Paul Zastupnevich Tribute
Paul Zastupnevich came into our lives in 1990 when we were introduced by a mutual friend. However, his influence on our lives went back some 3 decades. You only have to look at shows such as Lost in Space to realise the impact he had on Irwin's productions. The latter two seasons of Lost in Space were a feast of colour, much influenced by Irwin's love of certain colours and of the new colour television broadcasts emerging during the 1960's.
Not only was Paul the costume designer to Irwin Allen's productions... he was very much Irwin Allen's right-hand-man. He assisted in just about every area of the productions, helping keep the work progression, and smoothing any tempers that rose along the way. He was the friend to the stars who worked with Irwin, making it very much like a family production.
When Paul wasn't designing and assisting the producer, he was also guest starring in some of the movies and shows too. You can spot Paul in several scenes in Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea as well as the pilot of Lost in Space.
He told us so many fascinating stories. We loved hearing that he himself actually hand painted Valerie's check patterned boots in Season One of Land of the Giants.
Paul visited us in England on a number of occasions, the most memorable being the 1994 Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea Convention in Sheffield. He put much thought and effort into the event, including painting some very special jackets for the event. Imagine what it was like for us going out for dinner one evening with Paul wearing this beautiful glittering, hand-painted jacket, covered in images from all of the Irwin Allen shows. Paul also painted me a special Giants Log jacket which I daren't wear, so precious that it is. He also made me a special outfit covered in Voyage and dolphins for the convention. He had time for all the fans and spoke lovingly about their importance to the past and future of Irwin's shows and movies.
It was in collaboration with Paul that we set up the Irwin Allen News Network (IANN) in 1994, as an extension to the Land of the Giants society, Giants Log. He took on the role of President with much passion and repeatedly expressed his appreciation for all the love and attention his and Irwin's work had received through IANN.
So, you can imagine the greatest sadness that hit us when we learned that he was ill and a short time later had passed away (on May 9th, 1997 from cancer). Paul has been the most supportive friend to the fans for many years, and he will be sorely missed by everyone.
on the set of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea: The Movie
Each and every fan will have witnessed Paul's devoted
contributions to the Irwin Allen movie and television productions,
and we all have so much to thank him for.
We invite you to join us in lighting a candle for
Paul (a request he wrote me in his last letter) whenever you can.