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20 Million Miles to Earth (1957)
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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I'm looking forward to watching 20 Million Miles to Earth at All Sci-Fi's Friday Live Chat tonight, and I found a nice article about Ray Harryhausen with a terrific gallery of photos showing Ray and his models.


Behind The Scenes With Ray Harryhausen And His Special Effects Models




by Vincze Mikl??s

Ray Harryhausen was the stop-motion special effects pioneer behind movies like Mighty Joe Young, Jason and the Argonauts, and Clash of the Titans. And while his creations were impressive on the screen, it's equally remarkable to see Harryhausen creating and manipulating them in his studio.






___ Clash of the Titans — interview about Pegasus


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____________________ Gwangi vs. Elephant


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Is there no man on Earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?


Last edited by Bud Brewster on Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:02 am; edited 2 times in total
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orzel-w
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For some reason I feel really tired right now. Sad
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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It occurred to me that Barry Allen would make an excellent stop motion animator. Very Happy

This evening, just before All Sci-Fi's Friday Live Chat I read this IMDB trivia item for this 20 Million Miles to Earth.
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The February 1966 issue of "Famous Monsters of Filmland" devoted 12 pages to the Harryhausen film.
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I remember that article and the way it described the events on Venus that the astronauts endured during their mission to Venus. I couldn't find any scans of the pages from the article, but I did find a fairly good copy of the cover.


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This next IMDB trivia item is also interesting, because many years ago a friend of mine named Jimmy Harmon owned 16mm prints of several Harryhausen films (as part his extensive collection of sci-fi memorabilia), and he showed me the scenes he was certain Ray had made cameo appearances in.

He was right! Very Happy
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Ray Harryhausen cameo: a man feeding peanuts to the elephant that later battles the Ymir. He did so because the actor scheduled to play the part didn't show up. He later appears in a crowd fleeing the zoo.
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Is there no man on Earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?


Last edited by Bud Brewster on Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:36 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2016 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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I question whether this IMDB trivia item is correct or not.

"The Ymir roars in the film are variations of elephant roars sped up and modulated in pitches at different rates."

The roar of the Ymir and the Cyclops are the same sound effect , and I've seen both 20 Million Miles to Earth and 7th Voyage of Sinbad at least a dozen times since they came out in the 1950s. I know the sounds that were used for the roars extremely well.

They certainly do not sound like elephant trumpeting "sped up", because the sound is often lower in pitch, not faster. And the roar of the two monsters is often much longer than the sound an elephant makes, which is usually quite short. Of course, if an elephant's trumpeting were slowed down considerable, that would account for both the pitch and the duration.

But I'm still not quite convinced that an elephant sound was used. Listen for yourself and see what you think.


__________________________ Ymir Roar


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And while I was looking for a video clip that included the Ymir's roar, I found this absolutely wonderful music video that presents clips from many of the Harryhausen films! You're gonna love this, folks! Very Happy

_____ Radio Free Europe - Creature Feature Music Video


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And THEN I found these two short, side-slitting interviews with the Ymir, who is presented as a child actor whose life didn't go well after he made it big in Hollywood. Funny stuff, folks! Laughing

_____ The Real Monsters of Hollywood - YMIR part 1


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_____ The Real Monsters of Hollywood - YMIR Part 2


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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

________________________________

While watching the HBO miniseries From the Earth to the Moon tonight, I noticed that during episode 12 — entitled Le voyage dans la lune — there are several scenes of a young scientist named Sahjid watching the final Apollo 17 Moon walk from the viewing area inside Mission Control.

And we also see an older version of him sharing his memories of the event, years later.






The gentleman who played the elder Sahjid was portrayed by an actor named Bart Baverman.

It took me a moment to realize that the actor I was looking at . . . was this young boy.






Pepe' . . . from 20 Million Miles to Earth.

Damn . . . how cool is that, eh? Cool

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Skullislander
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 3:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This movie is a good example of a miracle on a small budget.

For some reason it was the only black and white Harryhausen 50s movie that never seemed to get screened on UK TV for a long, long time.
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Pow
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Much as I enjoy this movie & am a huge RH fan, always wondered why he chose to do the rocket scenes as stop-motion?

Wouldn't it have made more sense to simply do the rocket as a conventional model? Similar to the rocket blasting off in "When Worlds Collide?"
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Pow
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Much as I enjoy this movie & am a huge RH fan,always wondered why he chose to do the rocket scenes as stop-motion?

Wouldn't it have made more sense to simply do the rocket as a conventional model? Similar to the rocket blasting off in "When Worlds Collide?"
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Krel
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pow wrote:
Much as I enjoy this movie & am a huge RH fan,always wondered why he chose to do the rocket scenes as stop-motion?

Wouldn't it have made more sense to simply do the rocket as a conventional model? Similar to the rocket blasting off in "When Worlds Collide?"

Budget. They would have to have made a much larger model for the water effects, and hire an effects shop to film them in a water tank. That would have eaten up a large slice of the budget.

Like with "Earth Versus the Flying Saucers", with the stop motion destruction of the buildings. It was cheaper for him to do it.

David.
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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If you're of the opinion that the rocket's water-landing would have looked better as a model (more like the landing in When Worlds Collide), I would have to disagree.

The animated decent and splash-down have always impressed me much more than any miniature-on-wires FX filmed in slow motion. I guess my love for animation causes me to see that distinct movement of the animated ship as something that adds to the beauty of the shot.

Plus the fact that by animating the rocket, Ray was able to give us this wonderful shot of the camera seemingly following along with the spacecraft for a few seconds.




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Skullislander
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 2:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Harryhausens' approach of using stop-motion models for advanced craft yeilds results that just look DIFFERENT to what other FX people were putting out in the 50s and I appreciate the difference.

For example I love how he 'burns in' real water agitation at the base of the model of the animated sinking rocket ship, nobody else was doing shots like this then.
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Pow
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find that the stop-motion animation for the earth space ship takes me out of the movie.

We know exactly what a rocket looks like & how it moves based upon real life rockets. So the unusual movement of this space ship seems peculiar to me.

It worked for me with the alien space craft in Earth vs The Flying Saucers due to the saucers being otherworldly in nature & not conforming to how objects move on earth.

Just my .2 cents.
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

________________________________

I respect your opinion, Pow, and our reactions to special effects are a matter of personal tastes. As for me, all FX prior to CGI that involved models on wires that dangled and swung back and forth look phony as hell.

Even when I was little kid I could spot a miniature on wires quicker than you could say, "Hey, that's fake!"

I even dislike the wobbly look of the C-57-D in the Forbidden Planet landing scene! It screams the fact that it's a miniature being lowered down like Howdy Dowdy towards the tabletop landscape below!

Good stop motion can do this much batter than puppet spaceships. Very Happy


_________________ Forbidden Planet (1956)


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scotpens
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bud Brewster wrote:
I respect your opinion, Pow, and our reactions to special effects are a matter of personal tastes. As for me, all FX prior to CGI that involved models on wires that dangled and swung back and forth look phony as hell.

Howard and Theodore Lydecker perfected a rig that allowed miniature vehicles to "fly" smoothly and believably without wobbling. Take a look at the rocketships in the Republic serials or the Flying Sub miniature work in the Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea TV series.

As for the C-57D in Forbidden Planet, I love the way the saucer bobs up and down a bit as it slowly descends, as if the helmsman is carefully easing the big ship down to the ground. I'm sure it was done that way intentionally. It actually makes the landing look more realistic, something like the way a helicopter lands.
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Skullislander
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The best thing about stop-motion is that until you take the time to find out about it yourself, the process is shrouded in mystery, especially to those who have no interest in special effects.

It is easy to examine stop-motion online today instantly of course, but not at one time.

Moreso in the days before the internet, it was a complete mystery how the '33 Kong was done, when I saw my first film clips of him when I was very young.

Later on, I asked a reasonably intelligent film fan how he thought the Kong '33 effects were don, and he admitted he thought it was all full-scale robotics being used! I showed him the Cinefex articles on O'Brien and Harryhausen and tried to explain the basics of how it was done, and it all seemed to just flummox him — "This is beyond art", he said.

Other more traditional old-school analogue effects were probably worked out by most folks [guys in suits, slow-motion model work, matte or glass paintings, etc] but for the vast majority, at one time stop-motion effects were just a mind-blowing mystery.
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