Film and Theatre

Edinburgh Film Seminar: Beyond the Director: Assistant Property Master Jim Stubblefield in Conversation

In a move away from our more usual theoretical focus, we present a discussion with Hollywood assistant property master, Jim Stubblefield. Jim has worked on many independent and studio productions, including the Iron Man and Captain America series. While much academic film analysis focusses on auteurs, it is obvious that films are a collective project and we are excited to give a behind-the-scenes look at other crucial roles in the filmmaking process.

Jim Stubblefield will be in conversation with Dr David Sorfa (Film Studies, LLC).

Jim Stubblefied’s Story

I finished up my classes in the spring of 1988, packed all my things into my 1967 convertible Cadillac and drove from Corvallis, Oregon to Burbank, California. I slept on my good friend’s couch most of that summer, got a part time job working construction under the table and was able to land an internship at the Fox Broadcasting Co in the Publicity department.

That led to a Production Assistant job at a production company called Amblin Entertainment. A friend there introduced me to her boyfriend who was producing an upcoming Universal film called Darkman (Sam Raimi, 1990). I worked in house for them until shooting started when I became a Set Production Assistant, my first, and many people’s, experience on a film set.

The great thing for me about Darkman was that it was a non-union project, meaning I was allowed to do many tasks that would not have been permitted on a union set. I was Liam Neeson’s personal driver on the project, which sounds great until you realize he has 3 hours of make-up almost every morning! That project finished, I was then unemployed, a common experience for freelance film people. Randomly, I needed the name of a food stylist, and while speaking to the Darkman Property Master for a recommendation, he offered me the job of the third person in the Property department of Child’s Play 2 (John Lafia, 1992). Yes, a Chucky film was my first prop job. That job got me into the Property Craftperson’s union. From there my next full project was For The Boys (Mark Rydell, 1991) with Bette Midler and James Caan. From there, it was just word of mouth, some cold calling, long before social media, or even texting.

In 2007, a Property Master I had been working for called and offered me a job on Iron Man. I asked if it was about the people who bike 100 miles, swim 2 miles and run a marathon, he said no, the Marvel superhero in the red and gold metal suit….

I’ve just finished my 8th and 9th Marvel projects.

 

Film reel
Mar 09 2018 -

Edinburgh Film Seminar: Beyond the Director: Assistant Property Master Jim Stubblefield in Conversation

In a move away from our more usual theoretical focus, we present a discussion with Hollywood assistant property master, Jim Stubblefield. Rescheduled from Friday 2nd March.

Room G.06
50 George Square
Edinburgh
EH8 9LH