Hey folks, Harry here... if you were watching the BluRay exclusive preview of THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG - then you're well aware of just how significant Ray Harryhausen is to Peter Jackson. If you've seen images from Guillermo Del Toro's house, then you've seen more than a few images from Harryhausen's world - including some statues. Ray's importance to the modern cinematic blockbuster and the crop of filmmakers beginning with Lucas & Spielberg and continuing through to the best of the current generation.
For the past several years, there's been a series of 3 immaculate books put out onto the market for lovers of Harryhausen. It began with Volume 2, then Volume 3 was published. Why out of order? Well, the publishers knew that Chronologicially - the Feature Film work of Harryhausen would be the most desirable - so they made those two books first, hoping that folks would eventually cry for the Volume 1.
Now, these books sell out and then enter the secondary market at crazy high prices (still worth every penny though) - and Ernest Farino dropped me a line saying that Volume 1 is currently available for pre-order at Archive-Editions.Com, don't delay if you want one because they won't last long. Here's some images - and the press release if you need further incentives!
Ray Harryhausen - Master of the Majicks
Volume 1: Beginnings and Endings
by Mike Hankin
Foreword by Tom Hanks
Preface by Sir Christopher Frayling
Finally Completed and off to the Printer!
Vol. 1 is planned to ship in early Summer, 2013.
Written and produced over the past 10 years with Ray Harryhausen's cooperation and support, the complete 3-volume definitive 295,000-word career/biography features interviews with Ray and his colleagues and is profusely illustrated with several hundred rare photographs, artwork, and illustrations (many of which have never been previously published).
We published Volume 2 ("The American Films") first, then Volume 3 ("The British Films"), and are now wrapping up the set with Volume 1 (“Beginnings and Endings”).
Chapters in Volume 1 extensively cover:
Ray's Early 16mm Experiments, The Influence of Willis O'Brien and King Kong, George Pal's Puppetoons®, Ray's Film Work During World War II, The Fairy Tale Short Subjects, Ray's Retirement Years (including tributes, awards, convention appearances, colorizing his films, unfinished projects, the King Kong 50th Anniversary celebration at Grauman's Chinese Theater in 1983, Ray's cameo appearances in other films, Ray's Lifetime Achievement Oscar® from The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Ray's "Star" on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and much more).
As a special adjunct to the Willis O'Brien chapter, we're including the complete first draft of the King Kong screenplay by British mystery writer Edgar Wallace.
A special supplement that we're calling "How To Make a Monster" will take you step-by-step through the process of constructing a stop motion model using photos from numerous stop motion films (Caveman, When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth, Willis O'Brien films, and more) — from blueprint to armature to clay sculpture to plaster mold to final foam rubber animation model. (Now you'll know the answer when someone asks, "How did they DO that...?")
Contributors to Volume 1 include Famous Monsters editor Forrest J Ackerman, Darlyne (Mrs. Willis) O'Brien, Lost World star Bessie Love, King Kong producer Merian C. Cooper and star Fay Wray, screenwriters Beverley Cross and Kenneth Kolb, animator and visual effects artists Jim Danforth and Randall William Cook, director John Landis, producer Arnold Kunert, and many others, some of whom have since passed away.
Stills and other visual material come from numerous private collections, including considerable material that has never been seen in print before (including Ray Harryhausen's own books).
• “Ray Harryhausen's Los Angeles” – A multi-page map of key locations connected to Ray and his films in the 1940s and 50s;
• Advertising art and posters from different countries;
• Reviews and story synopses;
• Filmographies of key cast and crew.
• 370 pages, 125,000 word text (chapters, appendices, and more);
• Over 1,500 images —photos, artwork, posters, technical diagrams and
other illustrations— in Spectacular Color, Nostalgic Sepia-Tone, and Glorious Black-and-White.
• Hardcover: dark brown imitation leather with title stamped in gold foil;
• Full color dust jacket;
• Heavy 70 pound semi-gloss paper stock;
• Overall dimensions 9" x 11-1/2";
• Weight: 5 pounds.
Majicks Vol. 2 and Vol. 3 are long sold out and now command prices ranging from $350 to $500 to over $700 per copy on eBay and Amazon. So don't delay— sales have been brisk and our limited edition print run of Vol. 1 (the final volume in the set) is on its way to selling out soon.
From his Preface to Volume 3 —
"There is no way to overstate the importance of these books. [This book] is simply the most perfect book about Harryhausen ever made. This is the book that you dreamt of having as a child and makes you want to go out and re-watch every single one of the chronicled. It makes you fall in love with cinema all over again."
— Guillermo del Toro, Director of Hellboy and Pan's Labyrinth
From his combination review of Volumes 2 and 3 of Majicks:
“…Hankin’s in-progress overview of Harryhausen’s career is unlikely to be surpassed; other books may offer different pictures, different vantages and depths of specific information, but the totality of Harryhausen’s achievement is best represented here.”
— Tim Lucas, Video Watchdog #166