Essay Topic: Ray Harryhausen

Posted by Sam Hayes On Monday, March 22, 2010
I've chosen Ray Harryhausen as my essay choice, not only because I've enjoyed his film the most out of the lectures, but also because I have always been a fan of the style he uses. I'm going to look at all the films he worked on as an animator including Jason and the Argonauts and Clash of the Titans. I also want to speak about the way his work has inflenced more recent animators and what his influences were (Mention King-Kong and other early stop-motion productions)

2 Responses to 'Essay Topic: Ray Harryhausen'

  1. tutorphil said...'> 23 March 2010 at 10:54

    Online Interim Review 23/03/10

    Hey Sam,

    Apologies for not responding sooner to the story idea posted previously; actually, I like the set up - but it's too complex in terms of staging - and in terms of you having to draw it all; in a way, you're being too logical (finding a reason why the chair should be furtive) when, in the context of 'animation land' a chair can behave furtively just 'because'. Your chair - and its performance - should be utterly central to your story; with the old man and the chase, I think you risk moving the focus away from the prime challenge of getting an inanimate object to 'act, think and feel'. Could you simplify things, whereby there's a skip on the back of a truck - and on the side of the truck there's something like 'Wreckers Yard or Rubbish Tip' and your chair sneaks out of skip and makes a bid for freedom or similar - in other words, you set everything up without the use of a character (the engine of the truck guns into life and the chair creeps away etc?). You need to pare it right down and get to the chair's 'thinking and feeling' asap.

    Regarding your written assignment, see following post for some helpful stuff...


  2. tutorphil said...'> 23 March 2010 at 10:55

    Use your introduction* to state clearly the investigative intention of your written assignment and the means by which you are going to support your discussion; for instance:

    ‘This essay will investigate the animated films of The Brothers Quay in relation to Freud’s theory of the Uncanny - with particular focus on Street of Crocodiles (1986) and The Comb (1990)…


    ‘The stop-motion animator, Ray Harryhausen is arguably the father of modern day cinematic fantasy. What follows is an investigation of his life and work in relation to the development of special effects…’

    Stylistically, it is often clarifying to begin with a key-note quote or bench mark statement that sets the scene for the discussion… for instance:

    ‘… the Brothers Quay's works are independent of any definable genre; indeed, the imitation of their unique style which can be observed in films of other animators are a complimentary gesture to the auteur style they have developed. Throughout their opus, a continuity can be observed - Quays' devotion to the marginal, the nobody and the unnoticed, elevated into the sublime…’ (Buchan: 1996)

    In her essay, Shifting Realities – The Brothers Quay – Between Live Action and Animation, Suzanne Buchan observes that other animators have imitated the unique style of the Brothers Quay. This investigation seeks to trace that influence by comparing their short 1986 film, Street of Crocodiles with Henry Selick’s Coraline (2009)…

    * If you can’t provide a succinct introduction for your discussion, chances are you’re not quite ready to write the essay. You need to make your argument clear – without one, you are submitting a ‘blancmange’.

    When referring to a film for the first time, always give proper title (with capital letters!), release date and director; after that, you can use title only. Please check spelling of film title – if it’s a made-up word, the spell check won’t know the difference!

    When referring to a person for the first time, use full name – after that, use surname only.

    You must use Harvard Method for quotations!

    Use footnotes for ‘additional’ information that is important or contextualizing but ‘outside’ of the main body of the essay.

    Please double-space your written assignments!

    You must provide a paper-copy at time of crit!


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I'm a student studying CG Arts and Animation at the University for the Creative Arts, I'm living in Kent.

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