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Visual effects giant Ray Harryhausen dies aged 92

Veteran animator and special effects master Ray Harryhausen has died in London aged 92 (7 May).

Best known for his work on hit films such as the Sinbad adventures (1958-1973), Jason and the Argonauts (1963) and Clash of the Titans (1981), he was a stop-motion animation pioneer, and is credited with inspiring generations of filmmakers.

Harryhausen was born in Los Angeles but had lived in London for over forty years. His career began in the early 1940s, a world away from computer-generated imagery and special effects as we know them today.

He would typically work with few assistants – two or three – to create the monsters and prehistoric creatures which had caught his imagination as a child. With assiduous attention to detail, he would make his models by hand, jointing them with a ball-and-socket method, then carefully shoot them frame by frame.

In later years, his animated creatures would be combined with live action, such as in the now iconic scene in One Million Years BC (1966) where a huge prehistoric reptile swoops down to carry away a bikini-clad Raquel Welch.

Joining many paying tribute to the legendary Harryhausen, writer/producer/director Wes Craven said on Twitter:  “Here's to the man who invented movie magic...”

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