Book Review “Ray Harryhausen’s Fantasy Scrapbook: Models, Artwork and Memories from 65 Years of Filmmaking”

Author(s): Ray Harryhausen, Tony Dalton
Hardcover: 192 pages
Publisher: Aurum Press
Release Date: May 1, 2012

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

Ray Harryhausen is such a legend and the creator of so many film special effects that were pre-CGI. Some of the classic films he is known for are “The 7th Voyage of Sinbad”, “Clash of the Titans”, “Jason and the Argonauts” and “One Million Years BC”. This book is a must for Harryhausen fans. More importantly this book is authored by Harryhausen himself, so you know that it is the most accurate and up close and personal information available. It is co-authored by Tony Dalton, who has known Ray for more than 30 years. He worked on the publicity for such iconic films such as “The Omen”, “Star Wars”, and “The Towering Inferno”. To sum up, if you are looking for a rare look into Harryhausen work, then look no further than this book.

Showcased in this book are some really amazing never-before-seen film artifacts, which were recently discovered in a garage in Los Angeles. The aspect of this books that I enjoyed the most are various outtake prints from his films, early concept drawings and storyboards.  There is also a lot of personal artifacts such as written letters, production budgets, and even a diary which describes Ray’s first meeting with his mentor Willis O’Brien.  I am fan of production art and there is some really cool publicity posters and rare brochures included also.  A lot of the images included are kind-of raw and provide a unique look into this amazing era of filmmaking. It also covers all of the films that he worked on and even from some projects which where never made like Harryhausen’s version of “War of the Worlds”. I could imagined that film would have been awesome.

Since this is formed in nature of a scrapbook, it really creates an amazing visual journey. The book is setup so beautifully that it is hard to turn the page. Each page feels like a work of art and a lot of love has gone into each one. The images are also extremely vibrant and colorful. If you are a fan of these films you will really jump at the chance to get an inside look into some of these productions whether it is rare pages from the scripts and productions. Also to top off this amazing book is an amazing foreword from writer/director John Landis.  Kudos to Aurum Press on releasing another impressive book covering the work of Harryhausen.

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One Reply to “Book Review “Ray Harryhausen’s Fantasy Scrapbook: Models, Artwork and Memories from 65 Years of Filmmaking””

  1. YES, THE BOOK IS WONDERFUL. IT’S REFRESHING TO FINALLY GET A BOOK CO-AUTHORED BY TONY DALTON WHICH IS VIRTUALLY ERROR-FREE.

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