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Starlog #14 — Jim Danforth - Stop Motion's Heir Apparent

 
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 12:08 am    Post subject: Starlog #14 — Jim Danforth - Stop Motion's Heir Apparent Reply with quote

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Enjoy this fine Starlog article about stop motion master Jim Danforth.

Click on each page here to see a large, easy-to-read version you can zoom in on. Click on the large version again for the maximum size Very Happy












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Last edited by Bud Brewster on Wed Feb 21, 2024 2:12 pm; edited 4 times in total
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Robert (Butch) Day
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 2:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad you posted this. I missed it when the issue came out!
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Thanks. I've got more articles ready to post.

I'm hoping our members will do what I'm doing, which is to read the articles and make a few notes about interesting things they discover while reading. Afterwards I use the notes to post a reply below the articles.

Now if you'll excuse me I have a King Kong article to read Very Happy.

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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Around 1998 a friend of mine named Rod Bennett told me he'd had a few phone conversations with Jim Danforth for an article Rod was writing for his fanzine, Wonder. He said that Danforth was sort of an ornery fellow who had alienated himself from various filmmakers by being a bit stubborn.

To illustrate just how opinionated Danforth is, Rod told me Danforth actually disliked the CGI special effects in Jurassic Park! I'm not sure why Danforth had that strange attitude, but I can see a little of his stubbornness in the article above.

Although it's undeniable that Danforth's animation is remarkably smooth, nothing he's ever done shows the remark characterization in the creatures he animates the way Harrhausen's does.

Perhaps the best example of a animated creature showing a high degree of characterization is the funny T-Rex in Caveman 1980. Although Danforth designed the dinosaurs for Caveman (1981), the animation was performed by David Allen, Randy Cook and Pete Kleinow. And, true to Danforth's reputation, the IMDB trivia item below describes what happened with that production.
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Jim Danforth, special effects designer of the stop-motion animated dinosaurs (the dinosaur and effects designer), apparently left the production of this movie about two-thirds of the way through because the Directors Guild of America allegedly disallowed his already contracted co-director credit alongside director Carl Gottlieb.

Therefore, Danforth is not credited as a director on this picture, only for special effects and second unit director.



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On the other hand, I attended a lecture by Ray Harryhausen and Georgia State University just before Clash of the Titans came out, and afterwards I approached Ray and asked him what he thought of Cavemen (a much more entertaining film than Ray's rather dull One Million Years B.C., although I did NOT mention that to Ray).

Ray's curt reply was, "I don't like sendups."

So, he was well aware of the fact that Cavemen is a funny treatment of his movie, with it's all-caveman dialog that make no sense at all in Ray's version but actually works beautifully in Caveman!
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Krel.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember reading that Jim Danforth showed Ray Harryhausen the T-Rex figure, which was suppose to be an old, out of shape dinosaur. He was heartbroken when Harryhausen's reply on seeing the T-Rex was, "It looks pregnate".

At the time of Dave Allen's death in 1999, he was working on his dream project, "The Primevals". Since then Jim Danforth and Dave Allen's protege Chris Endicott have been trying to acquire the rights to the film from Charles Band, so they can finish their friends movie.

David.
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2024 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Krel wrote:
I remember reading that Jim Danforth showed Ray Harryhausen the T-Rex figure, which was suppose to be an old, out of shape dinosaur. He was heartbroken when Harryhausen's reply on seeing the T-Rex was, "It looks pregnate".

I'm sure Ray was just joking, but knowing what I do about Danforth, I'm not surprised that he took the comment the wrong way.

If Ray had praised it enthusiastically a little first and then chuckled as he said, "It looks pregnat," Danforth probably wouldn't have been offended.

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