Ray Harryhausen

Forename/s: 
Ray
Family name: 
Harryhausen
Work area/craft/role: 
Industry: 
Interview Number: 
586
Interview Date(s): 
17 May 2009
9 Jul 2009
Interviewer/s: 
Production Media: 
Duration (mins): 
200

Horizontal tabs

Interview
Transcript

BEHP transcript Disclaimer

This transcript has been produced automatically using Speechmatics.

It provides a basic, but unverified or proofread transcript of the interview. Therefore, the British Entertainment History Project (BEHP) accepts no liability for any misinterpretation of the content of this interview.

However, the BEHP wants to make every effort to improve the quality of these transcripts and would welcome any voluntary offers to proofread this and/or other interviews. If you want to help, please contact BEHP Secretary,  sue.malden@btinternet.com.

 Ray Harryhausen Part 1.

=======================================

 

Tony Dalton
My name's Tony Dalton. I've known Ray for a few years now 35 years. I think Ray. I think it is. And we've we've written three books together and we are now sort of keeping the collection safe. Probably the biggest collection in Anaheim may be a fourth. And there may well be a fourth book. I mean I've got a meeting today. Yes. Anyhow we're gonna be talking about your life an extensive career Ray. Starting from from scratch. You were born in 1920. You could say that. Sorry to write that you like to be remote but your mother and father were very supportive weren't they. Oh yes.
Ray Harryhousen
And I'm always grateful for that because I think you go through so many ifs and buts. Am I on the right track. Am I doing the right thing. And they were very supportive. They never forced me into trying to be a doctor or a plumber or a lawyer you know. And I'm grateful for that because some young people get forced by their parents to do certain things that they're really not suitable for.
SPEAKER: M1
Did you from an early age sorry in early age know what you wanted to do.
SPEAKER: M3
Well no not really. But it all comes. I guess it's a fickle finger a faded word because A I always like the sculpture and I took up sculpture at the very early age and I like to do things in three dimensions rather than two dimensions and but I found that I had to learn to draw properly to put my ideas on paper so other people could see them.
SPEAKER: M5
And your mother was very supportive and she was very supportive. She had uh shall we say a lot of potential artistic abilities and she used to make the costumes when I started making my fairy tales after the war and what do you remember what the first film you saw.
SPEAKER: M3
I don't remember I know my parents were good cinema goers and they used to take me I remember seeing old German film I saw metropolis and several other German films and and I remember the early films and of that impressed me enormously.
SPEAKER: M5
But for some reason I got attached to fantasy films it states what to it teach what you appeal not everybody is into fantasy but he just will no not at that time. Fantasy wasn't very popular.
SPEAKER: M3
They although they had made a few fantasy films but I remember seeing just imagine an early film with Maureen O'Hara. I mean Maureen O'Sullivan and I saw metropolis an early age and many years later I went back to Germany one time and we saw they had the orchestra in an old soundstage and they played the metropolis to this orchestra on the very soundstage that was still a very soundstage where some of it was shot in the early days.
SPEAKER: M1
Fantastic. But one film really was key isn't it true that early career when they film that really set me off was that I've wanted to do animation.
SPEAKER: M9
I used to like to make little models of. So we should at that time it was the La Brea Tar Pits mammals. And although I fell in love with dinosaurs after I saw King Kong explain what the Brillo brand top pits are.
SPEAKER: M1
Sorry a little break.
SPEAKER: M9
Tar Pits were out in the wilderness of Wilshire Boulevard and then when I was young but now it's all build up it's called the Miracle Mile Shops and buildings everywhere. So glamorize it now but in the early days it was just out in the country as a sort of bubbling tar pits I think and some oil company owned it originally and they left it to the city and they found a lot of bones in the early mammals of the prehistoric period.
SPEAKER: M1
And what sort of start you off about dinosaurs that was kind of one of the catalysts in your life. I remember them very early age and seeing the silent version of The Lost World.
SPEAKER: M2
And that stimulated an interest in dinosaurs.
SPEAKER: M5
But when King Kong came out 10 years later by the same people same man who made it a Willis O'Brien that it had sound effects and music of course by Max Steiner and it just left an impression that I can't forget.
SPEAKER: M1
I'm gonna come on to King Kong but I want to cover you your early influences first. I can just go back to the lost world you were five years old five or six years old when I think I was young and your mother took you to see that or your father.
SPEAKER: M2
Yeah. We used to go on Saturday nights to see the latest film but did that intrigue you at the time.
SPEAKER: M5
You know just single the fact with these creatures no longer existed. And the fact that you could see them moving on the screen was astounding. It's hard at time even though you know today it's considered a bit of crudity but at the time it was one of the first animated films and yet to see dinosaurs prehistoric life revived in the film was just amazing.
SPEAKER: M1
And it's hard to realize the impact on the world by the lost world in 25 today after seeing dinosaur. But the impact wasn't as great as I say until sound came in. Yes yes yes.
SPEAKER: M13
The sound I did a great deal was sound sound effects and music particularly added a great deal. That's why King Kong impressed me it wasn't just the film the animated dinosaurs and the gorilla you knew it wasn't real. I didn't know how it was done. And there were a lot of misleading articles in the magazines various magazines saying King Kong was a man in a suit or a King Kong was a big robot no one I think it was a popular mechanics had illustrations of a great big robot character walking through a jungle with the wires coming out of his heel and a man in the corner playing an organ. And that was supposed to have made them move but they were all rather deceptive until I think it was Look magazine came out and it showed King Kong as a miniature figure shaking hands with Fay Wray and wi fi I finally met Fay Wray.
SPEAKER: M1
But you did see you went to the Los Angeles County the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County didn't you. Oh yeah.
SPEAKER: M9
I was before I got interested in films.
SPEAKER: M5
And they had a wonderful exhibit down in the shall we say cellar in the basement of great big drawings and paintings of Charles our night.
SPEAKER: M2
I know of the La Brea Tar Pits so it was in the early days with the saber tooth tiger and the elephants and that impressed me enormously. And then they had a room with film clips. And that was where I first saw a display of Willis O'Brien's. He had given certain things to the museum and they were all in little cases around the room which were very impressive. You looked through a little ring and you could see the dinosaur posed in the jungle of the Lost World or King Kong.
SPEAKER: M1
So a little dioramas sort of little dioramas. Yes. Lovely. And that must have impressed you you know.
SPEAKER: M3
Oh it impressively enormously. That was the first time I heard the word Willis O'Brien.
SPEAKER: M2
Right. And so when I was in school I know in high school I was in this Teddy period they had waiting for the next class and there was a girl across the way who had a big book and she was looking at it and it had illustrations of King Kong. And I thought oh my goodness what is that. And that was the script of King Kong. So after the pause at the end of the session I went over and introduced myself and I said I'm fascinated with King Kong.
SPEAKER: M3
And she said oh my father worked on that and I worked with Willis O'Brien. And she said call him up. He's at MGM preparing a film called the war he goes. So it took me two or three days before I got the courage to call him up at MGM and he kindly invited me down because there were not many people at that time interested.
SPEAKER: M2
In didn't stop motion. I had learned to do a stop motion that I had experimented with 16 millimeter in my back garden and in my garage.
SPEAKER: M1
Right. But going back again. Let's let's go back to the first time he saw King Kong because that said that said that was a Grumman of Chinese I think it was probably a couple of weeks after it opened.
SPEAKER: M2
Did you go on your own. And my aunt got tickets. She worked for Sid Grumman who ran the Chinese Theater you owned the Chinese Theater. So I just called Grossman's Chinese and the Chinese decorations of course at the theater was very elaborate inside. And of course when this King Kong came on the screen after a show Sid Grubman used to put on what they call stage shows before the film and they had a jungle setting with natives swinging on trap pieces and all sorts of things. And I never forget that that was an experience outside. There were beautiful stills big stills of Kong. And what the substance of the picture was so one of the first few lines of the music came and one with a curtain opening and said King Kong. It was very stimulating because the music was so effective and it was the eighth wonder of the world to you.
SPEAKER: M1
It was an eighth wonder it was an eighth Wonder 9th Wonder 10th one little word to me. Can you you skipped one little important piece on the way into the theater. They had a display as well. Tell me about that. Yes they did.
SPEAKER: M3
They had the big bus that was used in the film for close ups. It was life size. Kong was supposed to be 50 feet high and they had this big bus that was worked by compressed air I found out later and they had that and they had pink flamingos and jungle sitting right in the foyer of was Chinese.
SPEAKER: M11
And that was so impressive. And then when I went in and saw the stage show and it was only when this film came on I just wasn't the same.
SPEAKER: M5
It changed my life completely. It gave one thing can change your life. Know it was a great film. Some people used to call it a horror film but it was never a horror film.
SPEAKER: M2
What do you see it as it's a fantasy film pure fantasy and that there's a big difference. Some people confuse it just because they're eccentric creatures in the film that it's a horror film but a horror film to me is more like Frankenstein or Dracula or something of that nature of werewolves where I didn't know anything about werewolves at the time.
SPEAKER: M1
Did you go back to see it again. Oh yes many times.
SPEAKER: M3
But we at that time there wasn't a rerelease for maybe two or three years after the opening and it was in limbo for quite a while and then all of a sudden I saw a advertisement in the paper for Hawthorn. They were it was called a flea pit. You had to pay 10 cents to get in and see this film King Kong which was revived. And of course I took the red car out to Hawthorne which was quite a distance from where I live.
SPEAKER: M11
And it was.
SPEAKER: M2
I saw these beautiful stills in the lobby. I asked the manager if I could borrow them. He photographed them. And he said they didn't belong to him I'd have to have called Forest Akerman. And that was the first time I had met for a sacrament. So I called him up and asked him if I could borrow the stills. He allowed me to borrow them and photograph them and they were a big inspiration. And you remained lifelong friend and we really made lifelong friends until he passed away. In recent time. Yes yes. And that was the first time I met Ray Bradbury as well. He was the forest sacramental was sort of the chairman of a little group called the science fiction society. Right. And they used to meet every Thursday at Clifton's Cafeteria in downtown Los Angeles and that's where I first met Ray Bradbury. He was a young writer and he had many rejections from wonder stories and various other. And he but that didn't discourage him. And he kept going and he was loved dinosaurs as well as I did. So we had something in common and we've been friends ever since. You're still friends. Very good. We're still friends. And he lives in Los. He lived in Venice at the time and I lived in Baldwin Hills. And we used to communicate by telephone when it was five cents.
SPEAKER: M1
Oh happy days. Oh happy day. And let me just take you back there. King Kong huge influence. You wanted to reproduce that. Is that right.
SPEAKER: M2
I got uh I got hooked on King Kong concept and my first experiments were with puppet string puppets. And I made a lot of dinosaurs and and King Kong and my mother helped model the heads in paper mâché and they recently found them in the trunk of my mother's garage. I had kept them all these years and I was shocked that they were so crude.
SPEAKER: M1
But that's part of it. That was your first experiment. That was my first experiments. And we do have those now as Ray said really do but I like that. Well I'm sorry the public should see them I feel however.
SPEAKER: M4
But that was your first experiment and that went on for a little while. But you you you you said that you read Life magazine is that right. Yeah. And you saw a proper article about how it was done.
SPEAKER: M5
Yes. It was in Look Magazine. Look magazine there were two Life magazine and Look magazine.
SPEAKER: M1
So look magazine I used to read this article and it told you what Ray what did the actual value stop motion and all the details that I saw.
SPEAKER: M2
I like to experiment as I said with little dioramas of little Brea Tar Pits. And here I saw how you could make the move. And so I borrowed a camera from a friend of mine and I started to make experiments with a stop motion which is far more flexible than the string puppet which is very limited.
SPEAKER: M1
Well apart from the fact that you can see the strings of course I wonder how it that's the whole point. And of course Marilyn. What kind of camera did you use.
SPEAKER: M2
Well the first one friend of mine had a camera a 16 millimeter and it didn't have a stop motion button on it. And you had a tap it in the hope you got one frame. And of course that varied in exposure. And on the screen it looked like you know the lights were going down off and on. Yes. But it started with my first experiments with the Cave Bear and I shot some footage of 16 millimeter with his camera and I used to come over at night and I think his name was Jack Roberts.
SPEAKER: M1
Yes. I didn't know his name so I think yes I had to ask him.
SPEAKER: M3
He worked in a store that sold electric plates. And that's where I first met him.
SPEAKER: M12
And I went in to buy some lights.
SPEAKER: M8
We got talking about things and he said he's got a camera. And he brought it over one night and we started making films.
SPEAKER: M1
Can I experiments. I thought experiments. Yes short subjects maybe one real or something like that. Well play no experiment. Yeah. How long would they be right. Rough.
SPEAKER: M2
Well rough maybe one or two minutes. Just experiments. The cave bear had a wooden armature because I didn't know anything about metal at that time. And bone suckers. But I knew there was bone sockets involved. So my first creatures were all had a wooden armature.
SPEAKER: M1
You knew there was a skeleton inside. Yes. To tell you that I have one here.
SPEAKER: M2
This is a more elaborate. My father made these ball and socket joints and this is a Pegasus armature which is inside the exterior which is rubber. And you have to have this so that when you move it it stays put and you each frame of film you move it just a little bit more and in synchronisation. So that gives the illusion that it's alive.
SPEAKER: M1
We'll come onto your patients a little bit later perhaps. But Don. You experimented with wooden armchairs. What kind of wood did you make the wooden nomics.
SPEAKER: M2
Well I used to go to the five and dime store and buy some beads and then I would gel a socket in the piece of wood and and they would ratchet of course. So the animation was very jerky but you have to go through those stages of experimentation learning because you had no DVD instruction or whatever it will tell you it's like nonstop. My was a complete thing and they kept it quiet for quite a while. And when did you do your filming.
SPEAKER: M1
At that stage where did you do you fellow outside in.
SPEAKER: M2
In the back garden. I would build a set. And of course the wind would blow the background. It was very crude.
SPEAKER: M5
And when I looked back but and then retrieved some of the film on a DVD that was recently released called The early years.
SPEAKER: M8
And so some of my early experiments or on that you can see some of the if you had a trouble with the sun of course moving the sun.
SPEAKER: M5
Yes of course using stop motion you know sometimes it would take maybe an hour to animate something and the sun would you'd see the shadows the shadows on the ground moving and this is all part of the process of learning this law you need to learn.
SPEAKER: M2
And then finally I got nerve enough to buy my own camera and move into my dad's garage. Can I ask you what kind of camera that was it did it have a stop motion presumably it didn't have the early one didn't have a stop motion right. But finally I got a hold of a simply special which had a built in step one frame so I could get even exposures and this is 60 M.. And this was 16 millimeter years and I still have that camera I still have the camera. It's a wonderful camera that Kodak put out. It's wonderful really movie camera and you could have had a magazine on it and it would take a hundred feet of film at a time and one frame at a time of course.
SPEAKER: M10
Yeah.
SPEAKER: M5
You wouldn't use the film up very quickly. No sir it's. And you used it for a long time didn't you. Oh we used it on all the fairy tales into the 1950s. Yes. That was after the war. I have my first professional job was with George Pell's puppet too. Before you come on to that I just like to stop you and just talk about evolution which.
SPEAKER: M2
Oh yes I made experiments I wanted to do something very similar to fend Fantasia and I did a lot of experiments with dinosaurs and and for this project that I was going to show called evolution and show it from the amoebas stage to the. When the first fish crawled out of the sea onto land and then I saw Fantasia Disney's Fantasia and it covered the same ground.
SPEAKER: M1
So I abandon the project until the end of the dinosaurs the Jurassic period or whatever it was me at the end of the dinosaurs. Yeah.
SPEAKER: M7
My dad built me a lot of barometers Great of the mammal period and which I still have and we love several armored tours of the prehistoric period.
SPEAKER: M1
We've just found three of your models from evolution haven't we. Yeah. This is something else we found in L.A. in here to keep them lovely right. I am one of them the triceratops has all its most of its rubber covering after 70 years or they're 70 years and the rubber deteriorates. But it seemed pretty good condition 70 years old and we found the T-Rex and the Brontosaurus armature. That's correct. And they look wonderful. I disagree with Ray. I think they're beautiful and that's what the metal armature that that's really very sophisticated for that period.
SPEAKER: M2
Well I got much smoother animation when this look article came out and it showed a ball and socket joints made of metal. And my dad had a series 0 but leave and he would make these joints for me. What did your dad do. He was a machinist by professional trade. And we had a laser that he used to use to certain things and repairing his car and all that sort of thing.
SPEAKER: M1
And where did he work. Did he work in the studios or not. No he didn't.
SPEAKER: M2
He worked there. I had no contact in the studios you know. Interesting. And then finally a friend of my dad's worked in the studio of RKO. And he told me all about stuff motions.
SPEAKER: M1
You were learning from different sources of timing from different sources and I will tell said there were no books on the subject. No. Can I get it. Just before we go on and talk about O'Brien who is your great as you say not influence but mentor I would say. I'd like to talk about one day when you were quite young. You went out to the studio to look at what on the backlot. Oh backlot of RKO was just over the Baldwin Hills and down in Culver City and they used to have.
SPEAKER: M5
Insist upon my dad taking me down to this backlot because you could see the wall that King Kong had been shot with the Kong had been shot the gate or the wall the gate and the wall. And it stood many years until Gone With The Wind.
SPEAKER: M1
Burned it for the burning of Atlanta. For how tragic is that and what did you used to say in front of the wall.
SPEAKER: M5
Then you sort of said simply both who admired King Kong would gather at the gate and say Balla Balla called e it was dialogue which is because dialogue Ruth Rose's dialogue from King Kong Kong.
SPEAKER: M1
Let me let me take you on to meeting O'Brien for the first time and then there are lots of things in between which I'm sure we will touch on as we go on. But yeah you you do did park up the courage to give O'Brien whom you call Obi a call.
SPEAKER: M2
Yes I called him at MGM and he came as I said before invited me down to the studio to see his preparation for war goes. And I was thrilled and I packed some of my models and the suitcase and took them down to show him that because there were very few people interested in animation that I think probably other than you and I would be probably very few people.
SPEAKER: M1
I think there have been other innovators before that time but it probably stopped at the end of the silent year. Some of them were in the east as well. That's right. You're in Europe. There a lot of influences from there. And can I can I ask you you had one you had a stegosaurus you'd made a stegosaurus model. Yeah. With rubber covering and a metal armature was that with a metal armature that sticks all that.
SPEAKER: M5
Yes that had a metal armature in it and I submitted it to the museum they had a session a small section of the afternoon where they would have a display of various things that people would do. People called a hobby show a parallel hobby. And I submitted this model well build a little setting for it.
SPEAKER: M8
And one prize it won first prize was it for.
SPEAKER: M1
Yes. I just found the surprise a second. In fact this is for the natural history museum of Los Angeles County isn't it. Which was what is this park in Los Angeles County Museum. And we've just sent them a copy of the certificate because they didn't have a copy so they've now got it in the museum which is lovely. But you won first prize for that. You thought you'd won second prize but you actually won first prize. Oh really. You took your Stegosaurus didn't you to say it to to show me.
SPEAKER: M3
Yes I will. Oh brilliant. He said Oh this is very fine but he said you better take anatomy because your Stegosaurus his legs look like sausages.
SPEAKER: M1
And were you offended by that. No I wasn't.
SPEAKER: M2
Because though he was my mentor and hero and so I went back to night school and took anatomy and studied facial drawing and and life drawing.
SPEAKER: M1
And when did you when you go to night school tell me. Went to the uh I've forgotten. There were several night schools. You went to the U.S. USC didn't you. When I got that right Lucy to take a film course film course.
SPEAKER: M2
Yes. And they had a film course on art direction and photography and the Lou physique was the head of the photography department and he was a professional in Hollywood who used to come and lecture at the museum.
SPEAKER: M11
And uh uh. At school as well. And uh all these people they would get an art director. Some of the various art directors of that time to come and give lectures at night school and USC and uh.
SPEAKER: M5
But it was an early course and film making. So they took place in Quonset hut from the old war from the czar of the Second World War.
SPEAKER: M1
This is post-war. But what did you do in the war. You work for. Sorry. Going back to George Powell. We mustn't forget George Powell. Yes.
SPEAKER: M2
He was my first professional job was with the George Bell puppet. And when he first came over from England he was Hungarian and he started to read in the paper somewhere that he is just coming to Hollywood to make a series of puppet tunes for Paramount Pictures. So I went to see him and showed him some of my models and that was my first job. I think it was sixteen dollars a week.
SPEAKER: M1
Sixteen dollars a week. Well at that time quite a good of fairly good. What did that involve talent.
SPEAKER: M2
Tell me about the process of puppetry because it's interesting opportunities where a similar process as the animated cartoon Mona instead of drawings they were three dimensional little models but they were obviously models and I wanted to get back to things like King Kong where they were disguised as dinosaurs or a prehistoric life or something of the imagination where they should look real. Yeah with real people. Yeah yeah set of models.
SPEAKER: M11
But I enjoyed work and I work with Powell for two years until the war came along and I did the first to help him with the first 12 puppet to try and I think that took place two years before I got into the army. Mm hmm.
SPEAKER: M1
And you tell me about the process that George would actually design the sequences wouldn't he.
SPEAKER: M2
Yes he did some of the early first animation and I think the first one was Western days. I believe it was easy. And then there was hula boola. And then we did. Strauss I think he did. And I can't remember all of them but then finally there was a little one about a black boy called Jasper.
SPEAKER: M7
Mm hmm. And he lived in watermelon land and we made a picture of Jasper and well and watermelon.
SPEAKER: M1
There were several of those I believe were saved.
SPEAKER: M2
Yeah but you worked with George just George originally did you read on Major George and I were the first animators and finally hired several others because he had to lay out all to keep it synchronized with the music and the story itself. You made out a little what we call the sheets of continuity. Found many frames that it would take to keep in synchronization with us with the soundtrack. Right.
SPEAKER: M1
And so everything would be preplanned. It wouldn't be originality as far as animation has gotten to a point there.
SPEAKER: M2
It was a reject you had to do certain things without preplanning in between. But it was basically the light layout so that it would be in synchronization with the sound which were recorded first and you would you would have various replacement heads replacement parts and having one model. We had a little character called Jim Dandy. They were trying to exploit as a hero. He was in three or four films. But he was an obvious puppet you know with a round ahead but it all turned on the play.
SPEAKER: M10
And they were all made of wood.
SPEAKER: M2
They're made of wood and they're obvious puppets are not disguised as things that but supposedly realistic.
SPEAKER: M1
What I'm trying to get at is that as with an animated model that you use with an armature inside you would have various replacement parts if they were walking or moving or doing something like that or an expression on the face for example he would have a when we made a film called The sum of the two loops will grow.
SPEAKER: M2
Yes. Yes about Holland. Yes. What about the screwball army. Yes he would you would he would have wooden characters and you'd have twenty four separate legs and the body would separate from the torso of wood and you were the next progressive leg which was maybe slightly moved forward.
SPEAKER: M5
And so that give gave the illusion that the characters would be in slightly different position and you replace the next one and so on right until you've got the walk or the stride or whatever you were trying we had the so-called three stripped down color process we shot our black and white film with a color wheel in front of the limbs and that would first be a yellow red and blue. And so you had to shoot three frames of each shot. That must have taken a long. Oh and did that slows the whole process down three time when you send it to the lab. They would put it together and dye each one a different color. So they put the three colors together and that came out as Technicolor and one has to say they are beautiful color. Yes they are. And they had a lot of control over it too. Yes they did. And that was early technicolor. And you got on very well with George. Is that right. Oh yes.
SPEAKER: M2
He was a delightful person to work with and very enthusiastic but he uh he had to do other things to prepare. So we he finally got a bigger crew and we had I think two or three animators who else came on the crew.
SPEAKER: M1
You had to remember oh may. Well I'm trying to get you to say Willis O'Brien for a short period. Oh Brian.
SPEAKER: M3
He was in between pictures. So he needed some money.
SPEAKER: M2
And he uh you stayed there for a week or two against a couple of weeks actually.
SPEAKER: M1
And it wasn't really something his cup of tea but he found a lovely picture of you George and Obi bending over an animation tape. Yeah I remember in the last book which was lovely. It's a very rare photograph. And I don't think we'd ever found anything but the three of you before and that was of course the first time you worked with me.
SPEAKER: M5
Yes it is.
SPEAKER: M2
And then finally because he had so many pictures collapse before they reached the screen. Yes. And for example where he goes was never made because it was during the war and when the war was declared Marin Cooper who was a producer at MGM he had to go into the army and the flying tigers I believe. Yes he was.
SPEAKER: M8
He had a great interest in aviation and he was a flyer and he crashed several times.
SPEAKER: M1
He was injured but he was a producer of King Kong. He was a producer this week again and he made before that he had made travel films and jungles and places. And he and Ernest showed Sec.
SPEAKER: M2
Made a series of films grass and Chiang. And then I think four feathers as well.
SPEAKER: M1
Yes indeed in the silent days yes.
SPEAKER: M2
And should sack was the director and show Zach was a cameraman and director and.
SPEAKER: M1
And apparently O'BRIEN Sorry uh Cooper wanted to make a film about a giant gorilla. And that's him. Yes.
SPEAKER: M2
Cooper had this in the back of his mind. And Obama was doing a film preparing a film at RKO called creation at the time and Cooper. This was during the Depression and Cooper came on to take charge of RKO as a as executive producer. And he uh got interested in stop motion animation and uh uh so he got Brian to abandon creation and uh oh Brian and Byron Crabb I believe made their first uh illustrated picture based on this gorilla uh which Cooper had in mind for a good many years. He wanted to use some of the Komodo dragons I think. Yeah. In a fight with a man in a gorilla suit. But that wasn't practical because they have to go to the island of Komodo and uh with a man and the gorillas and dragons were quite ferocious.
SPEAKER: M1
Not quite the same somehow.
SPEAKER: M2
So when he saw all these experiments from creation Cooper got interested them in using animation for the making of King Kong. So they got together and abandoned uh creation because I didn't have the type of story that Cooper felt was uh suitable for the screen.
SPEAKER: M1
It is a wonderful sequence in it though with the uh it's also in the area more the triceratops. I can't remember now when it's charging the man for creation made it a test shot.
SPEAKER: M2
Yes they did did several but yeah it was a tried search while everyone was chasing the man and that's what excited him and they had clippings of that down in the museum. I remember used to watch them. They had little cuts on the screen of uh shots of this uh these films that were put together through special processes was the human being in front and the animated creature.
SPEAKER: M1
By yes the combined combined and I mean the lost world in twenty five was much cruder in the sense of combining humans. Oh yeah.
SPEAKER: M2
So it was very limited at that time because that was one of the first early experiments. King Kong now perfected it for that period. Yeah. It did with miniature. Of course. They had uh uh.
SPEAKER: M11
They invent a new projection screen for large scale projection Hollywood used to use rear projection a lot more where in Britain they used the so-called travelling mountain for we'll come onto that which is why you came to Britain of course the 7th Voyage.
SPEAKER: M1
But let's just go back actually just to the puppet tunes to finish up there while Chiang I believe it was also with you at George power came in toward the end and while Chiang was very famous when he went on to model build an animator as well they formed their own company with other people which was projects.
SPEAKER: M2
And then after two years I had to go into the war and I felt I'd like to do something I don't want to carry a gun. I'm not I've never shot anything in my life. I've never used a gun in my life. But we had to learn to be. I finally got a medal for being a sharpshooter.
SPEAKER: M12
I noticed that on your war record which we've also just power. You know I hate it because I wasn't used that I never used a gun in my life. And so what actually happened. What did you do to change that. Well I do influence. Sorry. I don't know what I did to change it. I don't remember.
SPEAKER: M1
Well you made a film didn't you. You made a short film.
SPEAKER: M13
Oh yeah. Well I was still working at George Pell's I made a short film.
SPEAKER: M8
How to Build a bridge because I thought I'm going to be in the army anyway so maybe I can get into the Special Service Division where they made films to teach the troops out to do certain training films.
SPEAKER: M1
Yeah. Training. Yes. And you may die in color 60 mil. I made it. And 16 millimeter color in much better times at night at home.
SPEAKER: M8
Now that was my garage and everything with stop motion the cars everything this time I bought some little tanks miniature tanks and various things at the five and dime store.
SPEAKER: M1
And I would come in very handy over the years to find a dinosaur. Oh yeah. Survival. There's a lot of little vehicles in your films that I bought from the full haven't died. Oh yeah. They were beautifully cast so I used those a lot and they were made of ladies. A lot of the deal I made of cast iron cows land mine. Okay. Let me just go on and that film though didn't influence anybody is that right. Or did it.
SPEAKER: M2
It did influence. I. At the time I knew. I think I was going to be drafted so I thought well I'd better join up and do something that I can do. And I found out about a course at night with Columbia Pictures and Eastman Kodak and I took that course and learned more about cameras and everything else connected with making films and I finally I showed this little short film I think it was only three minutes long how to build a bridge to my head teacher at Kodak. And he showed it to Frank Capra the film director the film director right. That just opened a uh unity was a unit in Hollywood to make films.
SPEAKER: M1
Not training films they were propaganda. They were Orientation Orientation. Forgive me. What we would call today propaganda orientation films. We don't use the word and which were which were one of the classic series of the Second World War. Why we felt it was the way we fight series which is I think one of the fantastic.
SPEAKER: M2
He showed it to Frank Capra and Capra was interested and uh so I went down to the post and showed it to Frank Capra and Litvak right.
SPEAKER: M10
They were the two heads of this unit and uh they were impressed uh with this little three minute film.
SPEAKER: M2
And uh so they had me transferred from the regular army into Special Service Division. All right. And so you worked in the Frank Capra one for the two three years I was in the army. I worked through with uh making training films and uh uh Why We Fight series inserts and whatnot.
SPEAKER: M1
Tell me what you did on just a couple of examples or one example on the Why We Fight series. What sort of thing did.
SPEAKER: M2
Well they had uh you know what they call in the film industry inserts where you would make a show like a display of some sort and uh for example that and a film made about Japan. Uh I did uh I designed a temple with the basic people little film little characters and in plaster holding up this temple with the hero detail on the top.
SPEAKER: M11
And it was sort of a propaganda and I made these and then they photographed and inserted and one of the Why We Fight and you appear in one don't you.
SPEAKER: M12
Briefly briefly. Yes. I don't know John Houston. Yes. Yes indeed. He was in the army had just come back from Italy.
SPEAKER: M2
He had made that film about uh. I forget what it was called. I'm sorry. It's completely gone out of my head.
SPEAKER: M1
He uh my memory is not what it was mine and I knew you. You get a few little inserts the special effects shots as well you did. I did a few manual inserts and and some travelling mats for friends to transition on the screen and you also got involved with a very famous author didn't you during the war years whom you worked with. I'm.
SPEAKER: M14
Sorry I can't remember his name now. Who did the.
SPEAKER: M1
He was working on snafu I think. Yeah right. Sorry guys. Hey guys. Sorry. Dr. Seuss. Dr. Seuss. Yes. Thank you. Forgive me.
SPEAKER: M2
He was the head of the cartoon department and they used to lay out these films like snack food which would be a..
SPEAKER: M1
There was stronger words in the Army situation normal all fouled up but there was stronger stronger. Yeah well you can use your imagination which I won't quote on film but you you worked with him in a little while didn't you. Yes.
SPEAKER: M13
I work SNAP food little statues of snafu even made the meat jump good was did the music for a lot of the way we fight series but he wasn't.
SPEAKER: M10
He was a civilian in the Army and I don't know because maybe he was a foreigner or he was a Russian.
SPEAKER: M2
And they wondered after he did a film called The Negro soldier. They wanted to give him a little present at the end and I made a statue to make you chop them which I still have upstairs. And the city with a little Negro boy sitting on his feet.
SPEAKER: M1
He's conducting his name but Tim Kaine is conducting guns deducting. He never used a stick. Yeah I always did it with us. And right. And as you know put a stick in his hands like that. But now no I don't think. No I don't think he has. Now you come to me to use his hands as did you what did you watch him conducting.
SPEAKER: M2
Uh he must. He did a lot of some of the recordings I went to. All right.
SPEAKER: M1
Okay so the war years are going now your your room your discharged from the Army honorably discharged from the Army in New York I believe for us well the Post finally was located at the Western Avenue on Sunset Boulevard right.
SPEAKER: M2
And the when the post closed after the war ended.
SPEAKER: M8
They were some of us single men. I was single at that time and were shipped back to New York to get out of the Army in New York which took about six months and that was Fort Dix.
SPEAKER: M7
Is that right.
SPEAKER: M12
No outright sorry. I me remember that I'm trying to quote the the army papers from memory. I don't remember what they called it that. But you didn't go straight back to L.A. did you. You didn't go straight back to L.A.. No I.
SPEAKER: M5
I always wanted to go to look at them.
SPEAKER: M8
Guys I saw pictures in the National Geographic of the temples of the tax and the mail.
SPEAKER: M10
In the end was the I.
SPEAKER: M2
So I thought well I'll go back to Los Angeles by US Cuba and the and Mexico. Mexico. And so that was a very good experience for me at the time.
SPEAKER: M1
And there's your sort of sense of history coming out there isn't it with the Mexican the asked tech. Tell us there was a man to man temples. Forgetting I always get confused between saying that um but that was that really sort of beginning to come out sort of that historical that that history ancient history.
SPEAKER: M8
So like I had a yearning to do ancient history for some reason I don't know what just appealed to me. Maybe it's something to do with reincarnation.
SPEAKER: M1
Who knows you could be a Pharaoh from Dynasty.
SPEAKER: M12
I thought I was. But once we were playing with a Ouija board. Yeah. So what happened.
SPEAKER: M3
And I asked on the Ouija board what was I in my previous life.
SPEAKER: M12
And the Ouija board spelled out a middle class thing which I think you're going to say something really spectacular but I mean it just means all right. I can't wait. I have a big yearning for Egypt.
SPEAKER: M11
So I thought maybe I was a former Egyptian or something.
SPEAKER: M1
It always amazed me that you made several films where we're skipping way ahead now but several films on Greek mythology and Arabic legends. And you never made anything really about Egypt. No.
SPEAKER: M2
Well we went to Egypt on location several times. And when I got married many years later we went to Egypt on our honeymoon. We had a wonderful trip there and so there was a call to Egypt and I was always fascinated with the pyramids.
SPEAKER: M1
I know the feeling. I know the feeling. Let let's go back to postwar years. Now you're coming back from Mexico and what did you do. Was the first thing you did.
SPEAKER: M2
Well we had the Navy had a section of our building in the western Sunset Studios. I think it was the old Fox Studio and they threw out some outdated Kodachrome a big thousand foot real of undeveloped. Uh Kodachrome that was maybe two weeks or a month out of date or something. And I thought sixteen gosh I think people use it 60 million Mm. Sorry. And it was on the junk pile in the back of the studio.
SPEAKER: M8
And so I retrieved the real of film and I took it back with me to California to Los Angeles and it was in my garage for maybe six months and then uh I finally decided to make some fairy tales out of it and uh I sent in a test to Kodak lab and found that it was still a good color. And so I made one on my Mother Goose stories out of two or three of these mother early Mother Goose story. You get this uh uh outdated Kodak girl.
SPEAKER: M1
This is 1946 the mother is now just just after the war. Yeah not too long about a year maybe less than a year after you were being discharged from the army. Yeah. So you you made uh three sections is that right for the mother goose which you then strung together.
SPEAKER: M8
Yes they were separate items. Television was just coming and I thought I would make them for schools and I uh I went around to different schools to see what they would like to see. And each one told me something different. So I thought well I'll make something I like. And if it sells fine if it doesn't.
SPEAKER: M1
To change the problem with fairy tales. There is now a story to use a cliche but they are slightly grim aren't they. They are very horrific in places. Some of them yeah.
SPEAKER: M2
So I had to rewrite fairy tales particularly little red riding very spots. The original tale which I did some research on is rather lascivious and certainly not suitable for school children. So they've been modified over the years as fairy tales for children.
SPEAKER: M7
But I had to modify a little red riding hood to modify Hansel and Gretel and then Rapunzel will make my version of it.
SPEAKER: M2
And it's all very well to schools afterwards. These are 10 minute films that they were ten minute films and they're all on this DVD called the early years and you made the story of Little Red Riding Hood the story of Hansel and Gretel.
SPEAKER: M1
The story of Rapunzel and the story of King Midas. That's right. And that was the last one that you made although you did start tortoise and the hare. Yes you started tortoise and the hare started but never finished it.
SPEAKER: M2
I got involved in feature films at that time and I mean these were these were King Midas was 1953.
SPEAKER: M1
And by that time you'd worked on three or four movies feature films. Yes I had. So you were still making these between the feature films.
SPEAKER: M2
Yes I was in my spare time because like the film business was very unsteady is a long time between films and I would make these films so I made six very tails and all. Yes. Which are all on this DVD it's nothing.
SPEAKER: M1
There's nothing wrong with getting a commercial plug. Let's guess again go back and my apologies but let's just go back to you. Again getting in touch with O'Brien. Now he called you to say there's a new project. Is that right. Yes. You had worked on a film called 1g and that RKO and I went to see him there.
SPEAKER: M11
And this was then when the war came along I think he he went back east. Right. And we were out of touch for a couple of years.
SPEAKER: M2
And then when the war finished he uh he came back to Hollywood and then they started preparing a film called Mighty Joe Young which was a different title at that time. But I forget the original Mr. Joseph Young out of Africa of Africa. Thank you. Again with Marion Cooper. Yes. And who is going to produce it for RKO and shoots at directing it and showed Zach it was supposed to direct what the film was finally made. But I finally got to be Willis O'Brien's assistant. I showed him a lot of my tests and he and Cooper and they were impressed. And as I say at that time there were not many people interested in animation.
SPEAKER: M14
And I think again I would say at that time I there were a few people who'd worked on King Kong but nobody had gone on to my teacher you know me except Obi of course.
SPEAKER: M1
Yeah. And I mustn't forget Tom ourselves Delgado who built a lot of the models.
SPEAKER: M2
Is that right. Yes. Oh we've got a crew together again from King Kong.
SPEAKER: M7
A lot of those same people were still around and you got this crew together.
SPEAKER: M8
And it was touch and go for maybe two years or a year and a half.
SPEAKER: M1
Whether Mighty Joe Young would be made and you helped me during the help of OBE during that time. I was just on a retainer fee a very small amount and I would cut his his.
SPEAKER: M11
Frames for his drawings and he made a lot of drawings that some that were never used in the film because they were searching for ideas to build the script and he contributed enormously to it as he did with King Kong so then he would have meetings with the writer and Marin Cooper and they would formulate the script which was written by Mr. Shultz ex-wife Ruth Rose who wrote King Kong who wrote King Kong. And the most dangerous game. Yes of course. Yes. Yes. Based on the Saturday Evening Post story. Yes.
SPEAKER: M15
Oh come onto the Saturday Evening Post a week later again. Yep yep. Okay.
SPEAKER: M1
I see the red light. Yeah right. We're on to. We're on Mighty Joe Young now. So you're you're helping Obi paste I use to cut frames and mount his continuity sketches.
SPEAKER: M8
He was a very clever artist and he used to draw these many drawings and take them in for a story conference and some of them were injected into the script and others were left out.
SPEAKER: M1
It's very fortunate that you've kept some of those.
SPEAKER: M2
Yes I asked Obi Wan drawings were discarded because they were beautifully done. And he did so many of them watercolors as well. Yes. And so I kept a lot of them. And some of them will publish in our book.
SPEAKER: M1
Well we we've we've published quite a few of them in the in the household fray Harry house to that think they did and and essentially modern animation which features OBE of course. Yes but there is a lot of those in there including that lovely watercolor of mighty Joe Young on the stage.
SPEAKER: M5
Oh that was an early concept of the climax of having Jill on the stage. Incredibly it kind of would have been very costly and complicated. So they simplified it by simply having them come out of all mistakes.
SPEAKER: M1
Robert how did you study for a gorilla. How did you.
SPEAKER: M13
Well I was to go to the zoo and we sent a man back to Chicago to photograph a gorilla. But when we got the film back on 16 millimeter and we got the film back and it was just the only part that we could use was the gorilla moving across the screen I could see how he walked and he would sit down and pick his nose the huge amount of good if you're animating a character that supposed to be for you has to use their imagination.
SPEAKER: M5
Yes. But you at least gave us a guide of the basic qualities of a girl. You did a lot of.
SPEAKER: M1
You did a lot of homework on movements didn't you.
SPEAKER: M2
Oh yes I did. I would study by Bridges early books yes movement and various other things cartoons and whatnot and it all comes together. I don't know how or when it must be the pickled finger of fate working again.
SPEAKER: M1
And you did a huge amount of animation on Mighty Joe Young.
SPEAKER: M2
Yes I did practically nine tenths of it. Yes.
SPEAKER: M1
Well I think we worked out or somebody worked out it was about nearly 90 percent. So I think it was. That would be about nine tenths I suppose. So eight states it is a huge amount. Who else was working on it. Oh he was doing set ups. Yes. Oh we couldn't.
SPEAKER: M2
He did one or two themes with me but just partially but he was busy preparing the next set up and Cooper wanted to get it out faster. So he hired several other people to do it but they never used any of the film I never saw the films. I was too busy animating and so all practically everything is what I did. Uh the cell scenes down in the basement and the opening scene with him opening between the beach and we are they had I think Delgado and the uh this animator from uh Disney's The uh they did. Uh I think the sequence first. Mm hmm. And they never used it. Was it unsuitable for you then we shot it or and Cooper put me on that scene and uh uh I got it.
SPEAKER: M10
Took me three or four days I think to do it and they used every bit of my film.
SPEAKER: M1
You had a feeling for it. I think I must have known that you were unique. I would say that right. Yes I'm sure you wouldn't say that yourself. But I'll say it for you. I think you weren't unique. Can you tell me about patients doing this. This animation. Well I learned patients at an early stage when I was doing my early experiments.
SPEAKER: M8
I remember I was making a armature something that I've forgotten the details but I got lost my temper and threw the hammer down on the floor and it bounced and went up through a glass painting.
SPEAKER: M5
I had taken three or four days to do so. I decided at that time that I must learn and develop the patients. So that was a great lesson to me. It's one of the laws of moral animation. You could say that patients is so important because of you try to rush the thing as it is.
SPEAKER: M8
When I sit down and look at some of these films even mighty Joe Young or some of our later films I did with Morningside productions. You say if I don't take in ten minutes more I could have made that scene much better.
SPEAKER: M1
But I think you owe it to me. You always did take those extra ten minutes more. It looks like this time but if I'd taken just a bit another ten minutes while I think I think it's always very easy to be self-critical isn't it. Oh actually yes.
SPEAKER: M2
You see things differently than the way other people see them for the first time.
SPEAKER: M1
And you went to great with great sayings to me is when we were writing the last book about how you animate and what character you put into it into a model and you have to make them live and breathe literally. But one of the things that you say to me is one movie leads to another.
SPEAKER: M2
It does. That's the whole charm about it. To me at least of this type of armature animation because you get it in a certain pose and that suggests another pose. And in the script it just says a certain thing between two points but you have to fill in everything in between you know with your imagination and that's sometimes it's taken much more creative than having a pre animated on paper and then given to somebody to just you know substitute the movement which is what the puppet tunes were rubber tubes and there was very little give and take about it.
SPEAKER: M1
It taught me patience. Yes. Like everything has to teach patience. Now you you you you had one model is that right.
SPEAKER: M5
Joe we had four models of Miami Joe five and six. I think small ones as well. We had a lot of small ones for long shots and even smaller ones for longer long shots. But you had one particular model. I had one particular models that I always found it seemed more like a gorilla than any of the other models. Why. Right. Why is it just seemed to you. Well they were all built up separately by Marcel.
SPEAKER: M8
You know I design helped Obi design the original armature. And then Marcel Delgado would cover it with sponge rubber and and the exterior.
SPEAKER: M2
Did did he do that by build up or was it did the build up for the models is can you tell me what to build up is sorry inside build up is you take an armature such as this and you glue sponge rubber you can see even on this there's slightly remnants of rubber that was peeled off afterwards because it deteriorated. And the you build up the the outer form with the gluing foam rubber on the armature itself and then clipping it with a scissors to form it the muscles and everything that was the early stage and then I got involved with the loss I think it was a dinosaur film we made for Warner Brothers and we know it's going to be awful and that was the oh animal world animal. Forgive me. Yes. They started casting them and they looked a little rubbery to me but it certainly saved a lot of time. You didn't have anything to do with those though Dino Obi designed them but they were billed at the studio and other people were involved. So it wasn't quite the same as the King Kong.
SPEAKER: M1
I have to say I think they look pretty awful actually. If the truth be told well they look very rubbery to me and very shiny and the skin didn't have much texture to it. Having said that it's the best part of the films. Everybody says yes I think that's the only part that's remember.
SPEAKER: M2
Irwin Allen used to hire separate cameramen and they would have certain restrictions on how long a film could be used. Yes I was blown up to 35. A lot of what was 16 millimeter and blowing up to 35. Do you want me to try to close the door. Sorry. All right all right.
SPEAKER: M1
Sorry. Let me just go on to. I want to take you back to your model of my show young. You had a model of Marty Jerry Yang which you use for most of your animation sequences. Yes I did. And you gave her a name or gave him a name I should say.
SPEAKER: M8
Well we were working at RKO down in Culver City and they were shooting to in the sun I believe with Jennifer Jones and Gregory Peck. And was it correct.
SPEAKER: M1
Yes it was. Yes. Yes.
SPEAKER: M2
And Jesse cotton. Yes. And then you remember Selznick used to have the first choice to run his dailies and we'd have to wait and we stood in the projection booth looking at. The finish of his looking at his damages and we I remember seeing Jennifer Jones in one cut where she was coming over a rock and I think Greg the hero was shooting that. And you saw this little quivering and come up.
SPEAKER: M1
And so I called my gorilla Jr Jennifer because of the hand because of that. Lovely. How big was the old model. The model was about one foot high as I would say smaller than King Kong. That was much smaller than King Kong. Yes I would call it King Kong.
SPEAKER: M8
What about 18 inches to a 20 entrancing Kong with much bigger bit as a model because all of dinosaurs of Kong were much bigger models. These were done because muddy Joe was only supposed to be 10 feet at 10 or 12 feet. In the film where Kong was supposed to be 50 feet yes yes completely different.
SPEAKER: M1
And you completed Marty Oh you had you know had a nice thank you from one of the producers. Is that right. Yeah.
SPEAKER: M2
My dad Genzyme Marin Cooper was involved with John Ford in the film called RKO I believe.
SPEAKER: M8
Yes I remember going to Columbia Pictures in the Hollywood studio there on Gower Street and John Ford happened to be shooting the film. And during the in between shots while they were lined things up or. Preparing for it Ford came out to get his cigarette have a cigarette or something and he saw me over there and he came over and congratulated me on the scene of Buddy Joe he said he saw the rushes of him line kind of reduction and yeah.
SPEAKER: M1
Yeah. Yeah yeah. And he congratulated me on it. He was the only one that ever congratulated me. Brian didn't. I'm surprised no nobody sends an interesting. They seem pleased with it. They kept it in the film. Yes extraordinary. But you gave Mighty Joe a little just little human qualities didn't you. There was one about the banana I just say that which I was.
SPEAKER: M2
They had a sequence in it where Jill was throwing bananas at my Jo who was at her gate and to pacify him. He was furious with the people that were there because they had tried to shoot him and which is the sequence before that. Yes. Early in the film yeah early in the film and she threw a banana at him and he would eat the peel and all. He just put it in his mouth and at the end when I did the final scene at the end of the film I had to appeal of banana before he put it in his mouth because he'd been he'd been civil civilized world not many people noticed.
SPEAKER: M12
I remember that I in fact I think Cooper never said a word he used it in the film.
SPEAKER: M1
I do wonder if they really noticed. I wonder. It's uh let's say it is extraordinary. I love that little thing because you begin with the crudity of just shoving everything in his mouth and you having peeling it back like he would I think it was too subtle. Nobody knew it but me. The film was actually quite successful and Obi I believe got an Oscar. Is that right.
SPEAKER: M5
Yes he did.
SPEAKER: M2
The film was not as successful as King Kong because it was a different type of film. He was a nice little gorilla which is more or less of a character. And most gorillas are nice I suppose if they don't chew you up or starve.
SPEAKER: M12
But I'm not an authority on Gorilla.
SPEAKER: M2
Uh uh uh maybe Joe was well received and made some has made his money back. Of course over the year.
SPEAKER: M5
Yes it was an expensive production wasn't it.
SPEAKER: M2
Natalie you know RKO we were the only pictures shooting at that time and uh uh they dumped the whole RKO overhead on our film and the picture was budgeted a million and a half. And I think it came out as two million or three million plus. Yes two million which it didn't actually cost you know because they dumped all the heads of the departments on our picture because uh we were the only ones shooting. Finally Howard Hughes is shooting lust in the dust with the outlaw outlaw outlaw. Yeah yeah. Because he had been bought by Howard Hughes. Yes and a film in the meantime we were over a year on the film. And the killers RKO was bought by Howard Hughes later and as should be a big difference.
SPEAKER: M1
And you there were several after Mighty Joe you you. You stayed with me I believe for a little while.
SPEAKER: M2
Oh yes we started it. We wanted to make food of the gods. And Mary Ann Cooper. We couldn't get the rights because Paramount roads and and Valley of the mist as well.
SPEAKER: M11
And then the OBI had prepared something called the Valley of the mist and which was never made. And I was with OBE for a while we were trying to raise the money on it and Cooper bowed out of it.
SPEAKER: M6
So I don't know what it went on for about six months.
SPEAKER: M2
So I decided to go back to the fairy tale. And then I was offered the Beast from 20000.
SPEAKER: M1
But before that you tried to get a production up and running on a pet project that you always wanted to make this war of the Worlds.
SPEAKER: M2
Yes the one after Mighty Joe I made a lot of drawings on H.G. Wells or the worlds I wanted to make it at that time with animation rather than uh you know the way they made it.
SPEAKER: M12
And that was about 1940.
SPEAKER: M8
Not sure if Jesse Lasky had the line drawings for a while and George Bell and several other people. But no they couldn't raise the money.
SPEAKER: M2
That's settled the picture was never made until George finally made it. But Paramount owned all of H.G. Wells rights so it had to go through Paramount. They bought the rights for Cecil B the mill. I think they originally bought the rights. Interesting to a lot of H.G. Wells story.
SPEAKER: M12
Yeah. Pardon me.
SPEAKER: M1
I don't see seven or eight if you will for Cecil B de Mille. I don't see Cecil B de Mille making war of the Worlds. I don't know what it is I really. Let s go on because yes you are making fairy tales and there were there was another project that you wanted to make which was very interesting for me. The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. Oh yes but that was on a 16 mm.
SPEAKER: M2
I was going to make that as one of the fairy tales and uh but I made a lot of drawings for it but I never we never got her off the ground. I even made a little statue in plaster of Baron Munchausen based on just of door raised illustrations. You did two oil paintings. Yes I did. Two oil paintings which I think are published in the books somewhere.
SPEAKER: M1
I think the first two books. Yes. And you are the interesting part for me is the man in the moon. You wanted to do something different with the man in the moon.
SPEAKER: M2
Yes I did and I experimented with animated faces and that was supposed to be giant in the cheese factory on the moon and in our story. There couldn't possibly be any cheese on the moon and I made some experiments which are again on the early years film business animated face I wanted to make because there were a lot of dialogue to be in Baron Munchausen situation and he wanted the giant to.
SPEAKER: M1
How did you do that. How how were you going to animate the face.
SPEAKER: M5
So the dialogue took it well I made a lot of little levers inside of stop motion so that you could get a face or even photograph.
SPEAKER: M2
About three minutes of it was Baron Munchausen a little figure standing on a big hunk of cheese and then the giant towering over him talking to him which was rear projection which was rear projection. I shot it and 16 millimeter and then projected it behind this little figure.
SPEAKER: M1
So there are many shows and we've just found this this rather unique man in the moon with all his levers slightly rusted. After all these years 50 years 60 years the Interior has teeth but he's quite inventive. I have to say that that was the last time you were to really use that idea wasn't it. Yes but it was so time consuming.
SPEAKER: M13
I had to abandon my idea to leave it to Nick Park to do.
SPEAKER: M1
Well listen can we come on to your first solo feature film The Beast from 20000 Fathoms which is 1952. That's its release date. So you started working on it in 1951. How did that come about. Just tell us a bit.
SPEAKER: M8
Well George Lofgren then I got to be good friends on Monday Joe Young and his wife worked for a man called forget his name one guard.
SPEAKER: M6
I think it was the he was just developing a project for the men who came out of the army to buy it called Lakewood City.
SPEAKER: M8
And that was somewhere down there long beach I believe.
SPEAKER: M1
Yes it's an estate a building a state he was named what we would call a new kind of thing.
SPEAKER: M2
And so I made a commercial for him with Kenny key which was uh we made several commercials which were projected at the time on television. Yes. Yes.
SPEAKER: M1
And uh to sell each house basically sell the house.
SPEAKER: M11
And the idea of Lakewood City.
SPEAKER: M15
And that led to the Beast from 20000 Fathoms that led to the beach.
SPEAKER: M2
Apparently Mr. Wayne God knew Jack deeds. And when Jack Deeds who starred in a film called it came from beneath the sea.
SPEAKER: M1
I think it is Monster from the sea. I'm sorry to correct you right now. I think it was more active. Yes yes. Ad that they they asked you.
SPEAKER: M11
So Jeet came over and saw some of my experiments and invited me down to this private little studio in Hollywood. And they were preparing a film called The Beast from 20000 right. And one day I remember uh I think it was the film was quite well.
SPEAKER: M2
Along the script stages. And Jack deeds came in one day and through the Saturday Evening Post on our table and said we've got to get this into the film. And that was the beast attacking the lighthouse written by.
SPEAKER: M1
Written by my friend Ray Bradbury. It was a Saturday evening post coincidental or.
SPEAKER: M2
Again the fickle finger of fate and kind. But it was just a brief incident of the beast attacking the lighthouse that was inserted somewhere in the film.
SPEAKER: M1
That in itself. It was called The Beast From twenty thousand fathoms. That was the name of the story and but it was based on another an earlier story called The Folk horn. Is that right. That's the robbery right. Yes yes.
SPEAKER: M2
But that Bradbury was then approached presumably in the Bradbury was approached and asked to write the script on his ideas.
SPEAKER: M12
He said by George this is like the one I wrote many years ago.
SPEAKER: M8
And so there was a conflict there. Yeah and finally Dietz hired him and I gave him some money for the piece from 2010.
SPEAKER: M1
It's a great title The Beast from 20000 feet.
SPEAKER: M8
That was the interpretation of the magazine I believe.
SPEAKER: M1
Yes. Can I just flip you back in just a little bit. You mentioned a name called George Lofgren. How did you know George sorry.
SPEAKER: M2
Well I met him he was a taxidermist on Mighty Joe Young because were you used to do. You made a specialty.
SPEAKER: M8
He had a special device for making the hair we used to get onboard calf because it had small fur on it and he would take off the hide and put a rubber substitute which made it very easy to keep the fur from roughly from the animators.
SPEAKER: M5
And that was one of the things about King Kong isn't it. Yes. King Kong but you know people finally said that's the wind blow in Fleming's first it was but every time you touch the the air to animate King Kong you would move there and of course it showed on the screen ruffles doesn't ruffle well standing on the Empire State Building it's fine because you do think always the wind it's the the breeze.
SPEAKER: M1
So George was a taxidermist who you got to know. Yes. And who came with you on beast or not. No not on the beast later.
SPEAKER: M7
Right. And he was working for RKO. And finally Columbia got him.
SPEAKER: M1
I think he worked on several of moves up to seven. Are you working on.
SPEAKER: M8
I think it was earth versus the saucers. Right.
SPEAKER: M10
And the was the first one.
SPEAKER: M2
Right. And then the seven voyages. Yes. Yes.
SPEAKER: M1
We have some pictures of George working on one of the miniatures I think. Yeah. Seven which is the new we've just found them. Great thing about you Ray is that you never throw anything away. Well I tried. Not never ever throw anything away or a few things have you told me this morning. I think I must throw that away. I said I don't believe you right because I seem to be a pack rat.
SPEAKER: M5
I had so much work goes into these things that I hate to just throw it in the attic. Well you'd reuse your armchairs as well wouldn't you. Very.
SPEAKER: M2
We had to we had to just destroy the Beast from 20000 foam and make other litter for later films and use some of the ball and socket joint because they take so long to do. They have to be machined and designed and all that sort of thing and they are very expensive and they're very expensive. So one has to when you have somebody do it on the side you have to try to save money because every picture they want to do it for less than the picture you say for of course they do.
SPEAKER: M1
And is there anything left of the beast is the head is that right.
SPEAKER: M2
That's about the only thing left of the Beast from 20000 Fathoms which is in Berlin right was the head of the beast which is made of plastic and a resin or the rest.
SPEAKER: M1
Yeah. Right. Okay fine. Anyhow going back to the beast you you met with Jack Dietz and the other producer whose name is completely gone out of my mind. How was it out how Chester thank you. And you were commissioned. You said I'll do this for very little money because he was your eyes didn't actually say no di di di ended up that.
SPEAKER: M2
Eugene Lauria who was the director of it. Mm hmm. He was a European Frenchman and we got along very well together.
SPEAKER: M1
We seem to be the only two sane people in the business. Well it was really the first film to set off a trend wasn't it. Monster on the rampage as we call them. It was it was very popular at that period and it really led to the Japanese making Godzilla. Didn't need it anyways because Godzilla was practically a copy of the first Godzilla. It was practically a copy of the beast from 20000 further and all I would say is they didn't use that motion. I won't say any more than that. But they had a man in a suit instead of using stop motion.
SPEAKER: M8
But was somebody once said to you and me please correct me if I'm wrong that you know why did you do stop motion when you could use somebody say what I write so-called fan came to one of our lectures in he said Why do you waste so much time doing one frame at a time when the Japanese do their films so well with a man in a suit.
SPEAKER: M1
When we all looked up at the ceiling I think incredibly you know the difference between stop motion and a man in a suit stop motion. Do you feel that stop motion gives a fantasy to some fantasy. Yes. I've always felt that stop motion the very essence of the process which doesn't look real obviously.
SPEAKER: M2
But that was the charm of King Kong was that you knew it wasn't real and you looked real.
SPEAKER: M1
Yes indeed. It fitted with real reality. The element of fantasy. Yes. Yes. And that's what you were trying to achieve on the being for those trying to achieve. And now my favorite there are lots of favorite sequences in beast I love based it's one of and we found some outtakes now of course. Did you hear which came from Los Angeles which I had forgotten which did Peter Jackson is restoring for us. And we we found some lovely shots that are not in the movie but my favorite sequence and I'm sorry to choose one sequence because I think we have to is the lighthouse sequence going back to the lighthouse sequence again. Now that happens at night. Was that was that always meant to be at night.
SPEAKER: M15
Oh yes. Because of the light from the lighthouse. Oh yeah yeah. Couldn't have relied on during the day. And it's the light that attracts him isn't it. Yes. And the foghorn tracks. Yes yes sorry.
SPEAKER: M8
And the light though he has he thinks is another beast calling and the beast comes and the texts are lighter.
SPEAKER: M1
And that was the whole point of Bradbury story of course but the the sequence where he attacks the lighthouse which you've still got the lighthouse. Do you still have the lighthouse which is now in to hold a cast in bronze.
SPEAKER: M2
But I still have the original was made of wood did you make that right. Oh no. I had uh uh.
SPEAKER: M6
Somebody called Cook.
SPEAKER: M11
Well as a cook who actually made the managers for that based on what I would use for stop motion.
SPEAKER: M15
They're excellent miniatures. The Coney Island uh roller coaster is very good. Yeah.
SPEAKER: M2
He made two size inserts one for the fire because flames you know are so big. We had to make a bigger model and then a small one out of balsa wood for the animation for the bed for the beast itself to crush and destroy us.
SPEAKER: M1
And this is the first time you were really destroying anything was that most of New York and quite a lot of Coney Island.
SPEAKER: M5
Yeah. So it destroyed Coney Island. I've destroyed San Francisco I've destroyed Bay new ruins of the old in Rome when I got rather tired of that.
SPEAKER: M2
So I thought we got to use stop motion for something else. I got the idea of Sinbad and uh because you couldn't believe that a James Bond could find the skeletons. But you could believe that somebody like Sinbad fighters. Because that was pure fantasy. Mm hmm. And so and now that started it off his hold off on and I made a lot of drawings for the seventh voyage.
SPEAKER: M1
But before we get to that we got three other movies and the meeting with your famous producer Charles H near. Yes. And from the beast.
SPEAKER: M2
But late for that I met several other producers and tried to get them interested.
SPEAKER: M8
I can't remember the name of one of them was making the picture about dinosaurs and I took slippage. Ray Bradbury and myself went to see Lippert.
SPEAKER: M1
I think Robert Lippert was murdered. Yes. I think it's Robert. Forgive me if it's wrong. And you also went to see Edward small as well about the producer about the Sinbad idea which was you know you'd been developed by some drawings.
SPEAKER: M2
I uh left with Edward small and I couldn't get past the to actually meet Mr. Small.
SPEAKER: M1
Did Ray go with you to that or not. No. No. He just went to see purely my own. Let's go back to meeting with Charles. The beast you know Charles Schneider had seen the beast presumably and he called you or you heard from somebody else.
SPEAKER: M8
I'll make you an old friend that was in the army had been working at Columbia and he uh he said this young producer so he saw how you could you know used up motion for tearing down the Golden Gate Bridge. So uh this man said this young producer Sam Katzman wants to make this picture about the Golden Gate Bridge. And I thought well that's great. I was working on the fairy tale. I think it was a tortoise in that area.
SPEAKER: M15
I know you were working on King Midas King but sorry to correct you. I finish that and then I started work on the tortoise and yeah you did. You did. And I just need to go back slightly. Um we um we're going to break in a little while but just to go back slightly to the meeting with Charles. I'd like to get that in if we can. How did you first meet Charles. Because he was very important to the rest of your career really wasn't he.
SPEAKER: M8
Well it was through this friend of mine that I was in the army and he introduced me to a senior he had worked for Sam Katzman and Charles was working for Sam.
SPEAKER: M1
Sam Katzman was just explain that to us.
SPEAKER: M2
Sam Katzman was a producer. Big picture producer because you know they advertise. He would use a lot of the sets that were so-called ape pictures. And at that time he would reuse the sets. And so that they could advertising the set costs between many different films to save money.
SPEAKER: M1
A lot of it produced a lot of studios did that at the time. Oh yes.
SPEAKER: M2
That was kind of ridiculous. Sorry. Because that can cost a lot of money. Mm hmm. And and did you get on with Charles straight away or you just had you know we seem to get along very well and I was glad to meet him and I made some sketches about what we could do and stop motion with the Golden Gate Bridge. We even submitted the script after it was composed to the city fathers and they turned it down.
SPEAKER: M8
We wanted cooperation from the police and the city fathers that we don't want to destroy public confidence in the structure of the bridge.
SPEAKER: M12
It's not it's not a rise in that uh an octopus that size is purely myth.
SPEAKER: M1
Yes I guess I you don't often get 100 foot octopus ducking anything but now I can add I knew you will come onto that actually. But um but that that's your first film with Charles isn't it. What would become. It came from beneath the sea. That's right. And that's uh uh that would be in nineteen fifty five actually. So you were working in 1954. Yes. Is that all right. I'm gonna have to break.

End of Tape 1 

Ray Harryhausen Tape 2.

=======================================

 

SPEAKER: M8
Yeah.
SPEAKER: M1
Right. We're on to. We're on Mighty Joe Young now. So you're you're helping Obi. Paste out.
SPEAKER: M6
The cut frames and mount his continuity sketches. He was a very clever artist and he used to draw these many drawings and take them in for story conference and some of them were injected into the script and others were left out.
SPEAKER: M3
It's very fortunate that you've kept some of those.
SPEAKER: M6
Yes I asked Obi Wan drawings were discarded because they were beautifully done.
SPEAKER: M2
And he did so many of them watercolors as well. Yes. And so I kept a lot of them. And some of them will publish in our book.
SPEAKER: M3
Well we we we've published quite a few of them in the in the art from Harry house because we had to I think they did. And and essentially model animation which features IP of course. Yes. But there is a lot of those in there including that lovely watercolor of Mighty Joe Young on the stage. Oh yes. That was an early concept of of the climax of having Jill on the stage. Incredibly it kind of would have been very costly and complicated.
SPEAKER: M2
So they simplified it by simply having them come out of a hole in the state rubber.
SPEAKER: M3
How did you study for a gorilla. How did you add.
SPEAKER: M6
Well I used to go to the zoo and we sent a man back to Chicago to photograph a gorilla. But when we got the film back on 16 millimeter and we got the film back and it was just only part that we could use was the gorilla moving across the screen I could see how we walk.
SPEAKER: M3
And he would sit down and pick his nose the huge amount of good if you're animating a character that's supposed to be oh you wouldn't have to use our imagination.
SPEAKER: M5
Yes but you at least gave us a guide of the basic qualities of a girl.
SPEAKER: M3
You did a lot of. You did a lot of homework on movements didn't you.
SPEAKER: M5
Oh yes I did I would study by Bridges early books yes movement and various other things cartoons and whatnot and it all comes together. I don't know how or when. Must be difficult. Finger of fate working again.
SPEAKER: M3
And you did a huge amount of animation on my.
SPEAKER: M5
JERRY YANG Yes I did practically nine tenths of it. Yes.
SPEAKER: M3
Well I think we worked out or somebody worked out it was about nearly 90 percent. So I think it was that would be about nine tenths I suppose eight seats. It is a huge amount. Who else was working on it. Oh he was doing set ups. Yes.
SPEAKER: M5
Oh we couldn't. He did one or two themes with me but just partially he was busy preparing the next set up and Cooper wanted to get it out faster. So he hired several other people to do it but they never used any of the film. I never saw the films. I was too busy animating. So all practically everything is what I did sell scenes down in the basement and the opening scene with him opening between the beach and the are. They had I think Delgado and this animator from.
SPEAKER: M2
Disney's a uh they did the uh seek the sequence first. Mm hmm. And they never used it wasn't suitable. So you then shot it out of Marin Cooper put me on that scene and uh uh I got it took me three or four days I think to do it. And they used every bit of my film.
SPEAKER: M3
You had a feeling for it. I think we must have known that you were unique. I would say that right. Yes I'm sure you wouldn't say that yourself but I'll say it for you. I think you weren't unique. Can you tell me about patients doing this this animation. Well I learned patients at an early stage when I was doing my early experiments.
SPEAKER: M2
I remember I was making a armature or something I've forgotten the details but I got lost my temper and threw the hammer down on the floor and bounced and went up through a glass painting I'd taken three or four days to do that.
SPEAKER: M7
So I decided at that time that I must learn to develop the patience. So that was a great lesson to me.
SPEAKER: M3
It's one of the laws of moral animation. You could say that patience is so important because of you try to rush the thing as it is when I sit down and look at some of these films even Mighty Joe Young.
SPEAKER: M2
Or some of our later films I did with Morningside productions. You say if I had only taken 10 minutes more I could have made that scene much better.
SPEAKER: M3
But I think you owe it to me. You always did take those extra 10 minutes more. It looks like it's time. But if I'd taken just a bit another 10 minutes while I think I think it's always very easy to be self-critical it's not. Oh yes.
SPEAKER: M2
You see things differently than the way other people see them for the first time.
SPEAKER: M3
And you went to great with great sayings to me is when we were writing the last book about how you animate and what character you put into it into a model and you have to make them live and breathe literally. And one of the things that you say to me is one move leads to another.
SPEAKER: M5
It does. That's the whole charm about it. To me at least of this type of armature animation because you get it in a certain pose and that suggest another pose and in the script it just says a certain thing between two points. But you have to fill in everything in between you know with your imagination and that's sometimes the story is much more creative than having a pre animated on paper and then given to somebody to just you know substitute the movement which is what the puppet tunes were up to.
SPEAKER: M3
There was very little given take about it. It taught me patience. Yes. Yes like everything has to teach your patience.
SPEAKER: M8
Now you you you you had one model is that right Michael. Joe we had four models of Miami Joe five and six. I mean I think small ones as well. We had small ones for long shots and even smaller ones for longer long shots. But you had one particular model.
SPEAKER: M6
I had one particular models that I always found it seemed more like a gorilla than any of the other models.
SPEAKER: M3
Why. Right. Why is it just seemed to you. Well they were all built up separately by Marcel.
SPEAKER: M2
You know I design helped Obi design the original art matures and then Marcel Delgado would cover it with sponge rubber and and the exterior.
SPEAKER: M8
Did did he do that by build up or was it come did the build up the models. Can you tell me what to build up here.
SPEAKER: M6
Sorry I build up is you take an armature such as this and you glue sponge rubber you can see even on this there's slightly remnants of rubber that was peeled off afterwards because it deteriorated. And the you build up the the outer form with the glue in foam rubber on the armature itself and then clipping it with a scissors to form it the muscles and everything that was the early stage and then when I got involved with the loss I think it was a dinosaur film we made for Warner Brothers and grungy.
SPEAKER: M2
No it's going to be awful for not with the animal world animal.
SPEAKER: M8
Forgive me. Yes.
SPEAKER: M5
They started casting them and they looked a little rubbery to me. But it certainly saved a lot of time. You didn't have anything to do with those that did no. Design them but they were built at the studio and other people were involved. So it wasn't quite the same as a King Kong.
SPEAKER: M3
I have to say I think they look pretty awful actually. If the truth be told well they look very rubbery to me and very shiny and yeah the skin didn't have much texture to it. Having said that it's the best part of the films. Everybody says yes I think that's the only part that's remembered.
SPEAKER: M2
Everyone now I'm used to hire separate cameramen and they would have certain restrictions on how long a film could be used. Yes I was blown up to 35 million other what was 16 millimeter and blown up to 35. Do you want me to close the door. Sorry.
SPEAKER: M3
Sorry sorry sorry. Let me just go on to. I want to take you back to your model of my future young. You had a model of my teacher young which you used for most of your animation sequence. Yes I did. And you gave her a name or gave him a name I should say.
SPEAKER: M2
Well we were working at RKO down in Culver City and they were shooting duel in the sun I believe with Jennifer Jones and Gregory Peck and was it correct.
SPEAKER: M3
Yes he was. Yes. Yes.
SPEAKER: M2
And Joseph Cotton. Oh. Yes. And then you remember Selznick used to have the first choice to run his dailies and we'd have to wait and we stood in the projection booth looking at the finish of his looking at his dailies and we I remember seeing Jennifer Jones in one cut where she was coming over a rock. And I think Greg the hero was shooting that. And you saw this little quivering and come up.
SPEAKER: M3
And so I called my gorilla Jr Jennifer because of the hand because of that. Lovely. How big was your model. The model was about one foot high as I would say that's smaller than King Kong. It was much smaller than King Kong. Yes I would call it King Kong. What about 18 inches to a 20 inches.
SPEAKER: M2
Kong was much bigger but as a model because in all of dinosaurs of Kong were much bigger models. These were done because muddy Joe was only supposed to be 10 feet at 10 or 12 feet.
SPEAKER: M3
In the film where Kong was supposed to be 50 feet yes yes completely different. And you completed Marty. Oh you had a you know I had a nice thank you from one of the producers. Is that right. Yeah. My time.
SPEAKER: M2
Marion Cooper was involved with John Ford in the film called RKO I believe. Yes I remember going to Columbia Pictures in Hollywood studio there on Gower Street and John Ford happened to be shooting that film. And during the in between shots while they were lighten things up or preparing for it Ford came out to get his cigarette. Have a cigarette or something and he saw me over there and he came over and congratulated me on the scene of buddy Joe he said he saw the rushes of him line came reduction in line.
SPEAKER: M3
Yeah yeah yeah. And he congratulated me on it. He was the only one that ever congratulated him you know Brian didn't surprise. No. Nobody says an interest. They seem pleased with that. They kept it in the film. Yes extraordinary. But you gave Mighty Joe a little just little human qualities didn't you. There was one about the banana I just you know that which I'm not.
SPEAKER: M6
They had a sequence in it where Jill was throwing bananas at my dad Joe who was at her gate and to pacify him.
SPEAKER: M2
He was furious with the people that were there because they had tried to shoot him and.
SPEAKER: M5
Which is sequence before that. Yes. Early in the film. Yeah. Early in the film. And she threw a banana at him and he would eat the peel and all. He just put it in his mouth. And at the end when I did the final scene at the end of the film I had an appeal of the night before he put it well because he used them.
SPEAKER: M3
He'd been civil civilized not many people noticed. I remember that right. In fact I think Cooper never said a word. But he used it in the film. I do wonder if they really noticed. I wonder. It's let's say it is extraordinary. I love that little thing because you begin with the crudity of just shoving everything in his mouth and you having peeling it back like you. I think it was too subtle. Nobody knew it but me. The film was actually quite successful and Obi I believe got an Oscar is that right.
SPEAKER: M5
Yes he did. The film was not as successful as King Kong because it was a different type of film. He was a nice little gorilla which is more or less of a character. Now most gorillas are nice. I suppose if they don't chew you up or something but I'm not an authority on it. Uh uh Mighty Joe was well received and made some has made his money back of course over the year. Yes but it was an expensive production wasn't it. Certainly you know RKO we were the only pictures shooting at that time and uh they dumped the whole RKO overhead on our film. The picture was budgeted a million and a half and I think it came out as two million so three million plus largely yes two million which it didn't actually cost. You know because they dumped all the heads of the departments on our picture because uh we were the only ones shooting. Finally Howard Hughes was shooting lust in the dust with an outlaw outlaw outlaw. Yeah. Because he had been bought by Howard Hughes. Yes and the film in the meantime we were over a year on the film. And of course RKO was bought by Howard Hughes later and and as you say the big difference.
SPEAKER: M3
And you there are several after Mighty Joe you you. You stayed with me I believe for a little while.
SPEAKER: M6
Oh yes we started do it. We went to the bank food of the gods.
SPEAKER: M2
And Mary Ann Cooper we couldn't get the rights because Paramount roads and and value of the mist as well. And then the OBI had prepared something called the Valley of the mist and which was never made. And I was with OBE for a while we were trying to raise the money on it. And Cooper bowed out of it. So I don't know what to it went on for about six months. So I decided to go back to the fairy tale. And then I was offered the Beast from 20000 by now.
SPEAKER: M3
But before that you tried to get a production up and running on a pet project that you always wanted to make was War of the Worlds.
SPEAKER: M2
Yes it was after Mighty Joe I made a lot of drawings on H.G. Wells or the words I wanted to make it at that time with animation. Well then another way they made it and that was about nineteen forty not sure if Jesse Lasky had my drawings for a while and George Bell and several other people. But no they couldn't raise the money. So the picture was never made until George finally made it but Paramount owned all of H.G. Wells rights. So it had to go through Paramount. They bought the rights for Cecil B the mill. I think they originally bought the rights. Interesting to a lot of H.G. Wells story.
SPEAKER: M3
Yeah. Pardon me. I don't see Cecil or if you will for a Cecil B de Mille. I don't see Cecil B de Mille making war the world somehow doesn't quite fit this up really. Let us go on because yes you would making fairy tales and there were there was another project that you wanted to make which was very interesting for me. The Adventures of Barrowman Charleston.
SPEAKER: M2
Oh yes but that was on a 16 mm I was gonna make that as one of the fairy tales. Mm hmm. And uh but I made a lot of drawings for it but I never we never got it off the ground. I even made a little statue in plaster Baron Munchausen based on gust of door razor illustrations.
SPEAKER: M3
You did two oil paintings as well. Yes I did two oil paintings which I think are published in the book in the book somewhere. I think the first two books. Yes. Mm hmm. And you had the interesting part for me is the man in the moon. You wanted to do something different with the man in the moon.
SPEAKER: M2
Yes I did and I experimented with animated faces and that was supposed to be giant in the cheese factory on the moon and in our story out there no couldn't possibly be any cheese on the wall. And uh I made some experiments which are again on the early years film. This animated face I wanted to make because there were a lot of dialogue to be in.
SPEAKER: M3
Baron Munchausen situation and he wanted the child to tell us how did you do that. How how were you going to animate the face. So the dialogue created.
SPEAKER: M5
Well I made a lot of little levers inside of stop motion so that you could get a face even photographed.
SPEAKER: M2
About three minutes of with Baron Munchausen a little figure standing on a big hunk of cheese and then a giant towering over him talk into him which was rear projection which was real projected I shot it and 16 millimeter and then projected it behind this little figure.
SPEAKER: M3
So there are many shows and we've just found this rather unique man in the moon with all his levers slightly rusted. After all these years 50 years singly in the interior he has tears but he's quite inventive. I have to say that that was the last time you were to really use that idea wasn't it. Yes but it was so time consuming.
SPEAKER: M5
I had to abandon my idea to leave it to Nick Park to do.
SPEAKER: M3
Wallace and Gromit. Can we come on to your first solo feature film The Beast from 20000 Fathoms which is 1952. That's its release date. So you started working on it in 1951. How did that come about. Just tell us a bit. Well George Lofgren then I got to be good friends on Mighty Joe Young and his wife worked for a man called I forget his name one guard I think it was the he was just developing a project for the.
SPEAKER: M2
Men who came out of the army to buy it called Lakewood City and that was somewhere down there long beach.
SPEAKER: M3
Yes it's an estate a building a state building. He was named what we were calling you can't believe it.
SPEAKER: M2
And so I made a commercial for him with Kenny key which was a we made several commercials which were projected at the time on television. Yes yes.
SPEAKER: M8
And to sell each house basically to sell the house and the idea of Lakewood City.
SPEAKER: M5
And that led to the Beast from 20000 Fathoms that led to the beach. Apparently Mr. Wayne God knew Jack Dietz and when Jack Dietz who starred in the film called It Came From Beneath the sea.
SPEAKER: M3
I think it is Monster from the sea. Sorry to correct you right. I think it was more accurately I see that ad that they asked you.
SPEAKER: M2
And so Jeet came over and saw some of my experiments and invited me down to this private little studio in Hollywood and they were preparing a film called The Beast from 20000 right. And. One day I remember I think it was.
SPEAKER: M5
The film was quite well along script stages and Jack deeds came in one day and through the Saturday Evening Post on our table and said we've got to get this into the film. And that was the beast attacking the lighthouse written by.
SPEAKER: M3
Written by my friend Ray Bradbury. It was a Saturday Evening Post coincidentally or what. Again the fickle finger of fate.
SPEAKER: M2
But it was just a brief incident of the beast attacking the lighthouse that was inserted somewhere in the film.
SPEAKER: M3
That in itself. It was called the piece from 20000 Fathoms. That was the name of the story and but it was based on it. Another an earlier story called The Fog Horn. Is that right. That's the Bradbury wrote. Yes.
SPEAKER: M2
Yes but that Bradbury was then approached presumably in the Bradbury was approached and asked to write the script on his ideas.
SPEAKER: M3
He said By George this is like the one I wrote many years ago.
SPEAKER: M2
And so there was a conflict there. And finally Dietz hired him and I gave him some money for the piece from 2010. It's a great title The Beast from 20000 feet. That was the interpretation of the magazine I believe.
SPEAKER: M3
Yes. Can I just flip you back just a little bit. You mentioned a name called George Lofgren. How did you know George sorry.
SPEAKER: M5
Well I met him he was a taxidermist on Mighty Joe Young because were you used to do. You made a specialty.
SPEAKER: M2
He had a special device for making the hair we used to get unborn calf because it had small fur on it and he would take off the hide and put a rubber substitute which made it very easy to keep the fur from roughly from the animators.
SPEAKER: M3
And that was one of the things about King Kong isn't it. Yes. King Kong but you know people finally say that that's the wind blowing flowers for us.
SPEAKER: M5
But every time you touch the the the hair to animate King Kong you would move there and of course it showed on the screen it ruffles his ruffled while standing on the Empire State Building it's fine because you do things the wind it's the the breeze.
SPEAKER: M3
So George was a taxidermist who you got to know. Yes. And who came with you on beast or not. No.
SPEAKER: M2
Not on the beast later. Right. And he was working for RKO. And finally they got him.
SPEAKER: M3
I think he worked on several moves up to seven years.
SPEAKER: M2
He worked on. I think it was earth versus the saucer. Right. And the was the first one. Right. And the seven voyages.
SPEAKER: M3
Yes yes. We have some pictures of George working on one of the miniatures I think. Yeah. Seven voyage which is the new. We've just found them great thing about you Ray is that you never throw anything away. Well I tried not never ever throw anything away or a few things. You you told me this morning I think I must to throw that away. I said I don't believe you right. Because I seem to be a pack rat.
SPEAKER: M6
I had so much work goes into these things that I hate to just throw it in the attic.
SPEAKER: M3
Well you'd reuse your armchairs as well wouldn't you. Very.
SPEAKER: M6
We had to we had to just destroy the Beast from 20000 Fathom and make other later for later films and use some of the ball and smoke a joint because they take so long to do.
SPEAKER: M5
They have to be machined and designed and all that sort of thing and they're very expensive and they're very expensive. So one has to when you have somebody do it on the outside you have to try to save money because every picture they want to do it for less than the picture you say they da.
SPEAKER: M3
Of course they do. And is there anything left of the beast is the head is that right.
SPEAKER: M2
That's about the only thing left to the Beast from 20000 Fathoms which is in Berlin right. Was the head of the beast which is made of plastic and a resin or the rest.
SPEAKER: M3
Yeah. Right. Okay fine. Anyhow going back to the beast you you met with Jack Dietz and the other producer whose name is completely gone out of my mind. How the hell just how Chester thank you. And you were commissioned. You said I'll do this for very little money because it was you. I didn't actually say no. But I ended up that the Eugene Lauria who was the director of it.
SPEAKER: M5
Mm hmm. But he was a European a Frenchman. And we got along very well together. We seemed to be the only two sane people in the business.
SPEAKER: M3
Well it was really the first film to set off a trend was. Monster on the rampage as we call them. It was that was very popular at that period and it really led to the Japanese making Godzilla. Didn't need it anyway because Godzilla was practically a copy of the first Godzilla. That was practically a copy of the Beast from 20000. And all I'll say is they didn't use that motion. I won't say any more than that but they had a man in a suit instead of using stop motion. Somebody once said to you and quote me please correct me if I'm wrong. You know why did you do stop motion when you could use somebody and say what I write.
SPEAKER: M2
So-called fan came to one of our lectures and he said Why do you waste so much time doing one frame at a time when the Japanese do their films so well with a man in a suit. When we all looked up at the ceiling I think you kind of know the difference between you stop motion and a man in a suit stop motion.
SPEAKER: M3
Do you feel that stop motion gives a fantasy to some fantasy. Yes.
SPEAKER: M6
I've always felt that stop motion the very essence of the process which doesn't look real obviously. But that was the charm of King Kong was that you knew it wasn't real and yet it looked real.
SPEAKER: M3
Yes indeed. It fitted with real reality. The element of fantasy. Yes. Yes. And that's what you were trying to achieve on the piece through those two to. And now that my favorite there are lots of favorite sequences in beast I love based it's wanted and we found some outtakes now of course. Did you hear which came from Los Angeles which I had forgotten which did Peter Jackson is restoring for us. And we've we found some lovely shots that are not in the movie but my favorite sequence and I'm sorry to choose one sequence because I think we have to is the lighthouse sequence going back to the lighthouse sequence again. Now that happens at night. Was that was that always meant to be at night. Oh yes. Because of the light from a lighthouse. Yeah yeah. Couldn't have relied on during the day. And it's the light that attracts him isn't it. Yes. And the foghorn tracks. Yes. Yes. Sorry. And the light though he has he thinks is another beast Colin and the beast comes and attacks the later. And t hat was the whole point of Bradbury story of course but the the sequence where he attacks the lighthouse which you saw about the lighthouse. Do you still have the lighthouse which is now in to hold a cast and bronze.
SPEAKER: M2
But I still have the original was made of wood. Did you make that right. Oh no I had somebody called cook us cook who actually made the miniatures for that based on what I had to use for stop motion.
SPEAKER: M3
They're excellent miniatures. The the Coney Island uh roller coaster is very good. Yeah.
SPEAKER: M2
He made two size inserts one with for the fire because flames you know were so big. We had to make a bigger model and then a small one out of balsa wood for the animation for the better for the beast itself to to crush and destroy us.
SPEAKER: M3
And this is the first time you were really destroying anything. Was that most of New York and quite a lot of Coney Island. Yeah.
SPEAKER: M5
It destroyed Coney Island of destroyed San Francisco I've destroyed made new ruins out of the old in Rome when I got rather tired of that so I thought we got to use stop motion for something else and then I got the idea of Sinbad and uh because you couldn't believe that uh James Bond could fight the skeletons. But you could believe that somebody like send back fighters because that was pure fantasy.
SPEAKER: M2
Mm hmm. And so now that started it off his now hold off and I made a lot of drawings for the seventh voyage of September.
SPEAKER: M3
But before we get to that we've got three other movies and the meeting with your famous producer Charles H near. Yes.
SPEAKER: M2
And from the beast late for that I met several other producers and tried to get them interested. I can't remember the name of one of them was making a picture about dinosaurs and I took slippage. Ray Bradbury and myself went to see Lippert.
SPEAKER: M3
I think Robert Lippert was murdered. Yes. I think it's Robert. Forgive me if it's wrong. And you also went to see Edward small as well about the producer about Sinbad idea which was you know you'd been developed by some drawings I I left with Edward small and I couldn't get past secretaries to actually meet Mr. Small. Did Ray go with you to that. Oh no no no. He just went to see purely my own. Let's go back to meeting with Charles. The beast you know Charles Schneider had seen the beast presumably. And he called you or you heard from somebody else.
SPEAKER: M2
Well I think you know friend that was in the army had been working at Columbia and he uh he said this young producer so he saw how you could you know he used up motion for tearing down the Golden Gate Bridge. So uh this man said this young producer Sam Katzman wants to make this picture about the Golden Gate Bridge. And I thought well that's great interest. I was working on the fairy tale. I think it was the tortoise and the hare.
SPEAKER: M3
No you were working on King Midas King but he did correct you. I finished that and then I started work on the tortoise. Yeah you did. You did. I just need to go back slightly. We we're going to break in a little while but just to go back slightly to the meeting with Charles. I'd like to get that in if we can. How did you first meet Charles because he was very important to the rest of your career. Really was.
SPEAKER: M2
Well it was through this friend of mine that I was in the army. He introduced me to your hard work and Katzman at Charles was working for Sam.
SPEAKER: M3
Sam Katzman was just explain that to us.
SPEAKER: M5
Sam Katzman was a producer. Big picture producer because you know the advertiser sets and he would use a lot of the sets that were so-called AP pictures. And at that time he would reuse the sets. And so that they could advertise it. The set costs between many different films has to save money and a lot of it produce a lot of studios did that at the time. Oh yes. That was quite necessary. Because sets can cost a lot of money. Mm hmm.
SPEAKER: M2
And did you get on with Charles straight away or you just had a I we seem to get along very well and I was glad to meet him and I made some sketches about what we could do and stop motion with the Golden Gate Bridge. We even submitted the script after it was composed to the city fathers and they turned it down. We wanted cooperation from the police and the city fathers thought we don't want to destroy public confidence in the structure.
SPEAKER: M7
GRAY It's not. It's not surprising that an octopus that size is purely myth.
SPEAKER: M3
Yes I can say you don't often get 100 foot octopus no attacking anything that but now I can add I knew you will come on to that actually but but that that's your first film with Charles isn't it. What would become. It came from beneath the sea. That's right. And that's uh that would be in 1955 actually. So you were working in 1954. Yes. Is that all right. Mm hmm. I'm gonna have to break.

End of Tape 2

Ray Harryhausen Tape 3

And your hair has grown. Okay. Okay we're here again and we're doing part two right for you for your long career and life in movies. And when we got up to Charleston Air and it came from beneath the sea. You you met Charles through a friend a mutual acquaintance. Yes in the army. Right. And he he introduced you to Charles all the vice versa. He introduced me to Charles and Charles wants to make a movie about a giant after having met down the Golden Gate Bridge. Right. And I thought that was interesting. I was working on a puppet film of my own. I don't remember quote which one it was with the King. King Midas King Moses the boy might assume I didn't want to interrupt but I thought well I'd better go and see what this was all about. Sounds interesting. And so I went to Columbia and through I think he was working for Sam Katz member third term as an associate producer. And I finally met Mr. snare. That was the first time. Was there a script. There was a basic script some sort of creature that they didn't quite know whether it should be an octopus or a monster or something. But we didn't want to repeat the Beast from 20000 vote. So we stepped to the office right. And you decided did you get on with Charles at that point or Yes we seem to have a lot in common they had a very intense interest in fiction films and fantasy and I sense that and I felt we could work together. Right. And then the relationship lasted for an awful long time. That that was the fickle finger of fate. I mean in fact you made almost every single one of the films after this with Charles except one. Yes I was loaned to hammer a film at one time to make one million B.C. right. Well we'll come onto that actually as we progressed through the years and it came from beneath the sea. And it was a curious Optimus wasn't that it wasn't quite an octopus swell and nobody knew that yet. I decided to take what you know Mickey Mouse only had four fingers and you don't count Mickey Mouse fingers. So I didn't think anybody would come octopus tentacles particularly most of the turning over the water. So I decided to remove two films which saved from animation. So you had a he had to say he was actually a sceptic. And we just found three of the tentacles. Is that right. Yes you. You did. I made several different sizes for close ups and then I think we recently discovered that arm otters outright. Unfortunately the rubber area where we stripped it from earlier time and we found them in a box in my mother's garage. Right. Yes. Well amongst other treasures. Right. I think the other story about it came from beneath the sand and just talk about the animation on that but the other stories about filming the Golden Gate Bridge wasn't it. Which I'll have you tell about having to do it surreptitiously. Oh yes we. We wrote a script first draft. And we wanted to get permission for the services Siskel police to be co-operative and stop traffic for us and things like that. We knew it was unnecessary and we decided to send the script to the city fathers who seemed to have the dominant say about the Golden Gate Bridge. And we got the answer back that they felt that they would rather not have the bridge portrayed as so delicate and not because of the script. And they said the public might lose interest in here in the bridge and feel it's not safe. And so they declined to give us cooperation. So we decided to send one man and one cameraman secretly and he photographed the necessary background that was needed. And then we hired a bakery truck and put a camera in the back of it and went over the bridge several times to get the plates so that we could do a lot of rear projection of travelling across the bridge. And of course the big question marks will up at the gate several was why this Sikh bakery of the bridge you've got the plates that you require. We've got the plates that are required and it all seems to work out so well. The film wasn't banned several years ago but it was very well received and so was the. And I don't think anybody really felt that the bridge would be destroyed by an actor. And you also used a little gizmo if I can call it that where the octopus tentacle pushes up through the roadway on the bridge. Yeah. You used a little rat a screw ratchet or something like that. Yes. To actually have one frame at a time. That's correct. Can you just. And I would give it a rotation and would go up and then don't make the bridge all breaking up. Frame by frame. Of course. And the piece is breaking away. Yes. You would use at all have to be animated and preconceived. And the bridge there was a section of the bridge that we made in plaster of Paris that was already broken. And then we put it back together and covers it over so that if it hadn't been broken right. And then we shot it frame by frame with us with the progressed with the breaking of it with the tentacle. Yes. We're supposedly breaking it. That was the. It came from beneath the sea was the first of three films that you make with Charles in black and white. The early we were made actually for Sam Kurtzman who was. Can you tell us who he was. This is actually the producer. And Charles was the actual active producer I guess. Yes. And this is a sandcastle was the head of. He was. He had a position in a position in Columbia Pictures. And he would take the sets a lot of them and make you know expensive pictures and then would advertisers sets on the other picture you cast in order to help pay for the overall production. He was the second feature the second feature. They called him was a beep. I'm trying to be polite. They I mean I know all the big pictures but I'm so grateful that our pictures that were classified at that time because they were made very cheaply. I should say inexpensively and because of the density to see wasn't as popular as it is today. So we had to make them run a very tight budget in order to get to me. So I had to do a lot of shortcuts that way ended up on Earth versus the flying saucer animated may animating the crumbling building of the saucers destruction rather than high speed photography. Yes. What was necessary to do it correctly. High speed but that would require a big crew of two or three speed cameras plus a big crew of lights. And we'd have to shoot at 96 frames per second. So I thought well I'll try and make the bricks break it up and then we put in a double print smokin into the scenes and it worked for that time people weren't as critical as they are today. I think it works very well even by today's standards we're onto Earth versus the flying saucers of course. Correct. That was the next door which I. So your first film in in a sense the beast was in New York now and then the second one it came from beneath the sea in San Francisco. Now you're in Washington D.C.. Yes. No that's not the reason I left for Europe. And this came about there Charles I believe Earth verses came about because of the flying saucer craze. That's correct. At that time in the 50s the late 50s there had been many flying so-called sightings of. Strange objects in the sky and we wanted to take advantage of that. The only other picture that was made I think of for us was the day the Earth Stood Still. Yes. Robert Weissman. Yes. Yes. Which didn't show the software to obviously it was inactive many times just talked about. Mostly it just appears at the beginning and the end I created from memory whereas yours feature flying saucer. Yeah. Now we do have fleets of saucers and so we've made three sizes one for close ups and 1 3 for Medium shirts. And I think there were six six of them for long shots. I think there were six actually plus a little bits and pieces of the source of the laser guns for different sections of the results are kind of needed closeups. And with the armature is where they came from beneath the sea and with a sense of the flying saucers the flying saucers was the where the adversaries if you like. Did you make those or was your father still. Oh my father was. I decided to have him make them because nobody else would know how to do that. The way you wanted the right and they needed to supervise it because I had to do it and stop motion so it had to be designed in a special way and. Not mechanically as many things of that nature. And then the studios so that he made. He made the one foot in diameter saucer and three medium shot ones and six small ones all and leave that on and then we sent them to me and we had them anodized and which put a surface on them and made them in two sections. So one section would go one direction and the other section I always liked to see something active that would give it the visual effect of V and just have it have a static saucer was floating in the air wouldn't be very convincing. So I felt that these whirling things would help me give the impression visually that it was airborne but some secret method I think that sums you up Ray in many ways in the nicest possible way. I think a lot of other people doing special effects at that time would just have had a flat saucer animating it across the sky. But no you had to have your stop motion element to it i.e. the the disc came because I had revisions of doing close ups of having that shoot towards this and shoot away from us and doing various thing that was necessary that the average picture of that nature they wouldn't do an HD shown hovering as well in the sky. Yeah that's a slight in-joke between us but by I think they the sources are wonderful I would see based on sightings or books. So I designed them looked at a lot of the so-called sightings that people had made drawings of. There were so many different concepts that I had to design my own translate for there was a combination of the various sightings for the rare plates both the stills and the moving imagery. Did you go and shoot that yourself or did you have somebody else shoot. No I shot there. The only thing I didn't shoot was the background. Right. Okay. I had somebody else shoot those. That's why I photograph them was still pictures and picked out all the locations overall. And he took the photographs put them up in the form of a storyboard and then he would go and pick these locations and I would make notes as to where I was. And we picked out the backgrounds that way. So you destroyed the washer. We send a man to Washington. And he photographed the background plates for them. And the some of the models were miniatures obviously some of the buildings whether we had just substitute models because we couldn't destroy it. And. Again I had to use stop motion technique and have all the pieces fall down the wires. And that took time of course but it did save having a big crew of high speed photographers and therefore pushing the budget up. Correct. Correct. And everybody was very pleased with the first one it came from beneath the sea which led to the second one obviously Charles was obviously realize you know we got just a little bit more money but that we still use a lot of stock footage. Yeah. Yeah. There is a little bit of stock in there we had to use. We couldn't afford an actor composer to do the score. So we had to use what they call canned music bits and pieces from other films that were leftover so that in itself turned to another one I'd like to talk about that in a second. 20 Million Miles to Earth with a giant EMEA from Venus. By that time Charles wanted to break away and produce himself and he formed what we call morning more more Morningside Morningside productions. Until that point had been Columbia. But now rad Charles had actually formed his own company to make anymore Einstein pictures which just didn't include your films it included films as wild never included. Oh well I was and I took a year to do the animation. Of half and he would shoot another picture. In the meantime a second feature. But because before we just talked about 20 million miles off I'd just like to talk about animal world very quickly. Not her specifically great movie in your career but it's very important isn't it because that O'Brien. Yes it was I was very grateful that I could work with Mr. O'Brien again because I had to break away because we had so many potentials that mature after Mighty Joe Young and. So I. An album called me and wanted to use some of the footage I'd already shot in 16 millimeter and blow it up to 35 because he the animal world is made up mostly of 16 millimeter shots by various photographers who went to the wilds and then blew them up to 35 millimeter the foot. The footage he saw was the material you'd shot for evolution of the world is not a material. I showed him that and he said oh well we can use that. And I thought that was it. No we wouldn't have to do that. But in the end he rewrote the script and rewrote it several times and decided to make it a bigger section than it was first conceived and in fact the whole picture was advertised in respect of the dinosaurs which were artificially created. Yes. And you worked with O'Brien on amendments. He also hired O'Brien to work on it. And Brian made many sketches. And so I thought well I'd like to work with Opie again. And so I did the animation. He did the lay of and we have to do tabletop miniatures it wasn't as elaborate a production is mighty Joe Young which we prefer to do the elaborate production. And so we didn't have a big crew we had a very small. And of course there were no humans in it. It was just I don't know humans of that mind. It was supposed to be a summer documentary. Right. Which I have to say. I've only seen the dinosaur sequence from animal world and and I so I have I don't think anybody seen the rest of it in many years now. No it was it hasn't been dismembered because I think he could only use it for the person that it. And I think that's why it's from all the many photographers around many different photographers involved. And. In order to make it happen it was sort of several documentaries. Okay we're up to 1956 now. You just finished animal world which didn't take too long to do. Why would a man go away worked on it for about six or seven weeks right. And then came 20 million miles away had already prepared the flying saucers right. And I think I did the flying saucers right. Twenty million miles to Earth was actually a concept that you came up with wasn't it was Charlotte Knight. Yes I did. I came up with a production plan that was laid in Chicago had the rocket ship crash in Chicago and I thought well why not have it crash in Europe where I can get a free trip to Europe and see some of the states because before that I had in mind another one called The Elementals and about flying creatures that hatched out of a car that. Chrysalis Crystal is the aliens. Thank you. And it took place in France because I wanted a trip to France. And so it was good. They were nesting and nightfall tower. So but that picture fell apart and never got made. So I was happy that 20 million miles. So you thought where else would I like to say it would be nice around Italy. So instead of having the rocket ship crash in Chicago which is the Windy City Lake Michigan I had a crash outside of Sicily and then there wasn't the human story in it. So I turned it over to Charlotte Knight and she put the human element in the Leonardo. And. The boy and the rest of the picture. And we made a 20 page outline which we sold to Morningside productions and you change the story from a cyclops which was the original original concept. It was a very start. So you went through many changes the emailer. Yes. At first we were going to use some parts of Norse mythology but that's why it got the the the name imager but Charles didn't want to use the name in the picture because it might be confused with the Eastern concept has any mayor yet. So we never use them actual name in the picture. Okay. So you you went off to Italy to do locations and started. I thought well I could make new ruins of old. So you went to Rome. So I went to Rome. We wanted to have it end up in the Colosseum of King Kong. Of course was highly influential. And it was this thing that hatched out of a name that was brought back to 20 million miles to Earth on the rocketship crash. And it's I love that sequence I have to say it's one of my favorite sequences of all your movies. It started out with the actual ship. Peering out of the clouds and crashing into the ocean. And the boy finds the container with the argument as correct here and the egg hatches which is the sequence and he sells it to Leonardo which was devised by Charlotte Knight and myself. And then the story took place. It was developed by another two writers. That's correct. And anyhow you then you designed the image that went through again many many many here. He did that one time he had one eye and another time he had two horns. And he was very stout. And finally I ended up with the figure you see on the screen today which is a cross between a I wanted to make it more humanoid because you could get a lot more sympathy for it. And I didn't want to make him aggressive. But he was only made aggressive a man not understanding them. And he became aggressive when the farmer jabbed the pitchfork back and that would be a great sign. Absolutely. So he was really another. Yeah. That's why we had the shots in the early parts of the film where the humor grew up. And every night it almost doubled in size because the atmosphere on earth was so different than Venus. That changed his metabolism. And he grew overnight to monumental proportions. Okay so 20 million miles to Earth was again a huge success. Yes. And you had developed say a Kodak I think it developed a stock black and white stock that was very perfect what you were doing less gray. Is that right. In Green film would come in at that. So the rear projection was made to much more believable because you could cut the green down and the rear projection almost looks like the actual photography. But Charles wanted to make the next picture in color. Well that's because it was an Arabian Nights picture. Right. I bet you again you'd start it off Sinbad the 7th Voyage of Sinbad or Sinbad. Well I've done that the two or three years before the and made drawings. And I took them around Hollywood and nobody was interested because Howard Hughes is making a film called The Son of Sam with little sincere and her bosom pals. And of course they raised the girlie show and they talked about the various creatures that are in the original story but you never saw them on the screen. And Sabu was it was over. I don't remember Sabu but I think Vincent Price was and it was me I know Vincent Price was that yeah I know maybe I don't remember seeing him but I can't remember. It's not a film that sticks Tennessee in my conscience. I have to say Maryam on Fez was popular a Mexican star and I believe in June. She made quite a few. She made quite a few films. Yeah. Those kind of Arabian storylines. They made Alabama and for the 80s right. And various other. But they all turned out to be more of those girlie show. Rather than you know the actual fantasy film. Their idea was to show the creatures that I wanted to be like a storybook you know where you read the these creatures and you see them you don't just talk about them but the one that did it. The one image that inspired Ray perhaps some pretty words in your mouth. Here again was the skeleton fight. Well it's the Arabian Nights of several voyages then that actually started with the skeleton fight. I was searching for a new way to because after we made the Beast from 20000 further Tokyo got him with Godzilla and which was practically a copy of The Beast from 20000 fathom. And of course they had Godzilla who finally became more popular than they are in there. But they made several Godzilla film. They made three or four and they destroyed Tokyo. And I got fed up with Australian cities. They destroyed row or destroyed New York I destroyed. There was this girl. And though you know it gets rather repetitious sometimes. And so I was looking for a new avenue and I came across Sinbad and the skeleton. It was my first drawing the skeleton of a spiral staircase. I didn't know how I was going to use it at the time. But over the years I developed several other drawings and had taken them around and nobody was interested. So. I believe I believe Edward small. You took me I took them. That was small symptom them just a little scared of them. To George Pell. And various other people. Nobody seemed as interested to put money into it. So I put them file them away for two or three years until Charles and I were looking for something. And that's how seven child the seventh voice. And we just again we had to make it on a very tight budget. I think the whole film was made for something like six hundred and fifty thousand dollars. We did find a final figure for production. I think it was it was it was just over half a million. Let's put it that way so round about six hundred thousand dollars. Yes. Which is extraordinary by today's standards. And how much money has that in 50 years I want to share. Demanded a big percentage of whatever percentage of it but not a big one. I've seen you. I didn't want to be demanding I wasn't money conscious at that. I'd rather see the picture put on the screen than. That's why I tried to cut corners in order to make it available to put on the screen and not just you know we. O'Brien had started so many projects and they never reached the screen. This this is the film that the two aspects. Two questions here. This is the film that inspired so many young filmmakers in those mid in that mid to late 50s. Yes. I mean people like Randy Cook I mean. I'm sorry Phil Tippett And people by Dennis murals they were all huge fans as kids of that film. Yes. And inspired today's market have been on the screen before. Absolutely. But the other aspect was you didn't want to film in America did you know we were originally going to film them in the Middle East but there was so much turmoil that we heard so many stories about people caught up in the turmoil that we decided to shoot in Spain where you could shoot the film very reasonably and we were one of the first ones to go to Spain and shoot the further the live action the action most of the. Although it was an American production of that and you also chose ranked laboratories for well we we heard about ranked travel with that process and they had a group back in process that was different than the one that was previously used. And so we use that process the bloop back in process was it blue or yellow. So deep blue blue the yellow backing wasn't used until we made three worlds of go at one after some point. Yes. Right. Okay. And that was another reason why you came out was the reason I removed our operation to Europe is to use essentially ranks and bird travel we've met process in America most things of that nature we're done by rare projects and the Gulliver's story the way it was designed wouldn't be suitable for just a rear projection. So I was looking for another outlet. America had experimented with traveling but they seldom used it. And we used to have a big problem with big blue lines or halo. I think it was quite alien. Yes. So we had the right we heard about the right traveling. Process and the Disney had a franchise on it for the Americans. And so that was one reason why we came over to Europe to make the film. But you did all the animation in America. They stopped motion in America. Yes. The stop motion was done in America right. So it turned into an ex market in a what a market store store collapsed and it was empty. And I ordered the store and we did all the domination in the store. When you say collapse you haven't actually called them down it's simply gone bankrupt. Is that right. What the store did. Yeah. Yes and you say you shot it in a store right. Shot it in next door but this is the thing with all these movies you never shot any of them in the studios did you. You set up motion the out in America. No no you shot them all outside. You get a more shot because they're the unions the big tie and most of the productions and we were making our pictures so reasonable. I don't want to use the word cheap. God forbid. Right. We we couldn't afford it. You big union crew. And so I had to do them and outside of the studio I find that fascinating you are. You had to go outside the studio system to do them economically within your budget. Yes. Because on Mighty Joe Young We had four projectionist and four met painters and a big crew of 27 for a year. And of course that boosted the cost. And you you are a one man operation. I decided to work alone because I was only a one on Mighty Joe Young producing footage that was usable. And here we had a big crew 27 people operating. Most of them sitting in most of the day reading newspapers and. Well there was nothing for them to do. They would load the projector the rear projector but you couldn't afford that on so we could afford that. In this type of film I can I ask you a question. Was 7th Voyage of Sinbad made as of a picture or a B picture under Katzman. Well it was made as a big picture had to be made in color so we didn't get more money for it but it had to be done on a very tight budget. And then you had another element to it which was remarkable. Bernard Herrmann yes but that came later. Yes but obviously somebody there Charles or Katzman or you see yourself saw just completely different film not a B movie but in a movie which of course is what it became. Charles Evers and company that of course and he admit Bernard Herrmann who was well known not only for. Orson Welles pictures who as a target. He did a few scores for films and after Citizen Kane Yes. But he wasn't well known in the film industry. He wasn't a Waxman or a Newman or any of the other great composers. He was an independent composer he worked for Hitchcock of course at that time and he became very he did a number of films with Hitchcock to tell me. And there's a nice you tell a story exactly but you tell us about the first time he saw a rough cut of 74 percent. Yes. We had a rough cut and I had heard about though it was admired Orson Welles suddenly radio programs when he did. Yeah. Every suddenly the mercury Playhouse and Bernard Herrmann scored. So I was familiar with Bernard Herrmann music but he hadn't been composed. I think the only film that was. Was Citizen Kane was his. He did an excellent score for. I think you're right. Yes that's true. But Bernard Herrmann came to see the rough cut and he came to see the rough cuts that we heard of his reputation that he didn't like a film. He would say Why do you show me this crap. And of course we were holding our breath because many times of the scenes were complete. They were in black and white and there was a man holding a stick which was supposed to be the Cyclops because he hadn't been put in that fact. But I showed him the drawings and the continuity sketches and he felt he could contribute to it. So. You agreed to write the score. It's a great score. It is agreed. It's a great score and that enhances the film as far as your concern. Unfortunately there was a strike of the musicians strike at that time and he had to send the score to Germany to be scored. I didn't know that. I'm not sure I knew that right. Interesting. And it is still a great score. The orchestrations wondered what he wrote it down to somebody else. Conductor conductors in German. I had no idea because I was very Hermann was Jewish and at that time it was a difficult thing do didn't want to go to Germany naturally. So. Some other composer or some other conductor had conducted and we will I'm sure mention that it again. Thirdly as you call it did you get on with Bernard Hermann. Yes we did. We got we were both born in June almost the same day only he was ten years old you know. So we. There was a scene was a fickle finger of fate that made us sort of. We got on compatible. When I heard that he was getting known to some people. He would you know tell his own thoughts. He had a reputation of being difficult. I think we call him Jack Black. I think he was gay and I think he did the Egyptian score in conjunction with Alfred Newman. That's right. He did. We watched a little while ago didn't we as he was listening to the music. Okay. When you first cut the film you weren't going to turn back again. You would make every other film up to clash of the Titans at the time and color became the single strip and that was very popular with the public necessarily. We had to make the rest of our films in color seven voice of Zimbabwe which had huge success. We're not talking about a good film that made a lot of money. We're talking about a film that made a lot of money. A huge amount of money did it became a book. I guess it wasn't called a blockbuster. It was very successful. That led to another film. You obviously looking for a donor nation product and that was the first time you used the word donor nation was not something before. I think that's the first time we use the word animation. We may have used it on 20 million low. I'm not sure that you did. I think I think 7th Voyage was the first one but I could be wrong on that one. How did animation come about you chaps Charles was. Yes. Charles said. He had a view we could move down the flow. And he was driving along Wilshire Boulevard to the studio and he saw this made flow from the steering wheel. So he suggested that we combine it with animation so that the animation was born. I have to say the word diner flow sounds a bit strange today because there's a there's a there's a company called diner Rhodesia. So I'm not comparing it with that but animation is a great title. Yes it is and the term is owners copywriter. Yes they did. And they let the copyright go. And now an animatronic. I don't know if they still do right. I don't know. But he is that wonderful combination of Dinah nation I mean dimensional animation. Yeah. It works so well. It does. It's a good. It comes off the tone only. I mean we use it all the time even though you don't have the copyright on exactly. So some Voyage of Sinbad the next one is the three worlds have come about with glory. That was a script that had already been put together. It was brought by. Jack sharp Jack Archer and his partner. They had it and Universal was going to make it and then they turned against it. So the script was on the market and Charles got a hold of it. And we thought we could do something whether you're looking for a fantasy subject rearmament. Absolutely fantastic. So we decided we looked into the various processes like a real projection in order to make big people and little people. And it didn't seem as flexible hours as the travelling met process we've heard about. You used what for the first time they used in Alexander Korda CFA back. Yes of course. So you used two main processes will leave domination out of it to do the little people the lot and small people the Lilliputians. You used travelling map and perspective on perspective photography. Tell me a little about perspective photography perspective photography. In order to make the people we would have Gulliver in the foreground which required shooting outside because you had to stop down a great deal in order to carry focus and then your people would be my you know a number of the beach feet. Nor did it make them flow. Yes and we use that process which is a normal process used by Dante's Inferno I believe in the summer days and and several other and we think there's some of that used in the lost world only 1925. I think so. We've talked about this some that we're kind of think that some of the live action was done in perspective but the adoration that that's that that requires a huge amount of planning doesn't it. Not only aspects for total it had to be very carefully planned and we planned all that in America and then movie Charles and me on location B and we found. That. I could do a lot of it in Spain which was very reasonable. We had only had almost doubled the cost. We only shot the. Seven voyage. You doubled the costs. Well on three those broke the cost of shooting Spain gas started to become popular and foreign companies could. Do a lot of shooting in Spain. And by the time we did Gulliver. The costs go up because the crews got more experienced and they charge more of that sort of the usual problem. Yes. You found a certain void you have found a British cinematographer. Yes we did. We found a locally trooper who was. We got in touch with him I flew to England to start as I say scout locations and then we decided to shoot in Spain and we would finish shooting in America. It's very important to have a good director. In the case of 7th Voyage Nathan Duran. Yes but he came about much later. We had already shot in a lot of location before he got involved. But Jerry Duran cat was with you had him on 20 million miles to work. Yes we did. So we knew him and Charles decided that he would be the best one. And the other part important person aside from yourself. Of course Ray would be the cinematographer. Yes. So we got him he is a very experienced photographer particularly on location. He had worked with Korda as an operator and. Many other films north of England. So we got along very well and I'm grateful that we were looking Cooper for four films. I think it was for four or five years now. He was a great cinematographer was little bit too serious and you were very fortunate to find these kind of people work. They took a lot of time that didn't just happen overnight. No I understand that because fantasy then wasn't what as you said earlier it wasn't what it is today. No. Fantasy was not as popular as it is today. So getting directors cinematographers and musicians or composers like Bernie Harmon was remarkable. So do is that largely due to you you think to yourself or was that partially because of Charles. I don't know the fickle finger of fate fickle thing. I think that's good enough for me. Okay so three wells of Galloway we have where there were lots of other films that you were trying to make food of the gods War of the worlds as well that you wanted to make I prepared a number either 10 drawings a war of the Worlds. That was very dear to my heart. After I heard about the Orson Welles broadcast and the war of the Worlds was very popular of course that it was done that as a radio broadcast and caused chaos. It put Orson Welles on a map. So I had another H.G. Wells food of the gods as well yes. He doesn't do that at one time but somebody else got the rights to it before we did come onto mysterious island you could make H.G. Wells so let's do Jules Verne. You probably said to yes. Sorry. That's very simplistic I simplified. But there was a script at Columbia of mysterious island. Yes Columbia had developed a script on a mysterious island which was more or less a rover boys so trying to get along on a desert island. And the balloon sequence was already in the story. So we developed that script and so it went through many changes of course. One time we're going to have a prehistoric island. Another time we were going to have it to do with lots of letters. So these various elements always one finally came together in the end so that we could make a complete film. There were elements of those in the final film. Yes there are. That's why this bird is so full of the rock the fucking rock and that was a joke during the prehistoric sequence. When we were going to have prehistoric animals. Yes but we thought that might be overdone. We changed our minds so it went through almost a year and a half of development of various situations in order to try to make the whole thing fresh rather than just a bunch of men lost on an island which had been done before. So you had a basic story written by Jules Verne which is a kind of a Robinson Crusoe with a group of people. Yeah I do. You put down a nation until you thought what elements can we have a tiny nation in it. And then we developed. Captain Nemo too strong Kerry Disney had already made 20 million miles. No twenty thousand leagues I've done that. I didn't get mixed up with James Mason as Nemo of course grow. He made a wonderful name. But we couldn't afford it nowadays. But you've got a very good actor. We did and read you Herbert long made a very good. Nemo. Captain Nemo and you had a very good cast Ray. Richard cast the whole cast we had. Michael Craig Michael Craig and the lady was shown General Craig Wood we birth robe who played the romantic interest. And Michael Cera and Betty Davis. So husband Betty Davis is husband. Oh yeah. We had two Gary Merrill and that as well. Her ex said he was sorry. Going through a divorce that he was still kind of married was near at that time. So you had half British half American cruising and you told me I felt that we needed to have one American at least. Well it is being set in the American Civil War is that there was about the American Civil War and the English actors to put on a strong American accent. MARTIN Craig I thought was very good. Does he have time to get Ursula. Herbert he put on a very strong southern accent. I thought they made a very good. I thought that was very well done. Actually we didn't win cause John Greenwood was supposed to be. Of course she was a lady of course as only Joan Greenwood could be. Classic cotton socks. Anyhow you had for me the major sequence in that film sorry for me and there were two dinosaurs don't forget or two elements of prehistory as the Fox Rockies and the Nautilus the under C O octopus type creature of the great shell that was going over from the time it was going to be occupied by prehistoric animals. But the sequence for me that stands out wonderfully is the crap secrets the giant cranium went through many changes yes. And tell me tell me a little back a little bit about the crab. That was a model. Or was it a real crab. It was actually a real crab that we bought it. Eric's. A very large lie. There was large what they call edible crab. And we bought it like that errors and we heard it. We didn't want to cook it because it would turn into bright red. So we had it. This life was destroyed by a competent person and the museum at the Natural History has a natural history museum I think of the name at the moment. And then. We did we cleaned the insides out and put on mature and so so that we could emulate. Yeah I would have to add on your behalf it was killed humanely. You certainly probably had a better depth of avoiding it. I sure I think I think boiling is about the cruelest thing that you think it's awful. I I'm sorry I can't even conceive of that. But anyhow we each delete the primes. Yes that's true. Sorry we don't talk about that right. But I won't eat crab or lobster for that value Max so that I could barely drop a lobster like lobster without water and pick it out and drop it in hot water. No. And but of course the crab in the film gets bored and we had to at the Earth and the fish. Yes but not really as they say. But you give I mean you had it humanely killed and then all the shells came back to you. Yes I did and we put it and sold the animation. Armature inside the crab shell. So you had to design the armature to fit inside the crab rather than the other way around. GROSS And your father made it all mature again. He did those parts that made them parts and put it together. Oh my God. It's very heavy I've held it in this extremely heavy model. Yes it has to be animated on wires in order to support those legs. So I hope you didn't see the wires. No they were painted the same color as a backdrop. Yes. Let's talk about that because that's something we haven't talked about enough. The flying saucers. You had to paint out the wires and match them against the rear projection plates correct. Yes. And if you were in front of a cloud of something or a tree you had to paint them each frame the same color as the background. Easy to do on black and white but not so easy to do in color. You have to know because of color changes a great deal. Yes. Yes I have to say I've never seen any wires in the crap sequence. Well this is a great book. Of course it is heavy. The show was very heavy and we had to put a word to support it briefly when we picked up the man. And we had to hold it by a wire. And then of course it were to be painted each frame. Today you could do the. Computer but we didn't have such things. Now. If I may say so. I think it looks fantastic. It's one of those sequences that I would choose out of all your work. I mean there are quite a few Ray but that would stand out. I love the crap sequel. You said that it became a very popular in the burning product a wonderful score to it as well. He he he he joked with you about the Focker Oscar sequence. Did he do. He said no and we saw the sequence he says Ray I'm going to put Turkey in the straw that used turkey in a stroke of luck. But it's a great score it's a great section. So do you put a and then they did a good score for the BBC good as well a little reminiscent of roots. It works for me may be justified but I don't think it's a good score. It is that I have to say Bernie Hermann was able to score fantasy very well. Oh he did yes. The day the earth the day the earth stood still and the other 2 percent of the earth. That's right. And a wonderful sport with yours as you have the various it is of just music was more effective music rather than what you call harmony harmonious score. I would I would call. Yes I think that's right. And I think they're different to Russia and will come back to the road to a more romantic type of Scotland and Max donor of course. I think he I think Herman though accentuates the fantasy. He does. Yes. By using the uses effect the music rather than natural and what you call a normal score. You're right. Okay well he uses a lot of brass doesn't he to emphasize fantasy I think for me. We come on to probably or greatest or what most well-known movie in 1962 saw the advent of a film your first mythology. Yes we did. We wanted to get into new ground away from the Arabian Nights of Greek mythology. First came to mind. And. It was our first venture into Greek mythology. It's Jason the other long island that made quite a number of Greek mythology myths but they turned out to be muscle men and pictures a little bit of what you'd call. A fantasy creature. I think a game we like with Arabian Nights a lot of those features concentrated on the people and they concentrate on actors like or people like Steve Reeves muscle guys. They didn't show the actual fantasy creatures though so a lot of who is a girly shows well. They'll go ahead women dressed in gowns and skimpy consequences and all that type of thing. And you wanted to get away from that cliche if you like. But I did not show it from the point of view of the creatures which are part of Greek mythology that has seldom been shown. So when they didn't show it a million times they would use a Greek wrestler you know with an eye glued in the middle of the forehead. He was supposed to be a cyclops. Well we don't. I certainly I think did you did. I think you once said to me about the what you always wanted to do taking going back again to some boy. Well you always wanted to do is to make sure that people didn't think it was a man in a rubber suit. That's correct. So you had them on cloven hoofs down the goat. It is similar to Slater. And so anyhow Jason the Argonauts that is just one of the great classics for me of fantasy of the whole history of fantasy and you created for it. You came up with certain mythological creatures with Beverly not Beverly Cross I'm sorry the January January. Forgive me. Who. And you use some of the creatures that the hydra that wasn't necessary in the Jason legend that will use Hydra was stolen from Hercules. That's like Greek mythology of course is very fragmented. And one has to put it together and make a continuity which was Joan Reed's job as well as they really cross I think do some work on the final screen. That's correct. Yes. And indeed it has a flow to it. So you have a story interspersed with diner motion sequences correct. Yes as it comes about but by making it big sketches now we're very close with the rotors so that they can be incorporated in a logical manner into the story itself. So you created Taye lost the harpies and the Hydra being the specific ones. Yes. Probably missed one out there. But however those the key sequences and of course the seven skeletons years in the actual story of mythology they were rotting corpses that came out of the ground. But at that time there was heavy censorship and we didn't want to go next. So we made a clean cut skeletons. And of course in Britain with 7th Voyage they the censor had cut out the skeleton. They were afraid it would frighten children. We all have a skeleton inside of us. So I didn't understand at all. It's the ultimate in nudity once and. Anyhow in this one you had seven skeletons you never made life easy for yourself. Did you know the first time I did multiple creatures and though I hesitated but it took four months to do the skeleton sequence to put it together. I never would have tackle such a long. Time animation period again so I avoided that. And of course the administrators only average thing sometimes when all seven skeletons were on the screen average of 13 frames a day. It frames. Because you had you know move the hair them arms and you have to keep them in synchronisation with a live action you had at least 35 appendages your enemies at least frame five each frame on film. If there were seven skeletons you had to keep them all in sync with the low version so that when the actor brought the sword there would be a skeleton that needed. Yes. We haven't talked about choreography. Have we with the pokey. Yes. At that time we heard Enzo Muslim actually who was the apology was a student of sociology. I think there was some reason we didn't get to much it. I think he'd been on 7th Voyage and and three worlds I think. And then I think it didn't he retire at that time or maybe he only retired and told you to go read it. Let's explain who these people are these are stumped people or fencing people aren't they fancy social diplomacy. Yes. End zone Muslim she had a fancy big fancy studio in Italy in Italy and Pope she was one of his students for years. And Jerry had worked with him when he worked in Italy some time before. I have a feeling that I'm actually pronouncing Pope you wrong. I think it's actually Poggi but I can't say that in English because it sounds so awful. No he wasn't pudgy. But I don't I I apologize to the Italians if I'm pronouncing that incorrectly that's what I wanted to say I think. But that coordination getting those stunts correct. I mean you had stuntmen do the skeletons didn't you guys in your life you had seven stuntmen portraying the seven skeletons and each one had a big number on their back from 1 to 7. So I can keep track of where the movements were. And of course we would rehearse with the stuntmen we'd rehearse maybe six or seven times and then the final time we did the same thing as we did with Carolyn Mathews on the skeleton sequence on 7 7th Voyage. We had only this was a little more complicated but we shot it in a week. I think on production I think you're underestimating us of a little more complicated from one skeleton to seven. You could stop even going from one to two a very complicated just. Okay. Yeah.

End of Side 3

 Ray Harryhausen Tape 4.
=======================================

 

SPEAKER: M1
Boats and we've skipped over some of the sequences because of time and I'm concentrating on the seven. It's obvious Jason and the entrepreneur Jason And The Argonauts and I find it quite remarkable. I'd like to just narrow those seven skeletons down. I think there are two things I'd like to talk about. There's one sequence there's one shot in that film that I think is extraordinary and shows that the Harry house and touch if you like. I think. But I'd like to talk about the choreography. It is so important. We got to that point. It's so important that you had the choreography absolutely right at the beginning so that you could put the animation in that matched with the Congo videos and the stunt people and perigee or Poggi over it very closely reproduced. And we developed in shortcuts of course in shortcuts. Yes. That took about a week to shoot the live action. And then it took four months to shoot that. So put the skeleton that there is one one sequence with lots of sequences in tha t sorry shot and then in that sequence with the seven skeletons many actually. But there is one that I've always been impressed with that you didn't have to put in. So makes that sequence what it is today. And that's Andrew falls when he is killed by a skeleton and he falls over. The skeleton doesn't simply go around him. He actually jumps over him. Now that may seem very very simple but I know what that involved air will brace work. You had to put him on wires all you had to make him jump home after thought because it wasn't planned that way originally but the amount of work that goes into just that one shot is extraordinary. And you would never skimp on making it look good would you. Well I've tried the various above and that's difficult when you have a long sequence that only lasted five minutes of course but. You get enough variation so it didn't get repetitions. There's one sequence that was cut out of the film as well. Wasn't that all that suggest that when one of the skeleton s had his head cut off. We had the sequence where he was on his knees looking for it and he finally found it and put it back on. But that that sequence was cut because it slowed the action. I think that's such a sad thing. Actually I'd love to have seen it and it doesn't exist anymore. We've tried to find I was very very old man look I like so much Sorry Monty Python ish because they used the out of the trims that were discarded. They would make mandolin picks. Absolutely. Okay. That's. I mean there's so much in Jason I love the train sequence you know the great structure of tape also how he turns to the camera how you introduce him to to the audience by just turning his head very slowly. That's another Harry brilliant but that was the last movie I thought that wasn't planned in the script. Let's talk about last minute thoughts du du du. Do you always know what you're going to do when. No I just know in the script there's just the broad outline of the tables comes to life. So how ar e you going to do that. Many times it's not until it actually get on the set that I know what I'm going to do. And then something will occur to you. And then one pose leads to another and you develop it that way. So it it's a it's a spontaneity. That's why I like the process of using one finger instead of like the power system where you had probably seven different positions for those to make a actual good soldier walk. Yes we had something like 20s. I think it was 26 or 27. So yes in all these different legs so that you could walk. Because it destroys your creativity on the set. And that's why you're talking about palace opportunity here. I think that's that's because power system. Yeah the singer knows that with the musical that musical shot first on the bookers were singers do it. So he had the nervous system where he would make what you call a sheet of some sort. Yes. They account for frames. Yes. Whereas with one model you could invent a character if you like or situation is th e same with Mighty Joe Young a lot of times you don't know what to do with you just know that he's going to sit there and be mopey and if he's not lucky is violent then and you creates situations in your mind as you go along. Yes that with Mighty Joe Young you gave him a little bit of character that just I'm just trying to think of the character. The thing with the banana which we've already talked about. Yeah. That's that's giving him a little bit of character but you know Pete Peterson would often just having twiddling his thumb. Yes. Which is not what a gorilla would do. No it wouldn't. Either. I think that was the fault of the Son of Kong was that he had too many human gestures. And I always felt that you had to keep him in harmony with what he as the gorilla. There is a thin line between keeping it real but fantasy. And making it comic is that is a very thin line and a lot of people don't know quite what to do that I think it was Mr. Schultz who said if you can make it realisti c it would make it a bit of a comical comical funny yes which doesn't always work in fantasy though it doesn't. Work in films though and that's why Kong works so well. King of King Kong. We never once did any gestures similar to the cynical. No but Kong is not a great film and Obi knew that is wild. And yes we will be very discouraged. It was a. Summit call because he had gone to the comic element running or two to a different element of his. He felt it was necessary. Okay. From from Jason. We moved to another H.G. Wells or an H.G. Wells your first H.G. Wells actually even though you haven't managed to make water. You made not such a famous novel by Welles first man in the moon into a movie with Charles. Yes. And I'm grateful we were able to tackle the world's story. Well what what attracted you to H.G. Wells that particular. Well he was the king of fantasy broke along with you for it. But the story was quite complicated. It was not a whole civilization. It was on the moon. We had d evised many things that are noted in the book in order to make us the story that would be an audience would be able to sit through with a beginning middle and to make it cinematic as well. So in this film you have a group of people two men with a lady travelling to the moon and finding an entire civilization crew inside them in the original role of course there is no lady in the sphere but we heard it but that is because Columbia felt that women couldn't have identified themselves in the picture. How times have changed in those days you had to have the female element whereas today it's not absolutely always necessary. You know interesting that words like Treasure of Sierra Madre. Yes. And then went where it's all men which I know is extraordinary and such a great movie anyhow. And a great score and a great score. It's very back to first men in the moon and we you had to put a lot of elements into that and to make it does animation used. Obviously you're animated a lot of the selling line. It's not all of them. And you have moon calves in this as well that their source of food. But that was a story that took a long time to develop. And we have fortunately had Nigel Neill who was an expert on rich worlds. And he developed the story. Nigel had written a very famous character British science fiction character called Quatermass. That's correct. Yes. And he developed the idea I believe of actually bridging from Victorian times which of course is when it set into modern time. Well that's what we were trying to do is we one of the keepers in the world's period still have a modern touch to it. And he dreamt up this sort of beginning to account for the flag of the moon when the astronauts got there. They find a again the contemporary sense they find the flag which is part of the Victorian expedition that's carried by game to that would be a world then we were able to go back to the Victorian times. I have to say again leaving aside slightly the moon carve the summer nig hts are wonderful creations right. I mean they are wonderful to look at. I mean not the children in costume but the actual diner nation summer nights. Yes. We had to resort to always from people in costumes for creatures. But we had to resort to that. Otherwise I'd still be animating the mass production though many I noticed in creatures. I noticed in one of Nigel's scripts and I think Jan read again worked on that one to a lesser degree is as Nigel. But in one of the sequence he says there are are crowds of Summer Nights and you've written in the script Definitely not. That way. I mean meaning that of course you couldn't do that. I mean you you know we did it in some cases by shooting against blue bagging and multiply through the optical printer. But in essence you weren't able to do hundreds or thousands of something. No you can suggest them but you can't actually physically reproduce them because the budget wouldn't do that knowing the budget wouldn't serve them no right. But I t hink it's a lovely film it's a meat eater. One of the films that are not so well known of yours but I still think it has some wonderful fantasy elements and as Bernie Herrmann was lined up to score the film but he there was a discrepancy in turned over to. Larry Johnson who did a very good score. It is a good score and it actually works very well but the game the fellows fans but you'd although you didn't have a great deal of dynamite ocean to do and you still had a lot of travelling mat work to do. Oh yes and a lot of miniature work and other elements like that which took up a huge amount of time. Yes. And you designed all that as well. I deserved that. And you worked with them Lansbury this boy. We did this studio's studios. Okay. Let's go onto one million years B.C. It's one that you didn't make with Charles but you made with Hammer films. That is correct. Yes. They wanted to remake King Kong as well but they couldn't get the right. Listen I'm grateful for that. Well why that rai n why do you say. Well I didn't like remakes you know and Victor Mature and Carothers made one million B.C. back after King Kong. I think the 40s. Yes it is. It's true for Hal for how wrote how wrote you did along long D.W. Griffith who supposedly started the story. That's where the rumors are. That. It ended up with other writers. Although you say you don't like making remakes the original didn't use domination animation or they use men in suits which looked like refugees and globalism. So the reason you remade or felt that you could remake one million years. I think we could do better by doing animated overs and it wouldn't have to hide behind the tree. Yes the dinosaur in the original is a man in a rubber suit that really creates acts out most of his scene behind a bush. He does that and you just saw flashes through the bushes because he looked like an obvious man and a rubber. Whereas in your elbow a view shared in your version. He's out there in the open totally as a dinosaur a s a dinosaur should be. And yet you used some real creatures didn't use an egg you on as well. We did the cut down the animation and felt that that that people would believe more on the animation if we showed low version of the beginning but that was a mistake on my part never to be repeated never to be repeated. Because in fact you were telling me once that to actually shoot the iguanas I think they were regular. Yes we sort of used up thousands of feet of film because they had goo on US would keep falling asleep under the lights. And be very attracted to the hot lights. So we had to have three or four different ones. And it almost worked them like puppets. So with stop motion animation you wouldn't have had that problem not with stop motion animation. Okay but then there's a wonderful. There are two wonderful sequences in that film. There are many wonderful sequences that film the two very specific all very good sequences the first one would be the serif the fight between the Sari ta source and the triceratops was correct. While Raquel Welsh and John Richardson are in the background. Gray and the other one for me is the fight with the other source in the in the cave dwellers camp. Yes that's correct yes. And do you. I have a I again there's one thing that I particularly liked with the first sequence which is wonderful Ray. There is one thing where you have. The Triceratops when he hears something. It raises his foot as though it's listening. It did. It pulls its foot up so it's sort of suddenly stopped and is listening for something that is just wonderful. And those touches all come about during the actual animation because you're not sure just as a triceratops observer. And then what doesn't describe what it does but it gives a reality right gives a reality to it is that you're not always conscious of and until you actually analyze these films which one shouldn't do I'll admit that because we have between the two of us we've talked about these beauties I've watched these films and I've suddenly realized that such an important thing to do is to raise that level because it says everything about the character of a dinosaur and it takes time to do all you know and one tries to cut the Times drew as most people do. You. But without those little nuances it would not be the same kind of characterization correct which goes throughout all your animation I think the Cyclops all holding its arms by the side of him it again says a great deal about its character. He gives it character it gives a character and it was done above on purpose so it wouldn't have to swing his arms. I think that's the first time you said that today. Well I have my secrets I still have a few secrets of mice and magicians still has to have a few secrets. I could say that yes you faked your idea but I One Million Years B.C. was a huge success for Hammer. I mean it's like you always say when we're talking to people did you go to see One Million Years B.C. for Raquel Welch of the dinosaurs. Yes they were very cautious people out of courtesy say oh we went to see the dinosaurs. Actually it was a combination. I think if I was to be absolutely honest with you I went to see the film because of Raquel Welch being on the poster. But I discovered the dinosaurs might feel as as good as Raquel Walsh to look at. I think the dinosaurs are still the stars. It's a combination yes. You go after sex and all that sort of thing. It comes back to that wonderful line that you once told me that Obi told you about the making of The Lost World. I know. I remember he told me that the lady who wrote the script for The Lost World she said I've written in such a way if the dinosaurs we can leave them out if they're not very good. Well how would you make a film called The Lost World Without the devil. That's the whole point was the dinosaur. She kind of missed that point out maybe I don't know but maybe that's why I have a thought. If the dinosaurs don't work well we've always got Raquel Welch. Well to companies about that but I'm not interested in a sexy dinosaur. But it is a remarkably successful film. Probably one of the most successful films or other names out very often on television. It still works today because there's no dialogue of course. No it's a synthetic dialogue. Anyhow you also had the Arkham on which is a huge prehistoric turtle and then never heard that name at that time of course. Tell us about that. Well why do you say that. Well in the story they have one of the characters they passed along and then there was no such word. They couldn't even speak English. Yes it does make a difference and it is in the movie but it also is in the movie. Those are the things you're making a picture of theater not documentary and also. And you have in it. A terror on a pterodactyl. Yes we do. And you had a few problems with that or not. Oh quite a few. Foreign creatures. And of course it had to pick up Rico well so I had to make a small image of Raquel Wel ch. And I actually am amazed that Rico wells in those secrets there are not many people who can say they've done that right. Let's again go on to another prehistoric movie the value of 1g which was your next film with again back with Charles. Yes. Which is about 1967 68 when I was actually a film that only started at RKO in the 40s and it was never made. And he did a lot of work on the end of early years. We'll work on that before the picture collapsed. Though the war came along I think everybody was cutting their budgets and they had to make it. I think they made little or finale or something in its place something like that. I can't exactly what it was but they they pulled the production so they pulled the production and so grungy was never made until I found a script in my garage when we were looking for somebody but Guan G was now a source in the original story was yes he was. And you make him half and a source or a bit power source and a bit of Tyrannosaur is to give a little b it of cinematic license there. Well you have to glamorize them you you do. We're not making the documentary we're making table subject. So you have to glamorize certain situations and certain ways of gorillas. You know I always have. Most gorillas ever street a bro. They will always make more and look a little demonic just because the gorilla is the villain in the film even though they're proven to be very kind creatures and not as aggressive as they've been made to appear over the years. And you give them my special what you're saying is demonic you're giving them all slightly more humanoid appearance because that would be slightly more than the skeletons as well as a demonic skull. The skull doesn't really look the moment that they're almost Neanderthal Delinda. I don't think if they dug it up. But I'd like to make the eyebrows turn and move so that they give that impression of villainous type of creature. So what I shouldn't do is ask you with Guan G which pops out the source in which pop is to write jaws and go into the back and analyze things out of production but greatly out of context and out of line. All we'll do is to say you were taking elements of both of those prehistoric creatures and creating a cinematic creature right. The whole thing is for ever and not for a documentary. You have to approach a documentary terribly different way engaging again with Guan Chee you let's talk about the tables because the towns is such a huge element of a dinosaur that reflect their character aren't they. Yes it does. They show hangovers. Well it's done for another reason which I don't like to reveal. But keep the two in motion because that makes you look at different parts of them so you won't be too critical of the way. But that's part of the cinematic process as that process of you have to do. You have to design something that isn't perhaps not. But the modern thinking of dinosaurs is what I was going to actually say is that the tails were not down they were up. Yes but that's a very. Someday somebody will prove that they were halfway down. I agree with you. I don't like the tails up I prefer Charles Wright's concept where the tails are just you know down because I think they look a rather outrageous with their tails and they always look like a dog in the constipation process of which we will not go into that very detail. However you don't always have them down of course when they're fighting the tails. Some tile down there sometimes are rolling up to try to make it visually believable but in the roping sequencing grungy which is the great sequence in that film or one of the great sequences in that film you have the tail flicking all the time like that and like like a snake's tongue. For me it is always on the move and therefore reflects its annoyance its anger. Any other element do you want to put in. Yes. So that's how you and I put I'm putting words in your mouth that you certainly do. However what I'm saying what you're doing with that is that you showing its character through its tail or one of the elements yet that isn't quite the way I look at that. No. But when it comes out on the screen that sometimes how it appears because otherwise his tail would just be dragging on the ground and therefore little dead almost entirely day. It gives more character I think to see it flipping because you expect the long tail of the Flint. Yes I agree with you. But the rope in sequence was that it was a huge mystery for a great deal of time wasn't there how you attached the ropes from the horse from the cowboy on the horse and the indirectly to the dinosaur. There is no break in continuity between the rider on the horse and the actual rope on the dinosaur very difficult and you go into explanations but that's what I want you to do right about it. All right. What you heard was a monster snake wasn't it. Well actually we had the rope or the bear or rope in the jeep and we had a cross on the back of a jeep. There's height of the donors or and they will drop in the jeep could pull the horse. And so it was true then of course that Jeep was illuminated through various processes which I won't go into which will keep a secret. It's all in the book is Charles Darwin in the book. Yes. The book gets them the book in the first book an animated life. We actually show actually what a jeep and how you actually took the jeep is actually the background plate there's a split screen right and we split the screen in the optical printer and to eliminate the Jeep so flip it over and put the print the other half over that you're not supposed to see the sea and you put the dinosaur. The animated model in the middle. That's great. So it looks and then you paint the miniature ropes. Is that right. Again I'm putting words over the military ropes are you. Sometimes wire and sometimes depending on what the color in the background and in the end you paint those out to match in with them to match the actual rope which requires a lot o f time to match. You have to go to the camera and record over and look through and see that the rope matches. When I first saw you in person you appeared at the National Film Theater with Charles and you showed that you were giving a talk and you showed that sequence. Yes I was just gobsmacked. I still am today. And I know how it's done but it's still a wonderfully inventive optical sequence. So that took time to do it. A huge amount of time. Again you don't make life easy for yourself always. Certainly it's extraordinary raid that a lot of people think of you as being the dinosaur man. I know that you've made lots of movies with dinosaurs you haven't. Will you have any reboot one or two. Well you actually in theory only made for a feature films that you made obviously a lot of amateur sorry testing material when you were very young but you've made one million grungy obviously but you made animal world and you made the read a source from the beast from 20000 Fathoms which was an act ual dinosaur. You know theoretically we didn't know how to use a brontosaurus. And because it was used in the last year. That's right. So but in essence you have any made out of 16 feature films only for movies with dinosaurs theoretically. I mean you've had dinosaurs like we mentioned to a mysterious island but yes. We didn't want to repeat herself too often. Yeah. The next stone to come along with the golden voice of Sinbad again you were back to the Arabian Nights. Why was that right. Well I the film was close to my heart and I actually designed it with in mind. That came about in the Sinbad in the eye of the tiger. The whole golden voyage involved the bird boon as well playing chess with the girl decided to make two pictures instead of one. Yes. So we cut out the chest sequence in the golden boys and put it in a tiger. So when you made Golden Voyage or when you were planning golden you kind of planned a sequel to it as well as what you're saying. Well yes more or less although y ou did wouldn't cover the sequel. No. But you you paint another store while there was another story that was potentially there to be made. Yes. Which then became May the Golden Voyage again was a huge success wasn't it. Yes it was a very big success. And Tom Baker was the wonderful villain of the piece. And so we were looking for another Conrad. Right. We saw Tom in Rasputin. I believe he played the Roosevelts yes in Nicholas and Alexander is the man we want. Why is that the eyes. I think was it not. I didn't know he had a an aura about him. Still others and as a villain is just as he later became Dr. Who. Yes it was. But the villain is just as important as the donor nation in many ways. As far as your concerned. Oh yes very much. And you had John Phillip Law playing Sinbad. Sinbad. OK. And again you had some wonderfully cult characters you had you had Carly as the bronze statue the six armed bronze statue coming out with her hangover because we were originally going to shoot the fi lm and. Right. And we were going to use an Indian background. So Colin came about. All right. I had always wanted to do something with a six hour statue. You don't we will have to tighten this up because my throat. Yeah. Okay. That's fine. No problems at all right. Yes your throat is good. Tells me but you obviously made two great Sinbad movies back to back golden age and eye of the tiger of the character. And I was just saying Carly another bronze statue coming to life. Yes. And in either Tiger you had another statue coming to life in the mine at home. Yes we did. I'm not sure that created the actual statue coming to life was. No. I'm sorry. Can I speak to her. Do you want to sort of leave him there. A pause for me. I think yes. You want a glass of water Ray. Oh thank you. Yes yes. So I'm trying to get this done in what is a memorable create and then. Yes. Okay. Okay. Is that right. Yeah. Okay. Let me give you a glass of water. I just put that down and. I came running. I think gold noise is a very good place to sort of just talk about directors right. None of your films are really directed. No women directors of films are not in the European sense of the world of British film. Because Charles the writer and myself put the film together and we do this in an unorthodox way that normal films are made. So it's a different situation. These films that's why I think we have a different type of picture than what you see on the screen. The average subjects. That's not. That's not to mean that people like Nathan Durand Jerry Durand Don Chaffee and in the case of golden boy age Gordon Hasler didn't have an input into the film obviously. They would direct the live action in conjunction with you who would know. Gordon Hessler had and then put a picture of it where a director once said certain things we say and feels as well. So it's a combination of things that's a little unorthodox way of doing it but it's not. The director doesn't create the whole film but on the other hand having a director who has a feel for fantasy is also very important always and very important. And those three directors that I mentioned before directors that you mention while John Chaffee and Nathan Duran were former art directors so they knew my problems. And it was much easier to work with them than with a regular director that may not have had that experience. And getting on with those people is all very important in a sense. All those people getting on with you I should say more is more important because those directly had one director that felt I was overstepping my button about a number of my steps as Laurel would say. And he tried to get me fired off the film not realizing that you were there from the word go but from from square one so to speak and had a huge amount of design input into the film and obviously other aspects of but that's one of the vicissitudes of that. Let's go on to your final film Clash of the Titans. That's correct. Huge budget huge cast. Most of the budget was huge went to the to the actors because MGM felt we needed the top rated actors that they played Oh played the gods. Who else could play zoos. But Laurence Olivier I couldn't agree with you more I don't know who's there they're remaking Tasha. I know I'm not quite sure who's playing it but over it somewhere where they want to make a fantasy realistic you can't make a fantasy realistic. You know let's say they're two sides of the bold concept of a fantasy contradiction in terms. I actually turned to a total contradiction in terms as far as I'm concerned. I mean I think Sam I want to make who is the director of either the tiger was a realistic person. Well he was who he was more familiar with the realism you know stories about people having relations with other people. He was a white haired boy of Broadway. Yes at one time. So he was not a tune to fantasy as much as some of the other directors. And I think it shows in that film Sinbad in the eye of the tiger it doesn't a lways work on the right level it's sometimes the live action conflicts with the fantasy element of that hero sometimes not all but Clash of the Titans. Huge movie. Yes. Your budget is perhaps slightly higher. Can I say that I guess you can say that. Because you know you had high speed photography and then we said we did we had high speed photography and we have a bigger budget. And I was able to do more. And you you began the animation on that film and you had a huge number of creatures who you had to animate on that film. You began the animation on that film and started to run into it a couple of little minor or major problems. I don't know how you would view them. And so you had to get two other animators you were. Well we had a technical problem of sprocket holes were we our films kids are involved with many double exposures. And if you had the problem if you'd run the film through the camera a second time it would move like this where the split screen and we had to solve that pr oblem. And they believe my equipment and I believe the way that it went on for a month. So we got behind schedule. Yeah which you can't afford to do on your movies Kenya or we can. That was the first time which was a great revamp. But then on the other hand you know on every other film I always had to work alone. I did every inch of animation on the 15th of our film. But most of the time I have two systems. So we should catch up with the schedule. I prefer to work alone because they're not not talked out of doing certain things that I feel I have to do. I was going to own zoo. You know when you're working with a crew and they start analyzing things to the degree that forget that the original concept. And there's also here there's more than one animator working on it. The flow of the animation can sometimes change kind of sometimes again. I'm always fascinated. Argument was able to industrialize the whole process of stop motion and I think that's a big step forward. Modern motion. Th ey're able to do it because some video basically that Nick Parker or whoever is creating the original concept or the flow of the movie is able to reproduce the sequences to show the animators what he actually wants. You couldn't do that in those days we didn't. That's why I'm an author but you know exactly I. But having said that you had very two very good and competent animators on the film. Oh yeah. STEVE ARCHER And of course the great. Sorry Jim Danforth. I mean Jim was a great friend of yours or had been a friend of yours and was a fan in the early days. He used to go I remember when I was doing the 7th Voyager somebody came to my studio and both of them or when I was in a similar situation. He used to make notes and he's a very sincere person that were very meticulous about his own emotions. Yes. And that's the kind of person that you want him both in and you have to have patience. Yes but this is the first film where you are not everybody's cup of tea. A lot of young people ha d one. I got a letter from one young man this is where do you get the images made where do you who designs them. Where do you get the skin to put over them. Where do you do this where if you do that well you have to learn to do that. You know you wonder what he's going to do. Yes it's a. It's a you grew up in the time where you had no DVD telling you how this was done. I don't know books on it today. There are many books on it. You can do a lot of different things that you couldn't do in the early days but they kept making of King Kong very secret for a good many years. In the last world of course. So we're on the road to devise their own way of doing things more in order to keep growing them than they do today where you have so many books on the subject. But you for a long long time Ray kept your art very much to yourself how you did things. I prefer that. Yes to work only now as you say. You've kept still a few secrets from our company. You still kept running but I think you have. And I know you have but even though we've written three books together you've still kept those little pieces that you love. I can't remember about that. I know I got a letter from somebody that they wanted to know how I got the flames around the technical of the octopus that came from beneath the sea. I don't remember that far back. It's yes I remember actually talking to you about that and we couldn't I couldn't remember I can't remember how I did that but I did it somewhere I had to do it at that. One more sequence and then we'll thank you Ray for giving us so much time to do this but one more sequence Medusa. We have to talk about Medusa because she's such a wonder. I think Ray Bradbury or very close and dear friend Ray Bradbury once made a comment about the you produce sequence Tony. Very quickly what that was. He said that that was the best thing I've ever done. But I think to one extent it probably is it is the most character for the most inventive the most ingenious sequence ever done probably in diner nation. And I even put it slightly only marginally about the seventh sequence and suddenly seven skeletons. It is a wonderful sequence. How did. I mean apart from the design of the creature. I mean why did you design or in a snake form. Well I didn't want to animate guys with guns. The original produce of course was of a lady in Gus. Rick go. She was turned into a viper or a horrible creature by one of the gods in Greek mythology and. I didn't want to have to have any clothing so designer. She had snakes in the air so why not give her a snakes body as a living. And she's wonderful she does have some money to do in order to get the effect of the sound we gave her rattlesnakes tails so she could be a member from a distance. I gave her the bow and arrow of Diana. I don't know whether the original Medusa had a bow and arrow or another I'm not sure. It doesn't matter as much does want to create my own Medusa for the situation that was in the store a game for cinematic cinematic. You're creating your own mythology in many ways or your own myth what you have to do that for a theater if you're making a documentary is a different thing. But for theater you have to use your imagination a great deal. She lives in a vault under a temple under her temple or under a camera and there you lit it with a flame basically. Which raises the torches and present and that flickering fame is reproduced in the animation isn't it. How did you do that rain. Well in order that she would look pasted on the background if you didn't have a flicker on her as well as a background. So I had to make a color wheel left over the different density and different colors for each frame move it to give her the light under the key light flickers so that she would become part of the background rather than just pasted on the front of it every which gives the continuity. As you say between the rejection and and the actual animation model. Thank you Ray I know your thread is get ting bad so ideally I'd find tuck in myself that I'm from after that picture you decided that the world of dimensional animation had perhaps as far as you're concerned come to. Well to correct end CGI came in and seemed very popular and everybody felt that CGI was the epitome of a part of me. That's what I like and so how did I know I felt that the animation was at its day. I've made 16 15 film watch 15 features and a lot of it and I'm grateful I was able to do that and I'm glad that our films have been an inspiration to young people and many successful people who've gone on to do CGI as well and also to take model animation not die animation. The combination of live shows made this type of picture. Yeah. There's a big difference between the type of pictures we made and the same argument animation yes which uses the same process except that they use a different way the likes of Pell's properties were very highly stylized or argument. Puppets are very stylized as well. Although they' re more close to humans than say pals or pals system. You had to be able to turn them out or leave them and cut them out of wood and that restricted the course of design. But our type of film. I always admired the growing process color of a single figure disjointed and that you can put life into that light and character life and character and that's very important. I think that's a very good point to actually end the interview. Thank you Raymond. I'd like to say one more thing. Piece of music. This type of picture is very dependent on a good score. You have to have the right score. You can just have a jazz background a solo saxophone player a music that has no relationship to the visual because music in the picture of the type of pictures we were making is very important because it gives a bigger than life atmosphere and that I think is the essence of why music is important in this type of film and takes it to yet another dimension and takes it into another dimension. Thank you. All right. Thank you. It's been a pleasure.

End of Tape 4

Biographical

Ray Harryhausen Biography

 

“Harryhausen stands alone as a technician, as an artist and a dreamer. He breathed life into mythological creatures he constructed with his own hands”
Ray Bradbury

 

 

 Film special effects superstar Ray Harryhausen elevated stop motion animation to an art. His innovative and inspiring films changed the face of modern movie making forever. He created the special effects for fantasy films such as  Mighty Joe Young  (1949); The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad (1958); Jason and the Argonauts (1963), with its with its famous army of skeletons ; One Million Years B.C (1966) ; and  Clash of the Titans (1981)  , and a wider portfolio including children’s fairy tales and commercials. He received an Oscar for lifetime achievement in 1992. He also inspired a generation of filmmakers 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.