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Ray Harryhausen

Ray Harryhausen

Titan of Cinema

By (author) Vanessa Harryhausen


  • Winner of the 2020 “Book of the Year” award in the Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards
  • Shortlisted for Saltire Society Scotland's National Book Awards, First Book Award 2021
  • 100 objects selected by the animator’s daughter – packed with personal stories that have never previously been heard or published offering a completely unique perspective on Ray Harryhausen
  • A fascinating examination of the work of the pioneer of the special effects that we see in modern cinema
  • Contributions from experts in the field and in conjunction with the Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation, such as Caroline Munro and John Landis
  • A broad readership drawn from those who appreciate art, film, science fiction and fantasy
  • Tells the story of the man who changed the face of modern cinema – the pioneer of stop-motion animation
  • Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks are among his legion of fans; Harryhausen was an inspiration to Spielberg among many other current filmmakers
  • Entries often include earlier versions of finished models and sketches of scenes that illustrate how Harryhausen worked and developed his models
Full Description

Tells the very personal story of the man who changed the face of modern cinema

Special-effects superstar Ray Harryhausen elevated stop-motion animation to an art during the 1950s to 1980s. With material drawn from his incredible archive, his daughter, Vanessa, selects 100 creatures and objects, in chronological order, that meant the most to her as she watched her father make world-famous films that changed the course of cinema.

Ray Harryhausen’s work included the Sinbad films of the 50s and 70s, One Million Years B.C. and Mighty Joe Young, as well as a wider portfolio including children’s fairy tales and commercials. He inspired a generation of film-makers such as Peter Jackson, Aardman Animation, Tim Burton, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, and his influence on blockbuster cinema can be felt to this day. Some of the objects featured in the book, such as Talos from Jason and the Argonauts, are world famous, while others are less well known but hold special personal significance to Vanessa. Many newly restored works that have never previously been seen are included.

This book is published in collaboration with the Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation and it will receive a great deal of international publicity. It celebrates the legacy of a filmmaker who changed the face of modern cinema and it is certain to delight and fascinate those who appreciate film, art, science fiction and fantasy.

Shortlisted for Saltire Society Scotland’s National Book Awards, First Book Award 2021. Scotland’s National Book Awards recognise work across Scotland’s literary and publishing community. [The Saltire Society] is delighted to highlight Scotland’s outstanding talent, raise the profile of writers and introduce audiences to exceptional new works.

About the Author
Vanessa Harryhausen is the daughter of special effects superstar Ray Harryhausen and a trustee of the Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation. She grew up around her father's films and creations, and spent time on many of the film sets for which he created special effects.
Look Inside
National Galleries of Scotland
10th Dec 2020
Paperback / softback
USA & Canada
9.65 in x 10.43 in
208 Pages
200 color
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