Silicon Valley Comic Con 2017 - An Hour with Adam Savage

Adam Savage explained that he was very much loved the response to the Test Costume repair room at Silicon Valley Comic Con. He also revealed that his Costumes for Friday and Saturday which were Totoro and a Chewbacca with C-3PO on his back. He explained that most costumes have a level of discomfort to them. He explained that it is just a part of it. It was in one of the biggest venues available for the convention.


He quickly turned the session to its Question and Answer portion. The first question was about Replicas compared to facsimiles. Adam made it clear he is fine with people replicating props but was very clear that he did not want to see these activities taking food out of someone's mouth.


The next question was about how Adam dealt with a very young cosplayer and his interaction with her. He explained that a lot of these encounters have a self-generating energy to themselves. He learned as he was becoming more famous that he could not give some of the people what they were looking for from the interaction and balancing it with his own personal needs. He explained that looking to the end of the interaction make each encounter more draining. He looked to an early encounter in his life where he met Peter Gabriel and how that interaction was more like a gift to him. He made sure to look at the people he was working with and found a lot of energy there. He loves working with people in the Test Costume Repair room and both parties working as a problem solver.


The third question was what was his favorite episode of Mythbusters to film. Adam responded very quickly with the "Raiders of the Lost Arc" episode. Not only did he get to use a whip made by the son of the original whip maker from Indiana Jones, but learned to crack the whip from the same person as well. He really enjoyed swinging across the chasm on the whip.


Next was a question about Makers. At what point did a design from someone else become your own. Adam explained that all the designs are built from the past. There are no truly new ideas. He gave an example from Brain Candy about how they were showing a principle of aerodynamics. They would take a larger roll of toilet paper and unwind it using a leaf blower and then Adam would wrap his co-host in the toilet paper. They learned this derived from an old Clown act in the Barnum circus that was over 80 years old. He also talked about how American society focuses on patents and copyrights.


That was followed by a question about the "Steam" classes segment. Specifically, he was asked about the Arts inclusion in it. He told us of the benefits of the Arts, that scientists needed it to show their finds and create the diagrams and graphics that they need for their papers. He explained that Mythbusters got better as they embraced the scientific method more strongly throughout the years. Mythbusters began to see the show not only as a means of education but also a vehicle for storytelling.


Of course, someone asked about what had happened to get Mythbusters canceled. Adam surprised the audience by stating that he would tell us the true reason.  Over the 14 years of the show, he told us that he had negotiated his contract 3 times, the last being in 2010. It was explained that the negoitation happened at the height of the Mythbusters popularity. After that, over the next few years, they noticed the slow decline of the show, the other side of the Bell Curve of the show's popularity. While they wanted to keep the Build Crew, that did not to happen. They did get to negotiate to at least call it the final season. He very much enjoyed being able to bring the build crew together with him and Jamie to have a proper goodbye to the show itself.


Next was a question about Brain Candy and its chances of heading over to Europe and overseas. Adam explained that it was something they want to do. The problem they were largely encountering was the size of the venues were smaller overseas. He explained that his co-host Michael Stevens has an amazing ability to interact with the audience, avoiding over explaining things, finding a balance between not underestimating your audience's intelligence or overestimating their vocabulary.


After that was a question about "Tested" and his favorite build. He explained that one of his favorites was the Totoro Build that he had recently finished. He explained that he watched a lot of build videos. He also explained that he enjoys the silence in the creation of things. Though he was also very clear that one thing that does not exist is a true "1 day build".


Next was the question was if he had any build regrets. Adam just said, "Full stop, no." Working for bad people were his bigger regrets. He was blessed with parents who helped him get out of those situations. He explained that he always got something out of the builds that he made.


Adam was asked about "Duct Tape Canyon" and what his favorite things were to make out of duct tape or fix it. He explained that it was not that great as a waterproof fixative. It also could not fix ducks. It was originally meant to be called "Duck Tape". He did tell us that Duct Tape is never the right solution. Showing what to do with what you have. He did love the Duct Tape kayak that they then sent down a class 5 rapids.


Off that was a small tangent about what Mythbusters taught him. He explained that he learned he was not an adrenalin junkie. That he got ill after doing the dumpster diving episode.


The next question was about the transition from Television to YouTube. Adam explained that he was grateful to no longer be a slave to the commercial break. He explained that the show Mythbusters had an intense production schedule. He also explained that he had brought over a few of the Mythbusters crew. He also explained that it felt like it was a brave new world for him. He enjoyed the more relaxed approach to production found on YouTube.

That question was followed by if it was better to do a mash up or keep to a single fandom. Adam admitted to being "agnostic" here. That you should follow your passion for the cosplay.


This was followed by the question of his favorite Mythbuster build. He said the paper crossbow. He also talked about building an outboard motor to pump water. This was also while Jamie was out with the flu and he told us about Jamie recounting being very ill on this rare occasion.


The question that followed was about the usage of robots in movies and making better use of them. Adam talked about the needed for them to show agency and personality. They are very good to show the outsider perspective on matters. They are very good for making allegories on social or class issues.


Toward the end, he was asked about the most troubling myth. He explained that it was Whirlpool of Death. It was for the weather and unsafe conditions. It was filmed during the San Francisco Winter with forty degree weather. The railing around the tank itself was very unstable as well. They only had a small concrete bunker to huddle in to attempt to get warm. No one was able to stay warm during that shoot.


He talked then about the Nation of Makers which was founded during the Obama administration. It was started with the intention of making sure that everyone would have access to maker materials and learn about its crafts. It was meant for that, but with the present situation, private institutes are more likely to have them than public access area.


Adam had a lot of fun at the panel and it was a pleasure to attend. He had offered a lot of advice to the audience and a number of ancedotes. It is a great panel to go to.

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