Even more exciting than E3, for me personally, was the Ray Harryhausen and Chuck Jones exhibit! It’s in Beverly Hills, so I had to check it out while staying in the area.
He was the stop-motion special FX artist who created all the wondrous mythical creatures seen in classic science fiction movies like “It Came From Beneath the Sea”, fantasy/ adventure/ movies like “Clash of the Titans” (the original!) and dinosaur movies like “The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms”. These are the kind of movies that make you feel like a child again.
Now many of his original models, sketches and storyboards are on display until August 22. If you’re even slightly a fan of his work, I highly recommend you go take a look if you can. The Medusa and Kraken from “Clash of the Titans”, the Skeleton army and The Hydra from “Jason and the Argonauts”, the flying saucers from “Earth Vs. the Flying Saucers”, the T-Rex from “Valley of Gwangi”, the cyclops armature from “The 7th Voyage of Sinbad”… it goes on and on. Seeing them in-person was unreal! Watching the movies, you don’t fully realize the amount of detail on these models.
Seeing all the sketches and diagrams totally immerses you into the filmmaking experience and helps you to greater appreciate the effort and creativity that went into making these films and what a genius Harryhausen really was! I’ve been a fan of his work since the age of 13-ish, but this exhibit enlightened me further.
Already overwhelmed, it came as a great bonus to find that there was an exhibit of animator Chuck Jones’ work too! Sketches of such iconic characters as Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd and Daffy Duck are there. There’s even a colored cell of The Grinch, my favorite Christmas cartoon. Watching it is a tradition every year. What privilege was it to gaze at a sketch of Little Cindy Lou Who. Also, there were sketches of the Road Runner and Coyote. Amazing. There was a cell of the desert background, one of the most recognizable backgrounds in animation history.
Unfortunately, photography is not allowed. So I don’t have anything to show. Stop by if you’re anywhere in the Los Angeles area.
The best part about it is that it is free of charge! How could you beat that? Here’s more info:
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
8949 Wilshire Boulevard
Beverly Hills, California 90211
Tuesday – Friday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday – Sunday: Noon to 6 p.m.
(Like most art galleries, it’s closed on Mondays)
Until August 22, 2010.
There’s another Harryhausen exhibit coming up in London to be officially opened by Ray Harryhausen on June 29th, his 90th birthday. I’m not sure how this exhibit differs. Anyone going to that, let me know how it is.
29th June through June 2011
The London Film Museum
next to London Eye
South Bank, London SE1