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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Ray Harryhausen's Birthday!

This year Ray Harryhausen will celebrate his 90th birthday and I'm hoping we can do something really special! When I learned that Ray would be turning 90 this year, I made a suggestion on that maybe we should celebrate by shooting stop motion video birthday cards for him. Our friend Nick Hilligoss was already in the middle of shooting a short with that same theme for Famous Monsters of Filmland Magazine Online and I'm already working on 'Sinbad The 5th Voyage' but, I still felt that wasn't quite enough.

After I made that suggestion, a lot of animators agreed that the idea had merit and we really should go for it. I blathered on about the idea for a while hoping that it would become something worth collecting on a disk and shipping it to Ray himself. Well as it turns out, it got a lot more attention than that, the idea has ballooned and I'm happy to report that and Famous Monsters of Filmland Magazine Online have both taken up the concept and expanded it into something that amounts to a REAL TRIBUTE!

Plans are still being hashed out but, Ray's business partner has now officially given his blessing to this and Ray will indeed see whatever we turn out AND there are plans being hatched for this to be something that can truly be called an 'event'.

Over the past couple of weeks, I've been contacting as many stop motion animators that I have email addresses for and asking for their participation in this tribute and I'm happy to say that there have been a good number of those who have signed on to shooting a 'card' for Ray's birthday. I will be shooting my own short for this and I hope you will too!

So if you have the time, Please consider shooting something? There really are no strict rules for this other than the following... it needs to be shot in either puppet or clay animation and it must be 'family friendly'. (no gore or otherwise offensive content) Other than that, it can be as long or short, simple or complex as you can afford the time to do... it just needs to honor the life and career of Ray Harryhausen and/or wish him a Happy Birthday!

Further details about how this will be collected and shown are developing currently and I will post future updates as they unfold. But I want to get the word out to as many stop motion animators as possible as soon as possible. Ray's birthday is coming up on June 29th and I suspect that anyone who intends to shoot a 'card' for this event would need to plan to have it finished at least a month in advance of that date.

Ray Harryhausen is in my opinion, THE KING of stop motion animation and more than deserves his 90th birthday to be a massive showing of THANKS for all the years of entertainment and advancements to the craft which he alone mastered for millions of fans.

More To Come...


Shelley Noble said...

What a fantastic idea, Ron!

I love the idea of hundreds (thousands?) of Harryhausen's grateful admirers paying tribute in such a fully appropriate way.

I'll do my best to chime in on that, even if it's just 50 frames.

Rock on.

R.S.Cole said...

Fantastic! Every day this thing is growing and I'm so happy to see it taking on a life of it's own.

50 frames? Cool, short and sweet works for me! All people really need to think in terms of is like the online greeting cards. From elaborate to super simple, it all works, it's all about HOW it's designed and presented.

Thanks for the effort Shelley! :)

Brett McCoy said...

This is gonna rock!

StopmoNick said...

It WILL rock - probably with some musical help from you Brett!
My current piece was actually for StopMotion Magazine. I've just finished the shooting and sent it off to Brett. I'm trying to think of something else I can do as a specific birthday card, probably shorter.

A great job in launching this Ron! You've created a monster...

Matt said...

Brilliant idea! Ray Harryhausen is a legend!

R.S.Cole said...

Sorry for the confusion Nick, it comes from the fact that there are so many stop motion magazines and sites now that they get jumbled up in my brain. (and I don't have much of a brain to begin with!)

jriggity said...


I wish I had time for this....

it definitely be very cool for him to see the of his work....still working today.


Jeff Lafferty said...

Hi Ron, I just wanted to drop by and say thanks for making the mold making tutorial on youtube. I just recently started casting hands for my puppets and your tips helped me out a lot.

R.S.Cole said...

You're very welcome Jeff. I've gotten more reaction to that mold making tutorial than I've ever gotten to my 'real work'! Thanks for the good words. :)

Jeff Lafferty said...

Ha ha, well I love your movie too. I just figured that was a given :)

Call of the Wendigo said...

Great stuff. Like anyone who's ever been a child, I've always been a fan of Ray Harryhausen's work, and it's only right he should get all the tributes he deserves.

Marc Lougee said...

Hey Ron,
I'm looking forward to seeing all the animated awesomeness that's bound to show up on the doorstep over at Stop Motion!

It's gonna be a great time- thanks for the push on getting this Great Big Ball of Cool rolling!

I'll be sure to wrangle as many folks as I can muster here at the studio in Manila; that won't be a stretch-
Cheers, Marc

Andrew Glazebrook said...

Great piccy !!!

About Me

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Floral Park, N.Y., United States
I am an artist and animator with over 20 years experience in all areas of tactile image creation including film and Television.