Sony Movie Channel
The U.S. television premiere of the definitive Ray Harryhausen documentary, RAY HARRYHAUSEN: SPECIAL EFFECTS TITAN, will air on Sony Movie Channel (SMC) Wednesday, April 3 at 8:00 PM E/5:00 PM and will be available on DIRECTV and DISH's video on demand platforms, as well as online through Sony Movie Channel Everywhere all month long. To complement the documentary over the course of the month, the Channel and VOD platform will be airing 10 of Harryhausen's credited films from Sony Pictures Entertainment's library.
"RAY HARRYHAUSEN: SPECIAL EFFECTS TITAN is an important film for those who appreciate the art of visual effects and its role in moviemaking," said SMC General Manager Superna Kalle. "This piece chronicles the life of the special-effects legend who pioneered stop-motion animation, delving into work from his earliest beginnings to his latest filmmaking projects, as he paved the way for so many of today's acclaimed filmmakers. The film is not yet available on DVD in the United States and we are very pleased to be able to bring this fine work to our viewers, many of whom will be experiencing it for the first time."
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 from his early days in Hollywood to his 90 th birthday celebration.
As the premier TV network for Hollywood film fans, Sony Movie Channel has created an online digital component that recognizes Harryhausen's work and includes the complete on-air schedule of his films on SMC. The interactive online experience features some of Harryhausen's signature creatures and when clicked on by the user appear to come alive. The module which will go live April 1 on the Channel's website is the latest in a continued stream of digital offerings that have become SMC's signature, setting it apart from the other cable movie outlets.
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 also he 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 film characters, models and drawings. His influence in genre filmmaking is still very prevalent today over five decades later.