SPOTLIGHTING HOLLYWOOD’SSUPPORTING STAR
IMDb explores the Zippo lighter’ssilver screen legacythrough the lens of industry veteran, Russell Bobbittand the release of Walk of Flame
3 June, 2018 In a new video released todayexclusively with IMDb, esteemed Hollywood Prop Master Russell Bobbittlifts the curtain on the magic of moviemaking, illuminating the creative process of film production and documentingZippo’scelluloid legacy.
In late 1932 Mr. Blaisdell decided to reconstruct the Austrian lighter. He fabricated a small rectangular case and attached a lid with a hinge. He preserved the chimney design which protected the flame. The result was an attractive lighter that was easily operated with one hand. The name “Zippo” was created by Mr Blaisdell. He liked the sound of the word “zipper” so he formed variations on the word until he settled on “Zippo,” which he felt had a “modern” sound.
For over 30 years, Marvel Entertainment’sHead Prop Master Russell Bobbitt has worked out of the spotlight alongside industrystalwarts. With a portfolio of over 50 films including box office hitssuch 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, Bobbitttakes film fans behind-the-scenes to a leadingLA 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. Check it out here
Discussing his role in films, Bobbitt commented: “A propis a way to create depth, and flesh outthe 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 filmhas 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 customised designsto help build out acharacter’s personality and the wider narrative.”
Bobbitt himself has helped the iconic American brandset 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 commemorateZippo’s rolein 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 Flamecelebration on Facebook (@Zippo), Instagram (@OriginalZippo) and Twitter (@Zippo).