We lost another pioneer. This morning I woke to the news that special fx man Ray Harryhausen had passed away. At 92 years of age he, without a doubt, left a huge impact on this world and while his death is incredibly sad, I think this is a moment to celebrate a man whose work inspired and influenced generations of people.
One of my biggest irks when watching classic films is people who laugh at the old stop-motion sequences... a bit of respect goes a long way, people! Look at the duelling skeletons in Jason and the Argonauts or King King on top of the Empire State Building... these are ingenious effects and if it weren't for them, cinema wouldn't be where it is now. His work tapped into the inner child in everyone and unleashed a sense of wonder in even the most hard-boiled of personalities.
And his legacy lives on. We see it all the time in filmmakers like Tim Burton, Robert Rodriguz, Steven Spielberg and countless others. If it weren't for Ray, we wouldn't have them. George Lucas released a statement overnight and said "Without Ray Harryhausen, there would likely have been no Star Wars" Quite right!
And so those who thought classic special fx to be hokey and bad, I recommend looking at them with a new set of eyes and a renewed sense of wonder. Respect the man who made his dreams & nightmares a marvellous reality for the benefit of everyone.