Special Effects artist, maker, sculptor, public speaker, movie prop collector, writer, father and husband.

Comments: 10464 • Responses: 68  • Date: 

mistersavage3816 karma

For the record I've been lurking on Reddit for years. Maybe like 5 years.

mistersavage3084 karma

I love that shitty watercolor!

the5souls2923 karma

LAST UPDATED Oct 1, 2012 / 11:39 AM, EST / 8:39 AM, PST (Tables are finally complete! Woo!)
Verification https://twitter.com/donttrythis/status/252465762592247809
Why do an AMA now? I did one AMA (on video) a few years back. I've been wanting to do one for awhile. Also: we have a season Premiere on the 7th of this month. New time- 8pm on Discovery. Now if you don't mind I'd like to get back to answering only questions about Woody Harrelson's movies.
AMA IS NOW FINISHED Okay Reddit. I'm wrapping it up. I've had a blast. This has been so much fun. Sorry for screwing up the reply thing early on. You guys have been great. My lasagna worked out great. My sister in law made some amazing gazpacho, and my wife made a terrific Garlic tart. Sleep well redditors! Let's do this again in a year. OK? Adam out.
Total number of responses: 154
Types of Questions Link
Favorite/Worst/Best/Etc. link
Myths and Mythbuster Stuff link
Personal Life link
Miscellaneous link

People told me that the huge table of links from before actually crashed some browsers/apps. I've tried my best to filter the responses into different categories. Hopefully everything's squeaky clean now! If there are problems, please let me know. Now I gotta catch up to Adam's new responses.

How to make a table just like this! :D link

mistersavage2102 karma

Thanks for that btw.

mistersavage2735 karma

I was totally not born cool. Never felt cool. Had a terrible time in school, didn't have a lot of friends (none from 8 until 16 or so). I was generally liked and left alone for the most part (I now realize) but I was very lonely. Spent literally years, YEARS, playing with legos in my room listening to Kasey Kasem's top 40 countdown all through the 70's and early mid 80's. I actually don't think I'm cool now. Just more relaxed with who I am. Tory is cool. Genuinely cool. Kari is cool. Grant and I are less cool. Jamie, he's not even measured on a human scale of cool. It's like asking if Jupiter is cool.

online2222221310 karma

Adam, I don't know who you're trying to fool, but you are very, very cool.

enthreeoh1292 karma

He was right about Jamie though.

dustinhossman729 karma

On a cool scale of 1 to 10, i'd say Jamie is walrus.

SomethingClepher490 karma

mistersavage646 karma

One of my favorite gifs ever.

mistersavage2659 karma

Let's get the cannonball thing out of the way. Pretty much the worst thing that's ever happened to us on the show. Freaked us all out. Salient points: we are SO FREAKING GRATEFUL AND RELIEVED that nobody was physically hurt. We sat in the guy's house that the cannonball went through and he was so mad (I would be too). I totally understood why. The episode changed all of our safety procedures, strengthened them, like any wake-up-call should. On par, I think our safety record is fairly good (a few stitches, couple of broken fingers from moving safety equipment) for a show that replicates deadly scenarios on a daily basis. We're getting more careful rather than less these days. Perhaps also because we're all getting older.

mistersavage2204 karma

My interest in science? When did it begin? My favorite teachers in high school were the science and art teachers. Mr. Frare and Mr. Zimopolous, and Mr. Benton. All of Sleepy Hollow High School in NY. I have ALWAYS had a penchant for taking things apart. It started as a way to look for cool shit to build with, but if you take enough things apart, you start to understand how they work and how to put them back together.

Also: little known secret. The most common way to repair something is to take it apart and put it back together again. For some reason that works like 75 percent of the time and I have no idea why. But it makes you look like a genius when you're 13.

mistersavage1905 karma

"You've made a lot of your own costumes and replicas for characters from movies/media. You do this for events like Comic-Con and see if Fans can guess who you are. What was your favorite costume, and which one took the longest?"

My favorite costume is definitely No-Face from Spirited away. One of my favorite movies in the world (watch it, thank me later).
Funny thing happened at Comic-con when I wore it. I had a satchel of gold coins in my robe to give to people I was taking pictures with. But the Otaku (who were the most freaked out and happy to meet No-Face) kept putting the coins back into my hands. Took me awhile to realize that it's because it's bad luck to take coins from No-Face. I got chills. The cosplay that happens at the cons is like a new kind of theater that only the participants understand. I love diving into that world.

mistersavage1819 karma

Would you rather fight 1 horse sized duck or 100 duck sized horses?

Totally 100 duck sized horses. Ducks are nasty (but delicious) creatures. I'd HATE to meet one that large.

mistersavage1805 karma

Funniest myth: We were testing a myth about a drunk who convinces his blind friend to drive him home. We tried it with each other (one blindfolded one giving directions), and then got a blind guy to do it. He was better at driving than either Jamie or I. See when we close our eyes, we try and map the world on the darkness but a blind person has no such preconceptions. So then we got Jamie drunk and the most amazing thing happened. Jamie's directions made the blind guy drive LIKE A DRUNK PERSON. We were pissing ourselves laughing in the chase car. Never saw that coming. Jamie of course was oblivious and wondering what the hubbub was.

mistersavage1685 karma

By and large Mythbusters is a super fun show to do. It's work to be sure. Like anything you want to do well, you've got to bust your ass to get it right, and it's tiring. Most tv shows have a few months off per year, we shoot MB 45 weeks a year on average. Add to that that I've got 13 year old twin boys and the weeks fill up fast. The other thing that makes it fun is our crew. We've all been working together for the better part of a decade and it's like family. We've all seen each other at our best and worst. They get just as excited about the science, the methodologies and the outcomes as we do.

mistersavage1658 karma

Holy cow. I totes didn't know that there was a MB subreddit. I'll be checking into that!

mistersavage1633 karma

I met Vince Gilligan from Breaking Bad at the Emmys a couple weeks ago. We had a good talk, have some fun stuff in the works. That's all I can say right now.

mistersavage1572 karma

The Top Gear guys and us are in a mutual admiration society. We love them and their show and vice versa (from what I've heard, we've never actually met). I'd love to do something with them at some point, and honestly that seems like an inevitability, but nothing is in the works right now. They're like a sister show to us, aren't they? Love what they do. My cameraman Soz is OBSESSED with them.

mistersavage1541 karma

Hi. Wow, questions coming fast. Favorite thing about the show is getting to do something different every day.That's why I got into effects, it's why I lasted in that field, and it's the best part of MB. FANS. I love the fan based interactions. Twitter has been a godsend for me with fan contact. We've gotten at least a dozen myths directly from my twitter feed. But more than that, I like how civilized (generally) the conversation on twitter tends to be (for me at least).

mistersavage1452 karma

Jamie and I have disagreements all the time, but none that threatened the show. On the big things (integrity of our brand, what we should do, how to proceed, money) we've remained shockingly aligned. As long as those things are in synch, everything else is relatively minor. That being said we drive each other batty every day.

mistersavage1423 karma

Favorite myth is Lead Balloon. No explosions, no fanfare. Just a 14' diameter balloon floating made of 28lbs of rolled lead. The level of problem solving was so crazy fun on that one. That being said, I'm always excited about the story we just did (Indycars last week) and the one we're just about about to do (some more stunt driving myths starting Tuesday).

mistersavage1258 karma

Wow guys. This has been amazing. It's been 90 minutes and I still have some work to do IRL. Cooking a lasagna for my father in law tonight and cleaning my shop. I'll check back in a couple of hours from now.

mistersavage1182 karma

I've kept tons of stuff I made for the show. I get to make so many cool things. We just did one where I needed a water balloon but I needed it not to break when it got hit. So I sewed up a leather bag for it with a zipper. I used some kid leather that was Hermés orange and this thing is so gorgeous. The Hermés water balloon. That's the latest thing. I have a whole cabinet in my office at MB with my favorite stuff in it. I should do a tour of it for the show...

mistersavage964 karma

The most foul smell on the show wasn't the pig in the Corvette. No, it was the human turd that I washed off the lip of Jamie's loading door. Didn't smell until I broke the seal by hitting it with a high pressure hose. Worst. thing. ever. On humid days we can still smell the big buried in the sidewalk outside of Jamie's shop.

mistersavage829 karma

Holy grail of movie props: I've long wanted a full sized Ark of the Covenant from Raiders. It's a lot of work but I think about it from time to time. Also I need to finish my Iron Man Mark III armor. Can't wait to get that one done.

jcarter147798 karma

What is the funniest thing Jamie has ever said?

mistersavage1842 karma

I can't repeat it here. Jamie has a dark dark sense of humor.

mistersavage708 karma

I can't possibly state what my favorite film of all time is. As it is I've got like 30 films in my top 10. Things like Blade Runner Brazil Godfather The Philadelphia Story The Departed Spirited Away Dr. Strangelove 2001 Terminator 1 and 2 Raiders Star Wars and Empire (are there any others?) Citizen Kane The Abyss Hellboy Pulp Fiction (anything by Tarantino) Beginners The Thing Master and Commander Alien Aliens Godfather Apocalypse now

etc. etc. We're planning a whole film podcast for Tested, but still compiling our lists.

mistersavage702 karma

"How has it been working with the Tested guys so far and how it did partnering with them first come about?" Will and Norm at Tested are amazing. They're the best partners for a web presence we could hope for. I love sitting in my shop on Mondays doing our video pieces. Our interests overlap so much the Venn diagram is simply a circle. We have more plans for cool stuff over there, but we're taking it slowly, methodically.

mistersavage610 karma

"Will you ever revisit the casualties caused by flying wood vs actual cannonballs myth? Because I think you approached that one wrong."

Our reticence to play with cannons notwithstanding, I was just thinking of revisiting that one. I've been reading the Patrick O'Brian books about Jack Aubrey (I'm on the 4th one- the Mauritius Command) and besides them being super AWESOME, they're getting me interested in doing some more Napoleonic Ship's myths.

mistersavage595 karma

Favorite explosion is definitely water heaters. I do a whole piece about how much I love them in our Behind the Myths tour (shameless plug: We're coming to Florida soon! Orlando on Oct. 12, Tampa on Oct. 13, and Jacksonville on the 14th. http://www.mythbusterstour.com). There's truly nothing so cool as the deep thud of a water heater explosion.

mistersavage469 karma

Latest movie prop I'm working on: The Oscillation Overthruster from Buckaroo Banzai. One of the great cult films of all time. I just received an accurate case for it from a run on the RPF (that's the Replica Prop Forum http://www.therpf.com). I'm also working hard on finishing one of the space suits (Kane's) from Alien. That's the culmination of 10 years of work.

Midnightfire123463 karma

If you were stranded on an island i the middle of the ocean, what three items would you want to have?

mistersavage986 karma

Leatherman. Duct tape. A tarp. Baling wire. A spoon. Some rope. Oh, and a trailer and some food.

durandaI456 karma

Mr. Savage, what is your best/worst fan experience in real life? Huge fan of the show. You guys blow my mind!

mistersavage1369 karma

Having people yell my name really loud in airports is a low point (why people need to yell about meeting me is beyond me- it feels super aggressive). Meeting any kids is always a high point.

Whenever people yell "Jamie" I don't respond. It feels weird correcting them and at the worst they're going to think that Jamie's a jerk.

silverius454 karma

You did the show on curiosity about living forever. Is that something you would want?

mistersavage725 karma


dwightschrute518438 karma

What's your least favorite part of testing a myth?

mistersavage1065 karma

The blueprints that open and close the show. Those stilted conversations are hard to keep fresh. If you watch a lot of them, you'll notice we try lots of things to keep them from being stale, but they take a lot out of me. I'd much rather do my camera stuff in the moment.

jwoodsutk444 karma

I can feel your pain thru the screen (Jamie's too) when you have to do these ridiculous scripts for those...also my least favorite part...jump right in!

mistersavage40 karma

It's the convention that's tough, we do the best we can. For the record, I write most of those scripts.

pixelat0ry436 karma

It's been like a week since this has been posted. You won't see this, and I don't even care. You guys on mythbusters are the reason why I want to pursue a career in science and change the world with it someday. Thank you and everyone at MB for inspiring me. You've made this girl know what she wants to someday do with her life and I can't express how much you guys mean to me.

mistersavage623 karma

I did see it. You can't even guess how much messages like this warm my heart. Cheers to you and I hope for every success for you.


WallopyJoe422 karma

What were the most difficult myths to pitch to Discovery that did/didn't end up on the show?

mistersavage1189 karma

They love almost everything we bring them. They shut down very few stories. But they hate the Hi-Fidelity myths that I want to do: Vinyl vs. CD vs. MP3. We'll wear them down eventually.

bluntman37415 karma

I just wanted to say thank you for all the years of entertainment and education you and Jamie have provided with Mythbusters. I have seen a couple of your movie prop videos and I wanted to know of all your props, which was the hardest to acquire?

mistersavage467 karma

You're welcome. That's a hard question to answer. I'm going to have to think about it.

Singer13410 karma

What made you do an AMA now?(Your account is three years old already :)

mistersavage1897 karma

I did one AMA (on video) a few years back. I've been wanting to do one for awhile. Also: we have a season Premiere on the 7th of this month. New time- 8pm on Discovery. Now if you don't mind I'd like to get back to answering only questions about Woody Harrelson's movies.

kittersplat387 karma

What does your wife think of the show?

also, we know your name and your quest, so what is your favorite color?

mistersavage673 karma

Favorite color is Orange.

Wife loves the show. She watches it when I'm gone on a shoot (so do my kids).

TheDuskDragon374 karma

What myth requested by a fan was so far-fetched and absurd that it was practically laughable? And if you ever find the opportunity to test out the myth, how would you go about busting it?

mistersavage1039 karma

Several times we've gotten suggestions that we thought were like that but eventually figured out a way to do them: like punching sharks. The first guy to suggest that (was totally drunk btw) sounded full crazy to me. A year later we were in the Bahamas punching sharks.

reconditereference333 karma

What myth did you think was totally going to get busted but it did not?

mistersavage777 karma

Killer Cable snap. The myth that a cable under tension can slice through you when it snaps and whips around. . Not a fisherman alive who doesn't KNOW that this is true. Except that it isn't. We busted it wide open. I was very surprised. But our research bore that out: we found not a singe first person account of it happening. Everything was circumstantial.

Slathbog330 karma

On a scale of 1 to 10, how much do you love Duct Tape?

mistersavage705 karma

  1. It can do anything, but it leaves a damn residue on stuff when left for too long. Aesthetically it's hideous, but that's sort of it's appeal. I love Baling wire too.

superkissel326 karma

Have you ever seen Jamie Hyneman without a beard?

mistersavage715 karma

I have. It's an old old pic from when he was in high school. He wont' make it public, he's a private guy. Amazing to see a young Jamie though.

[deleted]320 karma


mistersavage185 karma

I'd love to do 21 grams. Perhaps James Randi will let me do that when he finally decides to depart, which given his energy is still probably 25 years away.

KStreetFighter2291 karma

What do you think is the largest hurdle for Humanity right now? And how can we overcome it?

mistersavage1102 karma

The corrupting influence of money in politics. It's getting worse. Publicly funded elections is one solution. It's not an easy problem to solve but it needs solving. That's what's on my mind lately. Bill Gates is taking care of the rest.

mistersavage287 karma

Dudes (and dudettes), the in-laws arrived and we're cooking. I'm out of here for a few hours, I'll answer some questions later on tonight. The questions are great! See you later.

JamieSackville282 karma

What do you have in your pockets right now?

mistersavage122 karma

Wallet. Iphone. AA Flashlight (I use it multiple times per day). Keys to house, shop and car. Leatherman (on the belt).

hansmrtn281 karma

Hey Adam, I have attempted to contact you before. But I just want to let you know you're a hero of mine. The quirkiness yet blissful intelligence has always been a trait of mine and something I can relate too. You probably will not see this, but just know this; you're a special person to me, my self-esteem, and you give me hope for what I can become. A goal for about two years now has been to just have a conversation with you. If thats ever possible, please let me know. Thanks, from a 17 year old growing up in a small town of nowhere.

mistersavage334 karma

That made my day. Thanks.

SACEUR257 karma

Adam, what gun have you had the most fun shooting for the show?

mistersavage626 karma

I love the HK Mp5. Feels like shooting with a sewing machine. So light. We used them to try and start an avalanche in Telluride. Didn't work.

greenlep257 karma

Adam, what do you think about discovery channel as a whole? I mean, it seems like there's a lot of reality shows being added to it, and not a lot of good content besides Mythbusters…

On another note, what has been your best "fan" moment, and where can I go to be invited to some of these Mythbuster "fan contributing" episodes?

edit: sorry if the Discovery question was a little much.

mistersavage508 karma

Best fan moments have been getting emails from people in grad school who tell us that they got interested in their field from watching us. That's crazy amazing. The other great thing is meeting fans who I admire. Like Simon Pegg, Guillermo Del Toro, Jamie Lee Curtis, Vince Gilligan, Matthew Weiner, Sophia Bush, Seth Rogen, Michael Chabon, Craig Ferguson, David Letterman, James Cameron. It's a long list.

Pnestor240 karma

what is the one of the crazy experinces you had off camera?

mistersavage751 karma

Once almost got shot by an entire SWAT team in NYC in Times Square in '87. That's a good story. I may tell it someday.

KyleGustafson239 karma

Why don't you guys use the Metric System on Mythbusters? as it is the standard for scientific experimentation

mistersavage412 karma

We try, we do both sometimes. But we're both fully inculcated with the english system, sad to say. That's how we think.

chriss1111229 karma

Has there ever been a moment (on Mythbusters) where everything went out of control and you feared for your safety?

mistersavage476 karma

We've feared for our safety a lot. We are sensitive to when we start to feel spooked and seek to resolve the issue before it becomes an issue. I've been scared a bunch on the show. Underwater Car. Mythtanic. Hell, the first time we swam with sharks I thought I was going to have a heart attack.

moonjam223 karma

Hey Adam,

I love that you're a strong advocate for allowing people to make mistakes when they're learning anything new. It's a sentiment that really hits home, especially as I get older.

That said, have there been any skills or hobbies you've taken an interest in that immediately shut you down in terms of their difficulty? Or simply not being as fun as you'd first imagined? I so, are there any that with hindsight you'd now wish you'd stuck with?

Finally - is it weird that people ask you to come to events, stand up and talk about stuff you like?


mistersavage395 karma

I'm so happy that we've become the poster children for failure as a mode of exploration. Thank you. I tackle things all the time that are beyond me. Sometimes I try again, sometimes I let it go.

It's a great and (temporary) thing that people want to ask me about what I do. I will miss it when they stop. I'm grateful and humbled that us farting around in the shop has had such long lasting resonance. It's humbling.

userusernotaloser220 karma

What's the worst suggestion for a myth to bust the show has ever gotten?

mistersavage844 karma

Old (often drunk) dudes who ask me myths about them dating Kari. I know she's lovely, and I know creepers gotta creep, but don't do it around me. I feel like her dad sometimes with how protective I feel about this.

Gundly218 karma

First off I love your show! Second, did you ever think Mythbusters would ever blow up like it did? When did you realize this?

mistersavage397 karma

Not at all. Our fame and the show's popularity grew really gradually. Which is nice because it's heady stuff sometimes.

mistersavage202 karma

Okay Reddit. I'm wrapping it up. I've had a blast. This has been so much fun. Sorry for screwing up the reply thing early on. You guys have been great. My lasagna worked out great. My sister in law made some amazing gazpacho, and my wife made a terrific Garlic tart. Sleep well redditors! Let's do this again in a year. OK?

Adam out.

Lazer310194 karma

When you famously lost an eyebrow and singed your hair, what was your dates reaction? What was your explanation? And did she become the future Mrs. Savage?

mistersavage103 karma

The date, at the time, went just fine thank you.

She did not become the future Mrs. Savage. She is still, however, a good friend. She prefers that I not tell her name.

narwhalsare_unicorns189 karma

What is the one hilarious thing we didn't get to see in the show?

mistersavage478 karma

Seriously, if it's funny, it makes it in. Unless it's an off-color joke (my specialty).

scoutu159 karma

What's your single greatest achievement in life?

mistersavage613 karma

Raising my kids and meeting my wife.

deki154 karma

Hi Adam!

  1. Is there a myth you would love to test, but can't because of budget or other reasons?

  2. How large is the Mythbusters behind-the-camera team (i.e. people helping you test the myths by researching etc., not including the TV recording/production crew)?

mistersavage78 karma

Jamie and I shoot with Camera, Sound, Second camera (for high speeds etc) and director. We're supported by 3 Associate producers (location booking, permits, expert finding, esoteric item ordering, signage and everything else). We have a production manager (of course) and her team. Runners, Production assistants. K, G &T also have the same. Entire San Francisco crew is about 25-26 people total for both teams. It's a terrific crew. Many have been with us for 6-7 years. Turnover is very low.

MrZao154 karma

I saw the Bourne safety deposit box you made up for your collection. Was awesome. Is that your favourite prop you've made?

mistersavage275 karma

No, but it's up there. I love that movie. All of them.

CollegeRadioGuy106 karma

What do you have to say to anyone out there that is struggling through college and can't find their niche in life?

mistersavage360 karma

You don't want to ask me. I dropped out. There's no control to compare against with my experience. But one thing I do know: there's always time. I spent my 20's thinking I was running out of time, now I realize that there's a lot of it. Try something different. Try everything. Jeez, now I sound like an advice columnist.

Rountree8591 karma

What's your favorite food/restaurant?

mistersavage231 karma

Desert island food: eggs. One of my favorite restaurants right now is Namu in San Francisco. 18th and Dolores. They're killing it right now.

inferior-raven91 karma

How have you grown artistically as a result of the show?

Huge fan, thanks for the AMA!

mistersavage184 karma

Totally. The pressure of making something cool and visually that tells a story has radically improved my aesthetic sense.

mattwhitby90 karma

What skill are you yet to learn but would like to try next?

mistersavage234 karma

Juggling 5 balls. I can juggle 3 quite well, and 4 passably, but 5 is a goal I've never hit.

slynn69561 karma

Does Jamie show ANY other emotion even off set? We see him act like a school girl sometimes, but is his persona the same off set?

mistersavage145 karma

With Jamie, what you see is what you get.

raaaaaaaalphie56 karma

Why did you quit WWE wrestling?

mistersavage159 karma

The 'roids.

secretvictory41 karma

Can you talk about some memorable experiences in your film fx career?

mistersavage91 karma

I had been called in by my supervisor to build, paint and light a Jawa Hangar for the Episode II trailer. They needed it done in a day, and I was fast. I was in the paint booth later that afternoon, putting some rust washes on the roof and Steve Gawley (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0310697/) came in and said that it looked great, and how was I doing it? I explained that I was copying the paint job from the Sand Crawlers (which Steve had freaking painted back in '76!) and he said that mine was great, could I show this other painter how I was getting the effect. Working with guys as generous and cool as Steve, Lorne Peterson, Larry Tan, and everyone else at ILM was dreamy. I loved every day there.

rainaChAoS39 karma

Of all the crazy myths you have busted what was the best thing to set fire too?

mistersavage74 karma

Hmmm. That's a good one. I liked dousing the car with gasoline and lighting it. That flame moved FAST. Totally scary. Good thing i was wearing a fire suit.