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Sample Autograph Signature:
American film producer and, most notably, special effects creator. Ray Harryhausen stands alongside Willis O'Brien as one of the greatest stop-motion animators. Inspired by King Kong in , he began doing stop-motion work on his own by creating clay sculptures of dinosaurs. He then met Willis O'Brien's niece at his high school who introduced him to the man who had created the special effects for King Kong. At O'Brien's suggestion, he enrolled in classes in art and anatomy at Los Angeles City College and continued his experiment in stop-motion in his own backyard and garage. On the basis of his work during high school, he was hired by George Pal and worked for 2 years helping with the animation of the first Puppetoons During World War II he became part of the Army Motion Picture Unit, under Frank Capra, where he began using animation to illustrate films. Following his military service, he created animated children's stories which he produced into the early s. Meanwhile, Willis O'Brien brought him into the film industry by hiring him as an assistant animator on Mighty Joe Young, for which he did about per cent of the animation. The film's financial success and Academy Award for Best Special Effects in , launched his Hollywood career. Harryhausen's first solo feature film was the The Beast from 20,0 Fathoms, and from there he went on to create the special effects for numerous popular science fiction, dinosaur, monster, mythological and fantasy films which inspired an entire generation of subsequent filmmakers. He produced his last film, Clash of the Titans in , although many fans consider Jason and the Argonauts the masterpiece of his career. Following his retirement from filmmaking, Harryhausen has authored Film Fantasy Scrapbook, My Animated Life, detailing his techniques and history, and The Art of Ray Harryhausen, featuring sketches and drawings for his many projects. He has also supervisied the restoration and release of his films to video and DVD. Harryhausen continues his life-long friendship with Ray Bradbury and book and magazine writer and super Sci-Fi fan, Forrest J. Ackerman, who loaned Harryhausen his photos of King Kong back in . Given his immense contribution to, and respect from, the film industry, Harryhausen's films were ever nominated for a special effects Oscar. This is perhaps due to Harryhausen's work being a family affair with his parents and an occasional assistant, the fact that he produced half of his films outside of Hollywood, and lived in London since . Noentheless,he was finally awarded a Gordon E. Sawyer Lifetime Achievement award in by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
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