Friday, September 07, 2007

Ray Harryhausen Podcast Interview

A friend of mine at Disney has his own podcast where he interviews mostly animation artists. Ray Harryhausen was there to give a talk and Clay approached him to do an interview. Gold I tell you! Gold!!! It's funny that since Clay is younger then us old men, his first Harryhausen movie was "Clash of the Titans!!" Ha hahahah! (uh oh, gotta go change my Depends)

Harryhausen Interview

You can go here if you want to listen to any of the other great interviews:

Animtion Podcast by Clay Kaytis


Surly Bird said...

I had the pleasure of attending "An Evening with Ray Harryhausen" at the Seattle Science Fiction Museum a little over a year ago. He was there promoting his new coffee table book, "The Art of Ray Harryhausen." It was a great time, as Harryhausen is sort a lovable Luddite curmudgeon and he had a lot of interesting stories and funny anecdotes. I stood in line at the end and got his autograph in my book.

The best quote from him came when someone asked what he thought of the Peter Jackson "King Kong" movie (a lot of people thought he worked on the original Kong, which he did not. He assisted Willis O'Brien on the original "Mighty Joe Young.")

His reply was something along the lines of: "Well, Kong was certainly a marvel but I wondered why it took an hour to get to the island to finally see him." I dont' think he really cared much for the movie, but he wouldn't actually come out and say it.

Jeff said...

Ha! I thought the VERY SAME THING when i saw the movie. I was falling asleep and when they got to the island I immediately perked up!! I loved the effects but I didn't even buy it on video.

Mr Goodson said...

I was dying to see the new Kong. Flush with the idea that Peter Jackson was a great genius because of The Lord of The Rings. I've had few experiences of such high hopes being such bad disappointments. The main mistake besides Jack Black and Adrian Brody were the waste of time character developments for the ship crew. Man that was annoying. The best thing about the DVD is the recreation of the lost Spider Pit sequence.
Harryhausen has the longevity gene. I'm glad he's lived long enough to get the full measure of all his appreciative fandom out there. It's doubly cool because he and his pals Bradbury and Ackerman were the original fanboys

rickart said...

Yes, you could cut an hour out of the new Kong movie and make it much better.

As I recall the original Kong is pretty long, but somehow it doesn't seem nearly as indulgent.

And man! How long does Kong need to slide around on ice!? Yeesh! Every scene in that movie is about a 3rd longer than it needed to be.

Surly Bird said...

Speaking of the spider pit scene, If you haven't rented it, the remastered re-release of the original Kong on DVD that coincided with Jackson's film is worth checking out. On the special features DVD, Jackson's animation crew recreated the spider pit scene using stop motion animation the way O'Brien did. They even found and restored one or two of the original creature puppets and created a few others from O'Brien's designs. The little documentary charting the progress of the scene points out some interesting continuity discrepancies that I never really noticed before: Mainly, why did the crew on the log not just turn around and run back. The answer was because they were caught in the middle between Kong and another unseen dinosaur. Their version of the scene was what they deduced from surviving sketches and negatives that they were able to piece together. They had to shoot some new film of live action to get the whole thing to wholly blend together - and it's pretty close. It works for what it is, but doesn't have quite the same sparkle of the original.

Surly Bird said...

And I have to agree with rickart on the length of the scenes in that movie. My particular beef was with all the close shots on Ann Darrow's face. I grew very tired of all the wispy, longing close-ups of Naomi Watts. I kept thinking, "I get it already, she's a tragic figure."

I still find the Kong vs. T-Rex fight to be one of the most amazing battles ever put to film. It loses something on the small screen, though. When I saw that in the theater and when the camera did a 360 degree pan around Kong while he broke that final dinosaurs jaw apart, I was a little kid again. That was something to behold. Too bad the rest of the movie couldn't sustain the weighty baggage of the first and final act and the overall mediocre story and acting.

rickart said...

I didn't have a problem with Jack Black in the role. The only drawback is that his is a semi-villain sort of part of the show and has more personality than anyone else in the film... you end up rooting for him despite his villainy because he's the most interesting person on the screen.

rickart said...

One more thing... I've been listening to these podcasts... they are terrific! Thanks for sharing them!

When are they going to interview you, Jeff?

Krayonzilla said...

Good interview, but heard it all before and read it in his books. I always hope there would be some new insights and info he would parlay to the listener but it's the same old canned lines. It's like my grandparents when they told their stories late in their life, over and over and over again. I still enjoy them but I guess it's all that older folks can remember at that age when the memory starts to go. So they script out the cliff notes and tell that story repeatedly.
Peter Jackson "King Kong" sucked. Jackson blew his wad on LOTR. He's got no more tricks in his bag after that. To remake KK was a stupid idea and a fanboy run amuck. I just watched the original last week. You can't beat it. Robert Armstrong's performance just carries the rest of the actors and they all have great parts. Cecil B. DeMille meets P.T. Barnum, when he's excited, you get excited. Jack Black was just a sleaze and down right boring in the role. Just like the rest of the cast. Plus you can't forget Noble Johnson as the original 1933 tribe chieftain. Very imposing and very scary when he confronts the newcomers to Skull Island. and you can't forget Max Steiner's SUPERB score. Don't mess with the classics!