The signed photo above hangs on the wall by my animation stage. Next to it is a photo of a scantly clad Fay Wray, and also a clipping from Cinefex magazine; a last tribute by his colleagues to David Allen after his passing. Fitting images of Pete Peterson and Jim Danforth will doubtlessly find their way there too. I keep that photo in the corner of my eye to remind me of what can be achieved, and what I should strive to live up to. A presumptious ambition to be sure, but I'd like to think it's a noble one.
Eventually I found a magazine called "Starlog" at a local magazine vendor, and faithfully bought a new issue every month. Starlog's celebratory 100th issue featured an interview with the enigmatic "Ray Harryhausen", and for the first time I got a proper look into this man's career.
Ray's passing has made me more than determined to continue my "hobby", as others like to call it, my passion, as I like to call it. It has also made me realize I have to pick up my slack if I wish to be a prolific filmmaker, even if it as as an unpaid, YouTube backyard-epic mogul. It made me realize that I haven't done my own Greek mythology epic -gotta fix that. I haven't made my own Arabian Nights epic -I actually have a script for that. I haven't made my own dinosaurs vs cavemen film -let's get to work!
Let us not dwell on the "remakes" of Ray's "Clash of the Titans", as these films are insults in every way to both Ray and the moviegoing audience. Let's instead consider the many "children" of Ray, and celebrate the incredible influence he's had on popular culture. Both George Lucas and Peter Jackson has admitted that no Harryhausen, no "Star Wars" or "Lord of the Rings" movies. The same goes for his influence on James Cameron, and the whole slew of amazing British animations, spearheaded by Aardman. The examples of master movie craftsmen and women are too many to list. In short, Harryhausen is one of the most important figures in the history of entertainment. So many have been led by his example of excellence, and new aspiring fimmakers continue to discover him.
Anyway, this has been my little tribute and walk down memory lane.
Thanks Ray; my life would be so much poorer without you.