Thursday, May 9, 2013

Sony Movie Channel alters schedule for Harryhausen marathon

To honor effects visionary Ray Harryhausen, who died on Tuesday, the Sony Movie Channel has altered its Saturday, May 11, schedule to include a TV marathon honoring him.

In a press release, the channel announced it would be airing the Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan documentary about the stop-motion innovator, along with three "Sinbad" movies.

Beginning at 12:45 p.m. ET, Special Effects Titan will air, followed by The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (2:30 p.m. ET), The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (4:10 p.m. ET) and Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (6:10 p.m. ET).

According to the network, the Sony Movie Channel is additionally "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."

The 2011 Harryhausen doc, which was filmed over 10 years and features "unprecedented" access to the creator's work, includes an extensive amount of footage and interviews from those within the industry that Harryhausen inspired. It is directed by Gilles Penso, and just premiered on U.S. television last month. It will also remain online for SMC viewers to see through May 31.

The press release also nicely sums up Harryhausen's impact on the movie biz:
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.
So if you have the Sony Movie Channel, don't miss this chance to celebrate Harryhausen.

-Aaron Sagers

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