Q4 2020

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77 W I N T E R Q 4 I S S U E B O O K R E V I E W hausen did not reveal much about the techniques he used, in part to make the films truly magical. This book offers up a few of those ingenious secrets, including d i a g ra m s o f w h at p ro d u ce r C h a r l e s Schneer dubbed, "Dynamation-The New Miracle of the Screen" process, which was used to create scale relationships among the models and live-action foot- age. There is even a two-page spread showing the oven Harryhausen used to bake the latex models. He mainly worked alone, painstakingly constructing tiny flexible metal parts that could be moved bit by bit, shot by shot, but he also went on location. This was partly to interact with the human actors so that they felt comfortable reacting to characters that were not present, and partly to integrate his vision with the film as a whole. This included being part of the post-produc- tion process, and editors played a big part in actualizing the magic. "Titan of Cinema" includes a wedding telegram sent to Ray and Diana by the editing team on "Jason and the Argonauts." The wedding took place during a short break from animating the 33x36x61 cm green hydra model. The message reads: HEARTIEST CONGRATULATIONS-STOP URGENT-STOP PLEASE ADVISE SEEDING TIME HYDRA "JASON CUTTING ROOM" It was meant to say, "FEEDING TIME." The hydra was one of the most com- plex Harryhausen models, given that each of the seven heads moved inde- pendently, frame by painstaking frame. As Vanessa writes, "At this time there was no way of tracking the animation which had already occurred, and so he had to remember in which direction each of the seven heads was moving." A sense of playfulness permeates the book, with its combination of beau- tifully photographed objects, Vanessa's text, and the added comments of many who worked closely with Harryhausen, making it a delight to read. Its luxurious embossed fold-out covers and even the book's paper - Perigord matt deserve recognition. Those who oversaw this coffee-table gem deserve notice, so kudos must be properly offered to its photogra- phers, the designers and the editorial/ production team, as well as to those at The National Galleries of Scotland who mounted the exhibit. One hopes that a visit to the Galleries in Edinburgh will be possible before the exhibit ends in April 2021, but if not, "Titan of Cinema" is the next best thing. ■ Ray Harryhausen: Titan of Cinema By Vanessa Harryhausen 207 pages National Galleries of Scotland 2020 Harryhausen's famous skeleton warriors for "Jason and the Argonauts" in 1963. I M A G E : N A T I O N A L G A L L E R I E S S C O T L A N D

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