Monday, May 12, 2014
Godzilla Week - Kaiju Cuts: Eiji Tsuburaya (1901-1970)
Godzilla's third "father" is the late Eiji Tsuburaya, a remarkable talent who created Toho's visual effects department in 1939, and then served as its long-time director.
In all, Tsuburaya served in that capacity on over two-hundred films during his impressive career, and also created Tsuburaya Productions in the 1960s: the outfit that gave the world Ultraman.
Revered as a "god of special effects" in Japan, it was Tsuburaya who first devised the idea of dropping stop-motion animation (too expensive and too time-consuming...) for the original Godzilla (1954), and going instead with "suitmation."
This approach consisted of a man in a monster suit, an altered film speed (to suggest weight...), and combined with highly-detailed miniature models for vehicles and cityscapes.
That template became the trademark for the Godzilla series.
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