Silicon Valley Comic Con 2017 - Tory Belleci and Kari Byron

This duo of Tory Belleci and Kari Byron received an introduction from Adam Savage, who had just done a panel in the same location. Even after Mythbusters, they remain good friends.


At the start of the panel, Kari and Tory started the panel by talking about how they got started with Mythbusters. Kari started, saying that she started with an internship with Jamie Hyneman. She had wanted to get into this field for a long time and she got the internship because she offered to work for Jamie for free. She had been around the show since Day 1. She was one of the few, if not only, women in the workshop. An early myth of the Mythbusters started was one about a woman who had gotten stuck in an airplane toilet. She had her butt 3D scanned and then she had to scale it up to be appropriate proportions. To get the right proportions, she had to do research on adult websites.


Next was Tory who explained that he had worked with Adam and Grant at ILM. He had worked with both Adam and Jamie for a few years before that. He did admit to working on the Star Wars Prequel movies as well as the Matrix 2 and 3. It was just after his time on the Matrix that he was recruited by Adam and Jamie to come over to Mythbusters. His first day was the Chicken Cannon day. No one apparently thought to put down plastic before beginning the launching. He very much thought aloud, "What did I do?" while he and Kari were cleaning up the chicken remains from it being launched.


The first question was the most painful thing they had done on the show. Kari mentioned the pain tolerance episode with putting her hand in the ice water. Tory mentioned him attempting to jump the wagon on the beach cruiser as well as the time he bashed his knee during "Hollywood Hang-ons" and was taken to the ER for it. Apparently, the local ER was expecting him to some degree. The next day, the firefighters asked him to sign by his blood on the ground.


Next, they showed us an Outtake from the White Rabbit project from the Amateur Neuroscience. This showed Tory being very cautious when he and Kari were out to dinner with the "Mind Control"  power that she had set up. Initially, the control circuit for the rig was just sitting on the table. With everything that happened and the spilling of the wine, some of it did get on the circuit. This caused the rig to go out of control and seize up Tory's arms. Apparently, the inventor and Kari had a few beers before starting. Tory talked about the same episode of the White Rabbit Project with Super Powers in real life. He got Lightning powers, getting to start on top of a large Tesla Coil, covering in copper chains. When he had to deal with a small hole over his palm, he claimed it felt like a drill was going through his hand.


Kari and Tory were then asked about their favorite explosion. Tory immediately cited the Cement Truck explosion. He said it was a very intense explosion when the shock wave got there. They were over a mile away from the Cement Truck itself and it took a short while for the shock wave to reach them. When it did, everyone felt it throughout their body. Kari said that she liked more the Gasoline explosions. She called to one of her favorites, the Creamer Cannon. She explained that it was something of a delayed explosion and behaved a bit more like napalm than most of their other explosions. Apparently, the Bomb Tech was also running for cover from the explosion. Kari also seems to want to use her coworkers as human shields in cases like this.


The pair was then asked about the props from the various episodes (in this case the Covenant of the Arc) and what became of them. They both told us that they would move into the Blueprint room once they had served their time. After that, the props would either get trashed or someone who liked it would take it home.


The next question was about the times when they thought they might die. Tory about him needing to learn to say "No". He was the one who volunteered to wear red in front of the bull. He also talked about the time he told his mother a little about what he was going to do trying to outrun crocodiles. She told him to not tell her beforehand but after so she knows that he is fine. Apparently, she and Kari are good friends. Kari, when talking about the times she felt in danger, it was when a bomb did not detonate. Being on standby about this was something that she found very tense.


Tory was asked about his favorite Star Wars Storyline. He quickly responded with "The Empire Strikes Back." He said that the models in the movie were a major part of what inspired him to become a maker.


Kari was asked about how it was to control Tory with the Mind Control rig. She said she had a lot of fun with it. Tory chimed in with those things like this are why he has some trust issues with Kari.


They then were asked about their favorite high-speed shots. Kari said her favorite was the rocket sled hitting the car. The car literally seemed to vanish as the sled hit it. Tory cited the Rocket Propelled Grenade and hitting it with a bullet. He explained it was one of the myths that were frustrating to do. It was an impossibility and they got to film it.


They were asked if the White Rabbit Project was going to get a season 2. Both admitted to enjoying working with  Netflix and they definitely would like it. They told us to be sure to watch and rewatch the series. It is the popularity of the series that will determine if they come back for another season.


Naturally, they were asked about what myths that they wanted to test or that they wished were true. Tory cited a myth he wanted to test but never could: an F1 racer that could hold itself on an inverted track because of the downforce on it. Kari said that it was the James Bond myth about the propane tank. Both remarked on how Hollywood is lying to us about the physics of these explosions.


Kari was about being one of the few woman hosts on the air. She said that she wishes that the other hosts would focus more on boosting her other up opposed to the backstabbing. She was one of the very few hosts on Discovery Channel.


Tory got the next question about what their worst experience on set was. Tory said it was trying for a land speed record using a rebuilt 1902 car and trying to break the old speed record for it. He knew the brakes were very tricky and could either lock up easily. He did manage to get the car up to 90 miles an hour. He started to feather the brakes to slow himself down. The problem is the brakes sheared off and he was coming up on a cliff. He managed a hard left turn to avoid the edge. They both talked about one of the episodes of Thrill factor that they filmed. This had them in a stunt plane and the pilots were messing around with them. They managed to get Tory to suffer from G-Lock as well as ensure that both of them were puking a lot after the flight. Apparently, after that session is when they wanted to do the walk-in shots and both of them were still plainly suffering from the flight and needing to act as though it was a fresh day. Neither of them wanted to do that shot and could not erase the after effects easily for that shot.


A while after was a question about fostering an interest in science within a child. Kari said that they should show their passion for it. Children seem to be very receptive to it.


Kari and Tory were asked about their usage of Firearms and the show. Kari learned on the show and had only used Nerf Guns before then. Tory learned much earlier. He did say that his favorite gun to shoot was the Gatling Gun to cut down a tree.


Tory was asked about his favorite electrical circuit to make. Tory explained that he was more a model builder. However, he did enjoy the shift from ILM to Mythbusters. At ILM he just needed to make things look like they worked. With Mythbusters, he needed to get the items to actually work.


The pair were then asked about the scariest and funniest moments in the show. Unsurprisingly, they both cited the cannonball incident. It was a case of the hillside getting a small patch of hard ground because the rain and drought which had been hitting the area. The cannonball did a surprising amount of damage and, thankfully, no one was hurt. Tory said the funniest one for him was the Bull in a China shop myth. He was surprised at the grace the bulls exhibited within it. It was not until they had 6 bulls in their forty foot shop that something started to happen.


Next was their favorite part of their job. Kari said it was the challenge and being able to work with his friends. Both did say that they enjoyed hearing from the fans and getting feedback on their shows as well as the suggestions for myths. Kari also talked about the message boards.


The next thing talked about were the thoughts on Robots surpassing humans. Kari thought they were not close to being self-away. Tory, having talked with an AI professor, said that it was humans who were more likely to bring about the robot apocalypse.


The final question was their favorite fan subject. Kari cited the Paper Armor myth. It had been apparently submitted by a 4th-grade class. Tory talked about a myth he wanted to test with the build team trying different barrel designs and going over Niagara falls in them.


Kari and Tory ran out of time to talk about things after that. They did thank us for our time and told us that they enjoyed the panel. Naturally, they did tell us to watch more of the White Rabbit project if we want another season of it. It was a fun panel with a number of anecdotes and stories recounted.



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