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View Diary: Film Genius Ray Harryhausen Has Died (73 comments)

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  •  Earth vs. the Flying Saucers (7+ / 0-)

    One of the first movies on which Harryhauses was in charge of special effects was "Earth vs. the Flying Saucers."  Now the flying saucers in that film were simply spinning discs; pretty boring, you'd thing, without the opportunity for the interesting and dynamic motion Ray became famous for.

    But the climax of the film showed the saucers attacking Washington and destroying several iconic monuments, like the Capitol Building and the Washington Monument.  The easiest way to film these would have been to create a scale model and blow it up while filming it with a slow-motion camera.  Except that the studio was too cheap to buy a special camera just for a couple of shots.  So they had Harryhausen  animate it all, by hand.

    It shows.  Look at that sequence, and you can see that every blessed brick of the Washington Monument was carefully and lovingly animated as the building collapsed.  All done by one man; all done by hand.

    That, people, is craftmanship.

    "All the World's a Stage and Everyone's a Critic." -- Mervyn Alquist

    by quarkstomper on Tue May 07, 2013 at 01:13:41 PM PDT

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