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0 Meeting Ray Harryhausen

Today was one of those days when you remember how amazing it is to work in the world of film.  For feature documentary The People vs. George Lucas we went to interview the legendary Ray Harryhausen.

I remember sitting as a little kid, maybe 7, my dad insisting I watched Jason and the Argonauts instead of some cartoon or other, and being mesmerized from the word go.  Today, I was lucky enough to be able to reach out and touch one of the skeletons that terrified me so much at that early age.  It was just amazing.

Ray Harryhausen with the original Medusa from Clash of the Titans

More amazing still was Ray’s insight into his world.  He was hooked by going to see the original King Kong at the Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Blvd., and did everything he could to gain the experience to work in this world – including night school and acting classes so that he could make his models behave more realistically.  His biggest message for us was not to forget that films are made to entertain and engage, and whatever form that might take, collaboration between a good story and everything that goes into making the magic of film should never be lost.

A good message for anyone out there looking to make film and one that, as Ray himself said, is all the more important today given the amount of media out there competing for audience’s attention.  And the really great thing, Ray, sitting moving the skeleton around in his lap, has lost none of the childlike joy in entertainment that hopefully all of us can find a piece of in ourselves.

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