
Woven into this homage is a very interesting look into Harryhausen’s creative process. He and his father built all of the armatures and models in his home studio. And, his in-camera compositing techniques broke new ground in the field and served as a model for software like Adobe After Effects.
Whether a photographer or filmmaker, you owe it to yourself to find and watch this film. It has given me an idea for one cool photo project. Maybe it will do the same for you.
PS: The Harryhausen family is raising funds to preserve his work, including many of his original models. Find out more about The Ray & Diana Harryhausen Foundation.