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May 30


Summer 2019

Final Frame: Dragons Then and Now

Photo generously provided by the Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation.

Long before there was a Westeros with Daenerys Targaryen and her fiery charges, there was visual effects legend Ray Harryhausen, who is considered to be the godfather of screen monsters, including dragons. This is a shot of Harryhausen working with a model dragon for the 1958 film called The 7th Voyage of Sinbad. The visual effects technique used was model stop-motion animation, also called ‘Dynamation’ to differentiate it from cartoon animation. This was the first feature film to use stop-motion animation effects that were completely shot in color. Other films in the Harryhausen cinematic pantheon include 20 Million Miles to Earth, Jason and the Argonauts, One Million Years B.C., The Golden Voyage of Sinbad and Clash of the Titans, among many others. Harryhausen died in 2013, but his legacy lives on through the Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation, a charitable trust based in Scotland. The Foundation is dedicated to preserving his legacy and collection, and has an estimated 50,000 items, including original models, miniatures, stills, negatives, hard-rubber stand-in models, molds, original artwork, original equipment and screenplays. June 29, 2020 marks Harryhausen’s centenary, and for his 100th birthday the Foundation is planning a series of events and initiatives under the banner #Harryhausen100. Harryhausen was inducted into the VES Hall of Fame in 2018. More information can be found at www.rayharryhausen.com.

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