I had mentioned Willis H. O’Brien, the genius behind King Kong a few months ago.
Here is another example of his early work.
The tagline reads “These giant monsters of the past are seen to breathe, to live again, to move and battle as they did at the dawn of life!” According to Turner Classic Movies, the film cost $3,000 to make and took in $100,000 at the box office.
Between The Dinosaur and the Missing Link and “Slumber Mountain”, he put together several other shorts for the Edison Company.
In 1916, he created The Birth of a Flivver, a short claymation film reportedly involving cavemen and a brontosaur.
In 1916, he was very busy releasing a number of short films: R.F.D. 10,000 B.C; Prehistoric Poultry ; Curious Pets of Our Ancestors; Mickey’s Naughty Nightmares ; Morpheus Mike; In the Villain’s Power ; Mickey and His Goat ; Sam Lloyd’s Famous Puzzles ; Nippy’s Nightmare (This movie is notable for being the first to combine live actors with stop-motion).
Many of these are not readily available, but some are on YouTube.
R.F.D. 10,000 BC
Willis is also the genius behind the first, of many film adaptions of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World.
The creators of movie magic today owe a great debt to this one man.