National Galleries of Scotland announce first Virtual Exhibition Experience, with Ray Harryhausen: Titan of Cinema

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National Galleries of Scotland announce first Virtual Exhibition Experience, with Ray Harryhausen: Titan of Cinema
Viewers can also enjoy additional Titan of Cinema digital content via the Smartify app, which includes an audioguide narrated by celebrated film director John Landis. It is now available for free download on Google Play and Apple’s App Store.

EDINBURGH.- The National Galleries of Scotland and The Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation announced the launch of the Galleries’ first ever paid-for digital exhibition package, with a special virtual experience of the critically acclaimed show Ray Harryhausen: Titan of Cinema, available today via this link.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, restrictions and closures have affected people’s ability to travel to and enjoy the Galleries’ exhibition on the late legendary filmmaker Ray Harryhausen (1920-2013), whose exhilarating movies shaped the face of modern cinema.

However, The National Galleries of Scotland announced this new digital package which allows viewers to enjoy — from their computer, phone or tablet, anywhere across the world, at any time — a virtual experience of the show which BBC Arts cited as, “a preview of extraordinary objects, literally on legendary status, that charts the rise of Ray Harryhausen the student, son and friend, visionary, director and inventor: a true master of his craft”.

Simon Groom, Director of Modern and Contemporary Art at the National Galleries of Scotland, said: “We are only too aware of the huge number of visitors around the world who had hoped to see our landmark exhibition Titan of Cinema, but have unfortunately been unable to. So we are absolutely delighted to share, for the first time in the Galleries’ history, this landmark virtual exhibition experience which is available to anyone, anywhere, at any time, worldwide. Packed with information and insight, and with access to special live events, it is essential viewing for those who have seen the show – an amazing visual record of an unforgettable experience – as much as for those who won’t have the possibility to visit Edinburgh. The wonders of Ray Harryhausen’s imagination have beamed into homes across the world for many decades, and we are delighted to continue that tradition with our very first virtual exhibition.”

The Ray Harryhausen: Titan of Cinema Virtual Exhibition Experience features a raft of content, including exclusive interviews, exhibition footage, film clips and specially created animation sequences which demonstrate Harryhausen’s innovative processes.

A one-time £10 purchase allows access to a stunning package of content, comprising of five newly-recorded short films, a plethora of Titan of Cinema exhibition materials including newly-digitised artworks, storyboards and movie memorabilia, as well as access to live Harryhausen events.

One film explores Harryhausen’s early years, of being awed and inspired by the movie King Kong at the cinema, then experimenting in his garage with amateur stop-motion models. Another offers an insight into animation techniques and the innovative Dynamation process which Harryhausen pioneered. Others reveal the secrets that went into making some of the filmmakers’ iconic models, such as the skeletons from Jason and the Argonauts or Pegasus from Clash of the Titans — from early sketches to first formations to featuring in classic cinematic sequences and being carefully restored to maintain their silver screen legacy. The first four films are available immediately and one other follow in the coming months.

Each film, hosted by a different narrator, explores a different section of the exhibition and introduces new material. The star cast of narrators include celebrated comic book writer Mark Millar (creator of Millarworld), Academy Award-winning special effects artist Randy Cook (of The Lord of the Rings trilogy), Ray Harryhausen’s daughter Vanessa Harryhausen, acclaimed actresses Martine Beswick and Caroline Munro, Academy Award-nominated animator Barry JC Purves (Screen Play, King Kong), BAFTA-nominated filmmaker John Walsh (My Life: Karate Kids, Ray Harryhausen: Movement Into Life) and BAFTA-winning animators Nina Gantz (Edmond) and Daisy Jacob (The Bigger Picture).

They are joined by animators Mark Caballero and Seamus Walsh (both Robot Chicken, Spongebob Squarepants The Movie, Celebrity Deathmatch) from animation collective Screen Novelties, and film critic Marshall Julius.

The package also features a raft of detailed information on the iconic models, drawings, storyboards and many other works on display in Titan of Cinema, and a video featuring a 3D model re-creation of a Harryhausen model — making this essential viewing for those who have seen the show, as much as for those who haven’t had the opportunity to view the exhibition in person.

The online experience also includes exclusive access to a series of related, live online events created in close collaboration with The Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation, with the first happening in May and more over the coming months. More details to follow soon.

The Harryhausen virtual experience also allows access to a number of Harryhausen-related live events which will become available over the coming months, with the first taking place in May 2021.

The digital package is available for everyone, wherever they are, whether they’ve had the chance to see the exhibition, or not.

Ray Harryhausen: Titan of Cinema opened at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (Modern Two) in Edinburgh in October 2020 and had to close temporarily because of the pandemic. The exhibition will resume the Gallery reopens and is now scheduled to run until 20 February 2022.

Titan of Cinema has been organised in close collaboration with The Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation as part of the legendary trailblazer’s centenary celebrations last year. It is the largest and most comprehensive exhibition ever of the art of Harryhausen, who elevated stop-motion animation to an art form between the 1950s-1980s, and whose exhilarating movies inspired a generation of the world’s greatest living filmmakers, among them Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Sir Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro.

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