Ray Harryhausen

Special-effects legend and pioneer Ray Harryhausen, died Tuesday at the age of 92. A lot of us horror-geeks are in mourning, but in the wake of this sad news, Sony Movie Channel has announced the airing of a Harryhausen documentary followed by a movie marathon featuring some of his greatest works.

from Sony Movie Channel

To pay tribute to the legendary Ray Harryhausen’s remarkable achievements, Sony Movie Channel has revised its schedule to include a special TV marathon on Saturday, May 11, highlighting the filmmaker’s career. Harryhausen, who died recently at the age of 92, is renowned for his special effects innovations and as the inventor of stop-motion animation.

On Saturday, May 11, Sony Movie Channel will be airing the definitive Ray Harryhausen documentary, RAY HARRYHAUSEN: SPECIAL EFFECTS TITAN, at 12:45 p.m. ET/9:45 a.m. PT. Following the documentary, Harryhausen fans will enjoy watching three SINBAD-focused films featuring Harryhausen’s special effects animation from Sony Pictures Entertainment’s library – THE 7TH VOYAGE OF SINBAD (airs at 2:30 p.m. ET/11:30 a.m. PT); THE GOLDEN VOYAGE OF SINBAD (airs at 4:10 p.m. ET/1:10 PM PT) and SINBAD AND THE EYE OF THE TIGER (airs at 6:10 p.m. ET/3:10 p.m. PT).

Additionally, SMC is recognizing Harryhausen’s award-winning career online, presenting an interactive web experience that features Harryhausen’s signature creatures, as well as specially produced content honoring him and his impressive body of work. That web experience can be found here. Those who are SMC subscribers will be able to watch the documentary online through May 31 by accessing that same web page.

Last month Sony Movie Channel premiered the RAY HARRYHAUSEN: SPECIAL EFFECTS TITAN documentary on television for the first time in the U.S. The documentary, produced in 2011 by Frenetic Arts in Paris, marks the first time that the Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation has provided unprecedented access to all aspects of his award-winning career, spanning his early days in Hollywood to his 90th birthday celebration.

RAY HARRYHAUSEN: SPECIAL EFFECTS TITAN was filmed over a 10-year period and features interviews and tributes from an illustrious list of acclaimed filmmakers who were inspired by his work. Directed by Gilles Penso, the documentary includes interviews with longtime admirers and Harryhausen fans that have been involved in some of the film industry’s biggest blockbuster hits.

With 16 movies to his credit, Harryhausen is known for pioneering numerous new techniques during his acclaimed filmmaking career. Not only was he a leader in armatured models and miniatures, but he also created a new type of stop-motion split-screen animation, known as “Dynamation.” His special effects budget for THE BEAST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS (1952) called for a more practical way of model interaction and, as such, Harryhausen developed a simple but effective method involving split-screens and a projector – hence, “Dynamation” was born.

In addition to innovating new filming practices, Harryhausen is credited with creating the physical looks and movements of dinosaurs, alien figures and creatures in motion pictures. Many producers and directors today still base their prehistoric creatures and beasts, as well as alien objects like flying saucers and visitors from other planets, on Harryhausen’s characters, models and drawings. His influence in genre filmmaking is still very prevalent today – over five decades later.

Sony Movie Channel is on Channel 563 on DIRECTV; Channel 386 on DISH and Channel 1791 on AT&T U-Verse.

Brandon Gentry
Written by Brandon Gentry
Brandon Gentry is a horror fan, Media Director & contributor for 40ozOfHorror.com. You can hear him drinking malt liquor as a regular guest on the 40oz. of Horror Podcast Follow Brandon on Twitter @brandongentry.