Tuesday, 29 September 2009
The Man Himself: Ray Harryhausen
It's hard to describe what standing in the presence of Ray Harryhausen feels like - he's gentle, funny, sharp and insightful and yet he can still make me feel like I'm twelve years old and in need of a Werther's Original.
In six years at Forbidden Planet, there have been few guests who have reduced me to tongue-tied fangirl - and I'm not ashamed to admit that Ray is one of them.
In 2003, he was the Guest of Honour at the launch of the FP Megastore; a few months later, his was the very first signing I ran. Afterwards, I had the enormous privilege of escorting him home in his cab and listening to him talk - not about the skeleton sequence in Jason, but about how it felt to be in LA during the war, his family, and his horror at the arrival of CGI.
The cabby, also, was unable to find a word.
I've been to his home, been entranced by the pictures, by every little knick-knack that sits beside his kitchen table - a wealth of history and experience that just leaves me overwhelmed.
He's a rock star - mischievous still - and he shows almost no signs of slowing down.
For this reason, welcoming him back to Forbidden Planet is very special. He'll be in the London store on Saturday 24th October at 1pm, signing the softcover of 'An Animated Life'.
I won't bore you, or insult him, with the press release.
You know who he is.