Stay Focused: Russell Campbell

You might not know Russell Campbell, but chances are you’ve seen his “vision” appear in thousands of movies, television shows and commercials. Although Campbell has worked on a number of blockbusters and Oscar-nominated films, he surprisingly has a limited number of IMDb entries. He isn’t a movie specials effects magician, a studio head or agent. Rather, this humble 48-year-old Detroit native is the owner of Old Focals, a vintage eyewear retail shop he runs out of a converted garage in Pasadena, Calif.

For more than 20 years, Campbell has also left his eyewear mark on thousands of actors in Hollywood. He has provided time period style specs for movies including JFK, Forrest Gump, Catch Me If You Can, J. Edgar, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, the remake of Ocean’s Eleven, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. He has also worked on the television shows, Mad Men, Grey’s Anatomy, and That ‘70s Show, among others.

In fact, Campbell has worked on so many productions over the years he literally has lost count of all the titles he’s been a part of. One thing Campbell would never lose sight of is where each of the thousands of different pairs of glasses sits in white boxes inside his storage facilities. Each box is meticulously labeled and contains hundreds of pairs. It is here that Campbell fills orders for prop masters, directors and actors looking to get the right look and feel for their productions.

Campbell first started buying glasses in his early 20s – after he had a dream about a man wearing a cool pair of sunglasses. Campbell complimented the man’s glasses to which he replied, “Oh, these old focals?,” before giving them to him. From then on, Campbell would comb garage sales, the Salvation Army and other thrift shops for old glasses. Of the glasses that weren’t in mint condition, Campbell would fix their hinges using pieces from the same time period, polish them up and bring them back to life. He also obtained new old stock from optical shops – most of which were happy to let go at reasonable prices.

Pages: 1 2 3


Latest News

same Hot Takes

It Was a Type Beat Year

The search for something new in a year of sameness
shea serrano Features

Shea Serrano Quit His Teaching Job, Now He Has Two Best Sellers and Two TV Shows

"It is funny to just walk in and just be a Mexican, because I’m usually the only one there"
mf doom Features

The 10 Best DOOM Songs of 2017, Ranked

Even after 'The Missing Notebook Rhymes' went missing, the masked villain still caused havoc
worst cops Features

The Worst Cops of 2017

The hall of shame
donald trump Features

32 Songs That Dissed Donald Trump in 2017

The "F.D.T." wave
lil peep News

R.I.P. Gus, Long Live Lil Peep

Resisting nostalgia at the speed of the internet
88 rising Features

Sean Miyashiro of 88rising Connected the Cultures

With 1.25 million YouTube subscribers and a gang of talent, 88rising controlled the new East-West flow
eminem Video

Eminem By the Numbers

You may know how many f*cks he gives, but what about the other crucial figures from Slim Shady's career?
tape Features

Why 2017 Was Rap’s Year of the Tape

Seven labels explain why they're still rewinding cassettes back
safdie brothers Features

The Safdie Brothers Got Gritty as 2017’s Filmmakers to Watch

"You might not like the feeling that you're feeling, but you can still be entertained by that feeling."
best albums Features

The 25 Best Albums of 2017

The essential sounds that defined one very strange year
hey arnold Humor

Everything About Christmas is Awful, Except the ‘Hey Arnold!’ Special

The one redeeming thing about this trash holiday
combat-jack Features

Knowledge Darts Vol. 32: Winter Solstice

I never got to say thank you
jeezy Video

Open Space: Jeezy

"You can’t just crush a diamond with a rock. It’s hard, it’s tough. But it’s bright."

Rhythm Roulette: Boi-1da

The wait is over
remy ma Video

Open Space: Remy Ma

"Female rapper—what the f*ck is that?"