Tuesday, May 7, 2013


   So many heroes have been passing away of late, but few have had a more powerful impact on who I am as an artist and designer as the legendary RAY HARRYHAUSEN.  When fans,  students, or colleagues ask me who have had the most influence on my work, Ray usually tops the list.

    It is impossible to SUMMARIZE the scope and depth of Ray's contribution to Filmmaking, Visual Effects, Animation and Storytelling.  His influence was SO pervasive, that it becomes difficult to identify any Filmmakers of the last half century who haven't been impacted by Ray's work.

  Beyond all of his filmic achievements and innovations, it is in his ICONIC Creature Design and Animation that my heart connected with him.  His manifestation of character and pathos in his creations was staggering, and few have matched his delicate touch and sense of wonder.  I asked him once HOW he got so much emotional anguish out of his creatures ( especially in their death throes ), and he stated that he felt that it was only when he put real EMOTION and EMPATHY into his creation that it transformed from merely a 'Monster' to a 'Creature'  In all my life, I'd never considered that distinction...

 I will always have tremendous gratitude that I had the opportunity to meet with him on two occasions ( the first time pictured above ), and to talk to him about our mutual passion.

  I'll miss you Ray.


Jason said...

A wonderful piece, Derek. Thanks for sharing. You bear the torch he has passed to you with equal vigor, and with a new and brilliant approach to creature creation for films and other media.
Take heart in that!
Keep being the awesome talent that you are!

JmC said...

Jason and the Argonauts, Sinbad films, Mysterious Island - these along with with Disney stuff, WB shorts and Rankin and Bass are why I do what I do. It is a sad day to lose such a giant. The world just became a little less cool today.

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