Anyone who has watched Mythbusters or any interview with buster Adam Savage knows that he is a huge fan of recreating props from films. What makes Savage’s builds so unique, however, is that they aren’t just made to look “like” the prop, they are made to be exactly like the props – down to the very smallest details.
He just finished his latest project that was 17 years in the making.
The Zorg ZF-1 from the classic Luc Besson sci-fi film, The Fifth Element, has been Savage’s passion project for almost two decades. In the quirky film, the weapon was wielded by the baddie Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg, played by Gary Oldman. It was said to the be-all, end-all of weapons. Turns out, it has become the be-all, end-all of prop projects.
In a recent video of Adam Savage’s: Tested, Savage goes into the details of the complex process that was this ZF-1 project. Like many of his prop projects, Savage takes screen shots of the item from the original film and tries to create a scale model. He was able to do this with the ZF-1 and get really close to the actual size after he realized that one of the items featured on the gun was just a butane lighter.
Over the years, as Savage worked on the project, he met people who had access to the original prop. From there he was given measurements, he made models, he spent a good amount of time creating 3D drawings back in 2000, overall, he put a lot of work into this project. He even went as far as purchasing the German version of the film just for some behind the scenes footage of the props department taking the gun apart.
Now, 17 years after starting the project – or at least it’s been 17 years according to Tested, Savage himself didn’t realize how long it had been – the ZF-1 is complete!
Much like the gun in the movie, Savage’s version features replicas of the flamethrower feature, freeze feature, net launcher feature, and that little red button that no one is supposed to press. The replica comes with flashing lights, LED highlighting lights, and a complete and total paint job. It’s a Fifth Element fan’s dream prop.
Props to Savage for his amazing craftsmanship.