World-famous movie memorabilia set to tour Scotland


A RENOWNED collection of movie memorabilia that transformed the world of film is set to tour around Scotland.

Ray Harryhausen was an American visual effects creator whose groundbreaking work went on to inspire the likes of Steven Spielberg, Tim Burton and Peter Jackson.

His creations for science fiction and fantasy films include a 15ft tall mountain gorilla for the 1949 film Mighty Joe Young, and mythical monsters in the 1963 film Jason And The Argonauts.

Some of the graphics in the '7th Voyage of Sinbad'
Some of the graphics in the ‘7th Voyage of Sinbad’

And now, his legacy is set to live on after it emerged his collection, which is being housed in a storage facility on the outskirts of Edinburgh, is expected to go on tour around the country.

A trust set up by the late special-effects master and his wife Diana, who had Scottish roots, has unveiled plans to take models, moulds, storyboards, artwork, scripts and film stills to venues across Scotland.

Film festivals, museums and galleries across the country will be offered the chance to stage a Harryhausen celebration in the run up to 2020, the centenary of his birth.

Items from the collection, which is being held in a secret location for security purposes, will also be offered for overseas exhibitions.

In an interview before his death at the age of 92, Harryhausen said: “It is the largest collection of its kind because I kept everything.”

Harryhausen also worked on '20 Million Miles to Earth'
Harryhausen also worked on ’20 Million Miles to Earth’

He was regular visitor to Scotland and spoke at the Edinburgh International Film Festival in 2008 when Jason And The Argonauts was awarded a Gala screening.

His death in 2013 saddened the world of film, with esteemed director George Lucas saying: “Without Ray Harryhausen, there would likely have been no Star Wars.”

Connor Heaney, collections manager at the foundation, said: “Although Ray was American, he moved to the UK in the 1960s when he married Diana.

“They lived in London, but they had very strong links to Scotland. It was like a second home to them.

“It is those strong family connections that have led to the collection ending up in Scotland, which is obviously very unusual for a large Hollywood collection like this.

“It is all boxed up in a storage facility, so there is nothing really to see at the moment.

“As the collection is now based here, we have the opportunity to do bespoke exhibitions and events that might not be possible elsewhere.”