Ray Harryhausen

About Ray Harryhausen

Who is it?: Visual Effects, Producer, Director
Birth Day: June 29, 1920
Birth Place:  Los Angeles, California, United States
Died On: May 7, 2013(2013-05-07) (aged 92)\nLondon, England, U.K.
Birth Sign: Cancer
Occupation: Stop motion model animator
Years active: 1939–1980; 2002
Spouse(s): Diana Livingstone Bruce (1963–2013; his death)
Children: 1
Awards: Gordon E. Sawyer Award (Oscar for technological contributions) 1991 Science Fiction Hall of Fame 2005 Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards 2006
Website: www.rayharryhausen.com

Ray Harryhausen Net Worth

Ray Harryhausen was bornon June 29, 1920 in  Los Angeles, California, United States, is Visual Effects, Producer, Director. When it comes to motion picture special effects, there is only one name that personifies movie magic--Ray Harryhausen. From his debut films with George Pal to his final film, Harryhausen imbued magic and visual strength to motion picture special effects as no other technician has, before or since.Born in Los Angeles, the signature event in Harryhausen's life was when he saw King Kong (1933). So awed was the 13-year-old Harryhausen that he began researching the film's effects work, ultimately learning all he could about Willis H. O'Brien and stop-motion photography--he even contacted O'Brien and showed an allosaur short he made, which caused O'Brien to quip to his wife, "You realize you're encouraging my competition, don't you?" Harryhausen tried to make a stop-motion epic, titled "Evolution", but the time required to make it resulted in it being cut short. The footage he completed--of a lumbering apatosaurus attacked by a belligerent allosaurus--made excellent use as a demo reel, and as a result Harryhausen's first film job came with George Pal, working on Pal's Puppetoon shorts for Paramount. A stint in the army utilized Harryhausen's animation skills for training films.After World War II Harryhausen acquired over 1000 feet of unused military film and made a series of Puppetoon-flavored fairy tale shorts, which helped him land a job with Willis H. O'Brien and Marcel Delgado on Mighty Joe Young (1949). Although O'Brien received credit for it, 85% of the actual animation was done by Harryhausen. Harryhausen's real breakthrough, however, came when he was hired by Warner Brothers to do the special effects for The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953). The film's $200,000 budget meant that Harryhausen would be forced to improvise to get the kinds of quality effects he wanted, and to that end he learned a technique called "split-screen" (rear projection on overlapping miniature screens) to insert dinosaurs and other fantastic beasts into real-world backgrounds. The result was one of the most influential sci-fi films of the 1950s.From there Harryhausen went over to Columbia and teamed with producer Charles H. Schneer, the teaming becoming synonymous among sci-fi and fantasy film aficionados with top-notch special effects work the remainder of their respective careers. After three sci-fi monster films and work with Willis O'Brien on an Irwin Allen documentary, Harryhausen did the effects work for The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958), his first split-screen film shot entirely in color, which was highlighted by Harryhausen's mythological monsters interacting with Kathryn Grant, Torin Thatcher's flavorful performance as the villain and the rousing score of Bernard Herrmann.Because Harryhausen worked alone on his stop-motion animation sequences, the filming of these could often take as long as two years, the most famous example of the kind of patience required being the exciting skeleton sword fight sequence in Jason and the Argonauts (1963) (his most popular film) in which Harryhausen often shot no more than 13 frames of film (one-half second of elapsed time) per day.The 1960s were Harryhausen's best years, among the highlights being his reunions with dinosaurs in Hammer Films' One Million Years B.C. (1966) and The Valley of Gwangi (1969). His pace slowed in the 1970s, but he produced three of his masterworks during that period: The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1973); Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977) and Clash of the Titans (1981). It was not until 1992 that Harryhausen finally achieved film immortality with an honorary Oscar, a long-overdue tribute to the one name that personifies visual magic.
Ray Harryhausen is a member of Visual Effects

💰 Net worth: $20 Million

Some Ray Harryhausen images

Awards and nominations:

During the 1980s and early 1990s, those of Harryhausen's growing legion of fans who had graduated into the professional film industry started lobbying the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to acknowledge Harryhausen's contribution to the film industry and he was finally awarded a Gordon E. Sawyer Award (effectively a lifetime achievement Oscar) for "technological contributions [which] have brought credit to the industry" in 1992, with actor Tom Hanks as the Master of Ceremonies and Ray Bradbury, a friend from when they were both just out of high school, presenting the award. After the presentation to Harryhausen, actor Tom Hanks told the audience, "Some people say Casablanca or Citizen Kane...I say Jason and the Argonauts is the greatest film ever made!" A long series of appearances at film festivals, colleges, and film seminars around the world soon followed as Harryhausen met many of the millions of people who had grown up enjoying his work.

Biography/Timeline

1933

After having seen King Kong (1933) on its initial release for the first of many times, Harryhausen spent his early years experimenting in the production of animated shorts, inspired by the burgeoning science fiction literary genre of the period. The scenes utilising stop-motion animation (or model animation), those featuring creatures on the island or Kong, were the work of pioneer model Animator Willis O'Brien. His work in King Kong inspired Harryhausen, and a friend arranged a meeting with O'Brien for him. O'Brien critiqued Harryhausen's early Models and urged him to take classes in graphic arts and sculpture to hone his skills. Meanwhile, Harryhausen became friends with an aspiring Writer, Ray Bradbury, with similar enthusiasms. Bradbury and Harryhausen joined the Los Angeles-area Science Fiction League formed by Forrest J. Ackerman in 1939, and the three became lifelong friends.

1947

In 1947 Harryhausen was hired as an assistant Animator on what turned out to be his first major film, Mighty Joe Young (1949). O'Brien ended up concentrating on solving the various technical problems of the film, leaving most of the animation to Harryhausen and Pete Peterson. Their work won O'Brien the Academy Award for Best Special Effects that year.

1949

His most memorable works include: working with his mentor Willis H. O'Brien on the animation for Mighty Joe Young (1949), his first color film, which won the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects; The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958); and Jason and the Argonauts (1963), which featured a famous sword fight with seven skeleton warriors. His last film was Clash of the Titans (1981), after which he retired.

1950

Schneer was eager to graduate to full-color films. Reluctant at first, Harryhausen managed to develop the systems necessary to maintain proper color balances for his DynaMation process, resulting in his biggest hit of the 1950s, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958). The top-grossing film of that summer, and one of the top-grossing films of that year, Schneer and Harryhausen signed another deal with Columbia for four more color films.

1953

The same year that Beast was released, 1953, fledgling film Producer Irwin Allen released a live action documentary about life in the oceans titled The Sea Around Us, which won an Oscar for best documentary feature film of that year. Allen's and Harryhausen's paths would cross three years later, on Allen's sequel to this film.

1954

In 1954, Irwin Allen had started work on a second feature-length documentary film, this one about animal life on land called The Animal World (completed in 1956). Needing an opening sequence about dinosaurs, Allen hired premier model Animator Willis O'Brien to animate the dinosaurs, but then gave him an impossibly short production schedule. O'Brien again hired Harryhausen to help with animation to complete the 8-minute sequence. It was Harryhausen's and O'Brien's first and only professional full-color work. Most viewers agree that the dinosaur sequence of Animal World was the best part of the entire movie. (Animal World is available on the DVD release of O'Brien's 1957 film The Black Scorpion).

1955

Harryhausen soon met and began a fruitful partnership with Producer Charles H. Schneer, who was working with the Sam Katzman B-picture unit of Columbia Pictures. Their first tandem project was It Came from Beneath the Sea (aka Monster from Beneath the Sea, 1955), about a giant octopus attacking San Francisco. It was a box-office success, quickly followed by Earth vs. the Flying Saucers (1956), set in Washington D.C. – one of the best of the alien invasion films of the 1950s, and also a box office hit.

1957

Harryhausen then returned to Columbia and Charles Schneer to make 20 Million Miles to Earth (1957), about an American spaceship returning from Venus. The spaceship crashes into the ocean near Italy, releasing an on-board alien egg specimen which washes up on shore. The egg soon hatches a creature that, in Earth's atmosphere, rapidly grows to gigantic size and terrifies the citizens of Rome. Harryhausen refined and improved his already-considerable ability at establishing emotional characterizations in the face of his Venusian Ymir model, creating yet another international box-office hit film.

1960

Ray Harryhausen was given a special tribute, for his ninetieth birthday, at The BFI Southbank theater in London, where he had lived since the 1960s, which was attended by all the top visual effects Directors and technicians and was hosted by Director John Landis. At this event he was presented by Peter Jackson with a special BAFTA award from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.

1964

Harryhausen next made First Men in the Moon (1964), his only film made in the 2.35:1 widescreen (AKA "CinemaScope") format, based on the novel by H. G. Wells. Jason, and First Men in the Moon were box office disappointments at the time of their original theatrical release. That, plus changes of management at Columbia Pictures, resulted in his contract with Columbia Picture not being renewed. Also, as the 1960s counter-culture came to influence more and more and younger filmmakers, and failing studios struggled to find material that was popular with the new "Boomer-generation" audience, Harryhausen's love of the past, setting his stories in ancient fantasy worlds or previous centuries, kept him from keeping pace with changing tastes in the 1960s. Only a handful of Harryhausen's features have been set in then-present time, and none in the Future. As this revolution in the traditional Hollywood movie studio system, and the influx of a new generation of film makers sorted itself out, Harryhausen became a free agent.

1966

Harryhausen was then hired by Hammer Film Productions to animate the dinosaurs for One Million Years B.C. (1966). It was a success at the box office, helped in part by the presence of Raquel Welch in her second film. Harryhausen next went on to make another dinosaur film, The Valley of Gwangi with Schneer. The project had been developed for Columbia, who declined. Schneer then made a deal with Warner Brothers instead. It was a personal project to Harryhausen, which he had wanted to do for many years, as it was story-boarded by his original mentor, Willis O'Brien for a 1939 film, Gwangi, that was never completed. Set in Mexico, The Valley of Gwangi is a parallel Kong story—cowboys capture a living Allosaurus and bring him to the nearest Mexican city for exhibition. Sabotage releases the creature, and it wreaks havoc on the town. The film features a roping scene reminiscent of 1949's Mighty Joe Young (which was itself recycled from the old Gwangi storyboards), and a spectacular fire and animation sequence inside a cathedral toward the end of the film.

1970

In the early 1970s, Harryhausen had also concentrated his efforts on authoring a book, Film Fantasy Scrapbook (produced in three editions as his last three films were released) and supervising the restoration and release of (eventually all) his films to video, laserdisc, DVD, and currently Blu-ray disc. A second book followed, An Animated Life, written with author and friend Tony Dalton which details his techniques and history. This was then followed in 2005 by The Art of Ray Harryhausen, featuring sketches and drawings for his many projects, some of them unrealized. In 2008 Harryhausen and Dalton published a history of stop-motion model animation, A Century of Model Animation and to celebrate Harryhausen’s 90th birthday The Ray & Diana Harryhausen Foundation published Ray Harryhausen – A Life in Pictures. In 2011 the last volume, called Ray Harryhausen’s Fantasy Scrapbook, was also published.

1973

After a few lean years, Harryhausen and Schneer, talked Columbia Pictures into reviving the Sinbad character, resulting in The Golden Voyage of Sinbad, often remembered for the sword fight involving a statue of the six-armed goddess Kali. It was first released in Los Angeles in the Christmas season of 1973, but garnered its main audience in the spring and summer of 1974. It was followed by Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977), which disappointed some fans because of its tongue-in-cheek approach. Both films were, however, box office successes.

1980

During the 1980s and early 1990s, those of Harryhausen's growing legion of fans who had graduated into the professional film industry started lobbying the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to acknowledge Harryhausen's contribution to the film industry and he was finally awarded a Gordon E. Sawyer Award (effectively a lifetime achievement Oscar) for "technological contributions [which] have brought credit to the industry" in 1992, with actor Tom Hanks as the Master of Ceremonies and Ray Bradbury, a friend from when they were both just out of high school, presenting the award. After the presentation to Harryhausen, actor Tom Hanks told the audience, "Some people say Casablanca or Citizen Kane...I say Jason and the Argonauts is the greatest film ever made!" A long series of appearances at film festivals, colleges, and film seminars around the world soon followed as Harryhausen met many of the millions of people who had grown up enjoying his work.

1981

Schneer and Harryhausen finally were allowed by MGM to produce a big budget film with name actors and an expanded effects budget. The film started out smaller but then MGM increased the budget to hire stars such as Laurence Olivier. It became the last feature film to showcase his effects work, Clash of the Titans (1981), for which he was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Special Effects. For this film, he hired protégé model animators Steve Archer and two-time Oscar-nominated Jim Danforth to assist with major animation sequences. Harryhausen fans will readily discern that the armed-and-finned kraken (a name borrowed from medieval Scandinavian folklore) he invented for Clash of the Titans has similar facial qualities to the Venusian Ymir he created twenty-five years earlier for 20 Million Miles to Earth.

1983

In March 1983, Harryhausen participated in a special one-day event at Mann's Chinese Theater celebrating the 50th anniversary of premier screening of the 1933 "King Kong" in the same theater. Visual effects technicians from several film-effects facilities recreated the life-sized bust of Kong as it appeared in the theater's outer lobby area 50 years earlier. The August, 1983 issue of American Cinematographer features three articles about the event.

1986

Ray left his collection, which includes all of his film related artefacts to the Ray & Diana Harryhausen Foundation, which he set up in 1986 to look after his extensive collection, to protect his name and to further the art of model stop-motion animation. The trustees are his daughter Vanessa Harryhausen, Simon Mackintosh, Actress Caroline Munro who appeared in The Golden Voyage of Sinbad [1] and film maker John Walsh [2], who first met with Ray Harryhausen in 1988 as a film student of the London Film School and made a documentary entitled Ray Harryhausen: Movement Into Life narrated by Doctor Who actor Tom Baker. The Foundation's website charts progress on the restoration of the collection and Future plans for Ray's legacy.

1998

Harryhausen and Terry Moore appeared in small comedic cameo roles in the 1998 remake of Mighty Joe Young, and he has also provided the voice of a polar bear cub in the Will Ferrell film Elf. He also appears as a bar patron in Beverly Hills Cop III, and as a Doctor in the John Landis film Spies Like Us. In 2010, Harryhausen had a brief cameo in Burke & Hare, a British film also directed by Landis.

2002

In 2002, young animators Seamus Walsh and Mark Caballero helped Harryhausen complete The Story of the Tortoise and the Hare. This was the sixth and final installment of the Harryhausen fairy tales. The film was started in 1952 and completed in 2002, 50 years later. Caballero and Walsh refurbished the original puppets and, under Harryhausen's direction and guidance, completed the film. The film went on to win the 2003 Annie award for best short film and gained worldwide attention. Walsh and Caballero have since moved on to form their own stop motion company, Screen Novelties which is based in Los Angeles, California.

2007

TidalWave Productions Ray Harryhausen Signature Series produced authorised comic book adaptions of some of Harryhausen's unrealised projects from 2007 on.

2009

In 2009, he released colorized DVD versions of three of his classic black and white Columbia films: 20 Million Miles to Earth, Earth vs. the Flying Saucers, and It Came from Beneath the Sea, and of She (1935), in tribute to its Producer Merian C. Cooper (who had supervised King Kong).

2010

In June 2010, it was announced that the Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation had agreed to deposit the animator's complete collection of some 50,000 pieces with the National Media Museum in Bradford, England.

2013

In 2013, the RH foundation and Arrow Films released a feature-length biography of Harryhausen and his films called "Ray Harryhausen - Special Effects Titan" on Blu-Ray. Featuring photos, artifacts, and film clips culled directly Harryhausen's estate and never before seen by the public, the film was initially released only in the UK, but was finally released on Blu-Ray in America in 2016.

2016

In February 2016, this series was devised by Foundation Trustee John Walsh and is co-hosted by him and Collections Manager Connor Heaney. Using the resources of the Harryhausen collection and newly recorded commentary tracks produced by Walsh, these episodes were made available freely and broadcast via iTunes. and SoundCloud.. In July 2017 the podcast series was nominated for the People's Choice Podcast Awards in the category of the Film & TV. The series is also listed on the UK Podcast Directory. In February 2018, the podcast series was nominated for a Rondo Hatton Award for "Best Multi-Media Award"

2017

An exhibition at Tate Britain from the 26th June to the 19th November 2017 features work from the Harryhausen collection and short film made by John Walsh on the restoration of a painting owned by Harryhausen which influenced his work.

2018

An exhibition opened showing items from the Harryhausen collection at Valence House Museum on the 14th March 2018. The exhibition was inspired by local man Alan Friswell who worked with Ray Harryhausen on the creature’s restorations. It was funded Barking and Dagenham London Borough Council. In an interview Foundation Trustee John Walsh said: “The exhibition brings Hollywood to Dagenham. Alan Friswell went to see films of Harryhausen and now he is bringing his skillsets to the borough. We have over 50,000 individual items which is the largest outside of Walt Disney and this is just the tip of the iceberg. We are ready to come back with more Models in the Future.” In the Barking & Dagenham Yellow Advertiser Walsh said ““The Models look fantastic in the intimate setting of Valence House and they are the original creatures that have been used in some of the biggest Hollywood films. This is a great opportunity for people to see them.”

2019

The BBC quoted Peter Lord of Aardman Animations, who wrote on Twitter that Harryhausen was "a one-man industry and a one-man genre". The BBC also quoted Shaun of the Dead Director Edgar Wright: "I loved every single frame of Ray Harryhausen's work ... He was the man who made me believe in monsters." In a full statement released by the family, George Lucas said, "Without Ray Harryhausen, there would likely have been no Star Wars". Terry Gilliam said, "What we do now digitally with computers, Ray did digitally long before but without computers. Only with his digits." James Cameron also paid tribute by saying, "I think all of us who are practitioners in the arts of science fiction and fantasy movies now all feel that we’re standing on the shoulders of a giant. If not for Ray's contribution to the collective dreamscape, we wouldn't be who we are."