Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Titan Has Passed

Charles Schneer, a legendary producer who collaborated with special-effects wizard Ray Harryhausen to make such film fantasy classics as "The 7th Voyage of Sinbad" and "Jason and the Argonauts," died January 21 at a hospice in Boca Raton, Florida. He was 88.

Schneer and Harryhausen's collaborations included "The 3 Worlds of Gulliver" (1960), "It Came from Beneath the Sea" (1955) and their last film together, "Clash of the Titans" (1981).

Schneer had an idea to make a film about a giant octopus that pulls down the Golden Gate Bridge and was introduced to Harryhausen. Harryhausen had honed his craft with Willis O'Brien, who, in the 1930s, was responsible for the most famous of all stop-motion creations, 1933's "King Kong."

Schneer and Harryhausen then made "It Came from Beneath the Sea," which gave Schneer his first credit as a producer. Keeping with Katzman's low-budget mantra, however, the film's octopus had only six tentacles instead of the customary eight.

Many of us owe this man a great debt of gratitude for blazing the trails of producing cutting edge motion graphics and animation. Charles had the vision to look beyond technology limits and create films that defied those limits.

Thanks Charles!

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