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The Engineer

The Life and Times of Donald F. Simmons

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Andy Barrie eats worms

I've listened to CBC Radio in the morning for years now, but Andy Barrie is increasingly pissing me off.

This morning, their movie guy was raving about a new Ray Harryhausen DVD box set (as well he might). Ray is, of course, the master of stop-motion F/X and bought us many wonderful movies such as the three Sinbad's, Beast from 20,000 Fathoms and more. He was in Toronto last May to talk about his life and craft (to a packed hall) and it was a great evening. He even bought along some of his original movie models (he did all the stop-motion himself in his basement, which usually took months to complete).

So what does Andy Barrie say? He says "Yeah, but with movies now like Jurassic Park, can you even watch this stuff now?" God, I almost boiled over.

Let's set aside for now the fact this Jurassic Park is, honestly, not a very good movie. The dinosaurs were the most animated thing about it. Ray worked on some of best adventure movies around, and his stuff frankly still stands up with a lot of the effects you see today (the skeleton fight in Jason and the Argonauts especially).

There's this mindset in know-nothings that CGI effects are superior to models, and that's not true at all. They are cheaper, and only now are actually starting to reach the level that good model work can achieve. When me and some friends were watching Star Trek III: The Search for Spock again a while back (and enjoying it more that we expected to), the quality of the F/X modelwork in that was continually impressing us, we'd forgotten that the movie looked that good.

So Andy Barrie, why don't you try knowing what you're talking about before you sneer at a great man and his work!

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Hey there !

I was listening to the same program this morning. I felt that Andy Barrie was just voicing what alot of the other jaded listeners were probably thinking. As a matter of fact, when I mention Ray Harryhausen dinosaurs to most people, that Jurrassic Park comment it exactly what they say. That and 'don't you find those old movies boring'. I belive he actually likes those pioneering movies, so I myself, (who is usually touchy about the subject), didn't feel it was a direct attack.

Hey listen. I have to live with the fact that Ray Harryhausen who I practially worship HATES Godzilla, and thinks suitmation is stupid and has no redeeming qualities. -_-"

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