martes, 14 de mayo de 2013

Ray Harryhausen forgotten mattes

Ray Harryhausen, animation and VFX master passed away last week.  He is without a doubt the most influential FX artist in film history, and his heritage will last forever.

There are tributes on sites and Blogs dedicated to Harryhausen. But there are just a few that bring into focus the matte painting works on Harryhausen films.
Most recently Peter Cook has assembled wonderful tribute to Ray’s matte paintings on his Blog.

I also have on my site a special place for Harryhausen mattes and miniatures.

 After taking a look at Peter´s Blog and to my site, I have seen we’ve forget some small paintings and matte shots, I´, going to show here as a little homage to one of my all time movie heroes.
At the Golden voyage of Sinbad, Harryhausen took advantage of Spanish matte artists Emilio Ruiz del Rio to execute some in camera foreground paintings. Those pictures have been showed already, buy there are two more vies of the coast and Moravia city walls that are less known.

This view of Moravia city looks like a matte painting added later on postproduction, and doesn’t match the style of Emilio Ruiz.
This coastal view could be done as a foreground painting by Emilio Ruiz with a small portion of a miniature ship close to the camera, out of focus. 
I also noticed at Clash of the titans three different views for the temple of the three blind witches. I think two of them were miniatures matted in, but for a far away view if a long shot it looks more like a small painting. 
 There is also a view of Medusa’s island that I also believe is a matte painting rather than a miniature. The paintings should be done by Cliff Culley who was on charge of miniature effects. 

This matte painting of Baghdad was not originally made for the Harryhausen film The 7th Voyage of Sinbad by Columbia Pictures.  On his biography book, Ray didn’t remember from what film it was taken.  It was a Universal film “The veils of Baghdad” (1953)

Probably the matte painting was from Russell Lawson head of Universal matte department at that time.

At The 7th voyage of Sinbad it appears another matte painting that was taken from another film. The Island and the ship are all painted. Probably from another Columbia film. I don’t know the title of the original movie, but I hope to find it someday.

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