This guy painted the original picture for this poster. He was hoping to get it signed. I'm sure he did. Click on the picture to see a larger image.
After a while, we all went in, ordered our food, and had King Kong with our dinner.
After the movie, Ray Harryhausen fielded questions from the audience. Georgie asked him how he made it so the models of the skeletons and the real life actors appeared to be interacting. Ray Harryhausen joked "It's in my book."
After the Q & A session, they showed two shorts. A new Harryhausen, based on the Pit and the Pendulum, and a clip from a film by the guy who made the Lost Skeleton of Cadavra. The Pit and The Pendulum short reminded me of this thing that songwriters do where they take a major work of fiction, generally a (reasonably good) book or story you read in English Class, and turn it into a song. It's strange to have something so intense distilled into the standard three minute pop music format. It's a little jarring, a little "wow, that's what it was about?" and a little refreshing to have to plot in a different medium. That's how the Pit and the Pendulum was. It's strange to see such an intense story told in animation. The whole thing lasts maybe five minutes. It gets near to Poe's intensity for a few seconds here and there, but each scene ends so quickly, that the horror never really sets in. I found that to be relieving. What it made me realize is that if I never read the Pit and the Pendulum again, it will be too soon. It was a good way to revisit the story and be reminded of the craft in it without having to go through the intense reading experience of the actual story. I was disconcerted by the short when I saw it, but I'm liking it better now.
After the shorts, G got our books signed and I got a copy of Jason and the Argonauts signed. During the signing, Mr. Harryhausen was a true gentleman, patient and friendly with each person, chatting, posing for pictures and signing autographs.
What a cool guy he is. Truly a class act. I had a great night, and so did G.