Interview with Russell Bobbitt (Property Master) from Iron Man 3 #IronMan3Event

Iron Man arc reactor image

Iron Man arc reactor image

Interview with Russell Bobbitt (Property Master) from Iron Man 3 #IronMan3Event

While in LA we were lucky enough to interview Russell Bobbitt, the Property Master for all of the Iron Man Movies. I will be sharing what he talked to us about and shed some light on the props for Iron Man movies.

When you watch “Iron Man 3” tonight, a lot of the gadgets and stuff in there Russell actually make– he makes the R.T. He made the R.T. that’s in the movie,Russell designs and makes that. So he’s not, you know, just a prop master bringing stuff. He actually designs in all the “Iron Man” Marvel films many of the iconic props that you see in the movies. So if you wanna talk a little bit about the R.T. It’s an interesting thing how you did it.

Russell says:

Sure. A lot of you will know the R.T. as the Arc Reactor. If you have kids they all call it the Arc Reactor because in the toy stores it’s called the Arc Reactor. It’s the light that’s on his chest,in the suits and both on his chest. Since “Iron Man 1” we made all those, to fit. His body has changed over the years as many of ours do. So we take a cast of his chest and we mold the piece right to his chest. 

Every scene we had to glue the thing onto his chest with special effects makeup glue. So he has to shave his little chest area right there so it stays on. Then by remote control I turn on and off the light, for each take. ‘Cause, it runs on a little; basically, a cell phone battery. There’s ten minutes of life to that — that light that you’re seeing. Ten minutes of running time, and he certainly doesn’t appreciate it being torn off his chest to change the battery a whole lot. 

Can you imagine having to constantly change the battery? It shows that Russell is hands on since he is the one changing the battery to charge and keeping his props running smoothly.

So what I do is.. I have it on a remote control. We turn it on and off, and it’s an accumulative ten minutes. So ten minutes like a football game can last up through lunch time,  as long as I’m turning it on and off. So it’s pretty cool. It’s evolved over the years. “Iron Man 1” we couldn’t get the transmitter small enough to put the remotes in — and so I would have to come up to him with a little bobby pin and stick it a little — and turn on its switch on and off between takes.

So what happens when you end up in an emotional scene?

If you watch “Iron Man 1” it had very emotional scenes. You know, you — sometimes you had to well up, you know what I mean? And the prop guy’s over there at his chest going, “Oh, wait. It didn’t turn on.”  So, then “Iron Man 2” the — the stuff got smaller. “Iron Man 3” we have the remote controls. Turned it on and off. So it’s a cool piece that you’ll see in the film. Each film we’ve changed the design, the inside of it. Then that is on this one, that it’s different than the rest if you study that kinda thing. You probably don’t.

  I myself found this interesting-especially to those that look into these kind of things.

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I did though and I’m telling you it’s different. And it’s cool but those are the kinda things I do. On “Thor” I do the Thor hammer. So it’s, everything that the actor has to interact with is my responsibility. Anything they touch, is mine including eyeglasses and watches and cool shields!

I appreciate Russell taking time out of his busy schedule to chat with us about his role in the making of the props. If you are interested in seeing all the movies that Russell has been the property master of you can click on this link to IMDb. It is simply amazing all that he has done.

You can check out the trailer of the scene with Pepper Potts and Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man when she was helping him with the arc reactor.


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