The brilliance of Ray Harryhausen

Let's be honest; we're never going back to practical effects. The movie industry has become too bloated with budgets and producers to make the concept of practical effects feasible as an industry standard. Films have to start paying off their insane budgets as soon as possible, and CGI effects help speed up the turnaround. Spending two years developing a realistic Predator rig doesn't fit the business model of contemporary Hollywood. Even if practical effects would allow viewers to suspend their disbelief even further, CGI is just too quick to contend with, despite how much it might break a scene's immersion.

And while there will always be a place for masters of movie magic like Stan Winston and Rick Baker, they won't be as synonymous with a genre of films as they once were. When Stan Winston was still alive, I remember my dad calling every movie that featured his effects a "Winston movie." Another creator with a similar level of name recognition in my house was Ray Harryhausen. It wasn't until I got older that I realized Harryhausen didn't also direct the movies that featured his trademark stop-motion.

In the video linked above, The Royal Ocean Film Society's YouTube explains how Harryhausen could pull off his stop-motion wizardry.