Working as a feature film Property Master for 27 years, Russell Bobbitt has created movie props in a multitude of radically different cinematic worlds, from the sci-fi primate colony of Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes; to the magic of the Emerald City in the highly anticipated OZ: The Great & Powerful. In doing so, Bobbitt has created some of this generation’s most iconic hero props: Robert Downey Jr.’s luminous chest piece, “The RT” in Iron Man & Iron Man 2; the latest inception of the “Stun/Kill” phaser gun in J.J. Abram’s Star Trek, the blonde god’s hammer in Kenneth Branagh’s Thor and Daniel Craig’s alien wrist weapon in the sci-fi hit Cowboys and Aliens, among others.
A native Angeleno, from a young age Bobbitt developed a fascination with the mechanics, inner workings and underlying structure of everything from transistor radios and record players to television sets and remote controls. However, his curiosity wasn’t limited to deconstructing household electronics. One afternoon in his preteen years, to his family’s dismay, Russell “removed” several interior walls from their home. Fortunately for them all, the walls weren’t load bearing and he would eventually channel his unique energy into a successful career of prop design and film making.
Russell began his film training under the guidance of Academy Award nominated Set Decorator, Bob Gould, learning early on that personality and talent go hand in hand.
Known as a hands-on filmmaker who is diligently on set at all times during physical production, his ability to work well with directors and interact easily with cast and crew alike has won him many repeat performances. Some of those include: Favreau’s Iron Man, Iron Man 2, and Cowboys & Aliens; Todd Phillips’ The Hangover and The Hangover 2; JJ Abrams’ Star Trek; McG’s Charlie’s Angels franchise, Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes; Robert De Niro’s The Good Shepherd; Gary Ross’ Pleasantville; Phil Alden Robinson’s Sum of All Fears; and Kenneth Branagh’s THOR. He is currently filming OZ: The Great and Powerful.
Designing and manufacturing props is not where film making ends for Russell. In 1995, he produced the independent short Mama Dolly, starring the late Zelda Rubenstein, which went on to garner several awards, including “Best Comedy Short” at the Hard Acre Film Festival. In 2004 Russell wrote, directed and co-produced the two-part series entitled, “How to Make it in Film and Television,” and “How to Make it as an Actor.” To make certain the coveted industry advice was given by top notch pros, Bobbitt called upon talented industry friends Jason Bateman; Dennis Haysbert; Brian Levant; Judiana Makovsky; Rosemary Bradenburg and Matthew W. Mungle to lend their expertise.
In addition to his behind the scenes contributions, Russell has had memorable on-screen cameos as well: including Madison’s Minion and Drew Barrymore’s double in Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, the Israeli Pilot in the dramatic opening sequence of Sum of All Fears, a television crew member who calms a frenzied Richard Dreyfuss in What About Bob?, the one-armed, Ferris Wheel Carney who mortifies Drew Barrymore in Never Been Kissed and Giorgio, a party guest who unwillingly loses his hot date to Tony Stark, in Iron Man.
When he isn’t off creating movie magic, Russell spends time at home with his wife Tracy, their daughter Jordan, and their 3 dogs Bailey, Blue and Oscar in Los Angeles, CA.