Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
Empire's New Tom Cruise Cover
The Jameson Empire Awards 2014
Vote: The Greatest 301 Movies Of All Time!
Rebecca Hall:
My Movie Life

The actress picks the movies that shaped her
Mountain Dew Green Screen
Register now to see X-Men: First Class!
Feature
Ray Harryhausen On His Creatures
Empire's visit to the late, great master of stop-motion

submit to reddit

Ray Harryhausen with a Clash Of The Titan Skeleton

This article was originally published in 2012 following an interview with Ray Harryhausen, and serves now as our tribute to the late special effects legend, allowing him to talk us through his groundbreaking career.

An unremarkable trip along the Central Line takes you to Holland Park, in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, in West Central London. And in a typically large but deceptively anonymous Holland Park corner townhouse... live the monsters.

All right, that might not quite be true. But in that enormous town house does live Ray Harryhausen, monster-creator extraordinaire (although he prefers the term “creature”) over a career spanning at least six decades. Astonishingly, he practically always worked alone, and uniquely while he never directed per se, it’s his authorship stamped over Dynamation classics from Mighty Joe Young to Clash Of The Titans. “They were my films,” he chuckles. “The directors worked for me.”

Our walk down the austere hallway of chez Harryhausen takes us past closed doors behind which we’re certain may lurk gorgons and hydras, but the room into which we’re ushered contains just Ray himself, and a small bronze cast of one of the Argonauts skeletons. Modestly, he seems baffled that we’d be interested in talking to him, more than once telling us: “It’s all in the books!” With a new documentary, Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan, celebrating his life and work, we persuaded the master to talk us through a few of his creations first-hand...

WORDS OWEN WILLIAMS
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
  1 of 10 Next
Ray Harryhausen On His Creatures | Joe Young
Joe Young

Mighty Joe Young, 1946
"That was my first feature, as an assistant to Willis O’Brien. O’Brien started the whole thing with King Kong. His technique was revolutionary at the time. He invited me to his studio to meet him, and I took some of my dinosaurs in a suitcase, and they gave me a job. I tried to improve on it, but I still admire King Kong because it influenced me enormously. There wasn’t a single superfluous scene in the dialogue or the visuals."

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
 
1 of 10
Next

Have Your Say
Register or login now to let us know what you think.

Your Comments

1 Brilliant
"They are not monsters....they are misunderstood creatures". More

Posted by danielthompson99 on Thursday May 9, 2013, 12:45

2 RIP
Speechless and quite sad at this news. More

Posted by rissole on Wednesday May 8, 2013, 11:08

3 Pure Gold
I grew up with all the films Ray Harryhausen worked on and they fuelled my fantasies and ambitions. Sadly, I failed to follow in his footsteps, but I've managed to get most of the movies on DVD, and they still entertain and enthral. Maybe it's just a personal thing, but even with the marvels made possible by CGI seem unable to aspire to the same special magic. I think it may have something to do with this observation by the man himself: "I tried to improve on it, but I still admire King Kong because it influenced me enormously. There wasn’t a single superfluous scene in the dialogue or the visuals." More

Posted by Morteus on Sunday November 18, 2012, 18:18

4 RE: Exclusive: Ray Harryhausen On His Creatures
L: Empire Admin Post your comments on <a href=/features/harryhausen-on-harryhausen><b>t his article</b></a> Ok First thing I saw when I opened up the article is the skeleton figurine and damn I remember that thing. I can't remember what movie though, sinbad maybe or clash of the titans. When you take a look at some of the following pictures you can see it's from the argonauts, I remember that movie with silly nostalgia. That guy really is an artist. More

Posted by joig on Saturday November 17, 2012, 00:39

5 in cinemas????
If you can tell me where , that would be marvellous! I have read reviews but it neglect to say where its on...if at all!! Grrrrrr! More

Posted by zmtm on Friday November 16, 2012, 16:46


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
The Best Barry Norman Anecdotes From His Empire Podcast Interview
From nearly punching Robert De Niro to the real story about ‘And why not?’

Empire 300th Issue: The Directors' Cut Cover
Spielberg, Whedon, Fincher, Abrams Mann and more take over

Fired! Losing Your Job In The Movies
The lowdown on getting dismissed on film

20 Not So Super '-Men' That Won't Star In A Film Any Time Soon
Forget your Batmen, your Spider-Men and your Ant-Men… Meet 3-D Man (and his pals)

The Making Of Locke: A Filmmaker's Journey
Steven Knight takes us through six pitstops (via Heston Services)

Tom Hardy: A Viewer's Guide
The essential, the recommended, the one for the fans... and the one to avoid

Ten Things To Know About The Spooks Movie
Under the hood of The Greater Good

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save money on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get Limited Edition Collectable X-Men Art Cards

Subscribe today and get 6 issues of Empire plus a set of collectable X-Men Art Cards for only £20!

Subscribe today

Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Just £25
Receive limited edition subscribers-only covers every month Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)