June 3, 2018 - In a new video released today exclusively with IMDb, esteemed Hollywood Prop Master Russell Bobbitt lifts the curtain on the magic of moviemaking, illuminating the creative process of film production and documenting Zippo’s celluloid legacy.
For over 30 years, Marvel Entertainment’s Head Prop Master Russell Bobbitt has worked out of the spotlight alongside industry stalwarts. With a portfolio of over 50 films including box office hits such as The Good Shepherd and Planet of the Apes, Russell is responsible for acquiring, designing and manufacturing the objects that end up in the hands of Hollywood’s best-known actors.
In the new Walk of Flame video, Bobbitt takes film fans behind-the-scenes to a leading LA prop house with over 1,000,000 props in inventory. As he tours the fascinating space, Russell explores the critical storytelling devices that drive plots forward, his most famous creations and reflects on how the humble Zippo lighter became a dependable prop with over 2,000 film appearances to its name.
Discussing his role in films, Bobbitt commented: “A prop is a way to create depth, and flesh out the character. Nothing is accidental – every item placed on set should enhance the audience’s understanding of the story. My role requires a keen eye for detail – everything an actor touches in a film has been scrupulously planned out.
“When characters need a reliable prop, one of my mainstays is the Zippo windproof lighter – despite its size, it can have huge impact and immediately resonates with an audience. I’ve worked with the brand on customized designs to help build out a character’s personality and the wider narrative.”
Bobbitt himself has helped the iconic American brand set the box office alight, featuring the windproof lighter in the likes of Charlie’s Angels (2000) and Hocus Pocus (1993) among other titles. Whether in a suspense-filled plot twist, a spark to trigger an explosion, a light to illuminate a treacherous path, or a means of escape from a sticky situation, you can often hear the unmistakable ‘Zippo click’ in some of Bobbitt’s best-known films.
The new video is part of the wider Walk of Flame campaign that gives the trusty lighter its first chance to bask in the spotlight. To commemorate Zippo’s role in film, the brand has launched a range of movie tribute lighters, inspired by some of the most famous designs that have featured on the silver screen. The six new designs are available to order now.
Lucas Johnson, Senior Brand Manager, Global Marketing at Zippo, said: “From every genre to every budget, the Zippo windproof lighter has proven itself an indispensable silver screen prop. We are proud of our rich cinema back catalogue including the likes of Casablanca, The Godfather and Die Hard. By working with Russell Bobbitt, we are able to explore the brand’s role in some of Hollywood’s biggest movies for the very first time. With an ever-changing catalogue of designs, we’re proud to document the vast array of films and genres that the lighter has been featured in throughout the brand’s 86-year history.”
Zippo will release behind the scenes content and exclusive imagery across their social channels over the coming weeks. Follow the Walk of Flame celebration on Facebook (@Zippo), Instagram (@OriginalZippo) and Twitter (@Zippo).