MythBusters Adam Savage and Kari Byron on the Art of Science and Experimentation
The popular program MythBusters returns for its 10th season on Sunday March 25 at 9pm on the Discovery Channel. “The kickoff episode is called Duct Tape Island. We got stranded on the island of Oahu, Hawaii and we had to survive, thrive, and eventually escape using nothing but a pallet full of duct tape. In the end, we built and attempted to escape in a 21 foot outrigger canoe made of duct tape.” (Adam Savage speaking with Dublin students at the Dublin High School Engineering and Design Academy Open House last month). During National Engineers Week, MythBusters-inspired Dublin High School students built a duct tape suspension bridge out of 125 rolls of Duck brand duct tape donated by ShurTech Brands (known for their Stuck at Prom Scholarship Contest).
MythBusters stars Adam Savage and Kari Byron participated in a moderated panel session at the event, answering questions submitted by students from Dublin High School, Fallon Middle School and Wells Middle School. OneDublin.org founder James Morehead served as moderator for the event. Below is a transcript of the panel session which showcases the MythBusters’ passion for the art of science and experimentation, and what it is like to be a MythBuster. Over 1,000 people attended the sold out event. OneDublin.org was recently named the City of Dublin’s 2011 Organization of the Year. (all photos courtesy of Marc Davis)
James Morehead: Adam, Kari – Welcome to Dublin High School!
Adam Savage: So I just wanted to let you know right off the bat that we’re not setting anything on fire. I’m sorry.
Kari Byron: No explosives, nothing.
Morehead: I’m going to start with some of the questions that have been submitted by Dublin students. I couldn’t possibly have chosen all of them; there were a stack this thick on my kitchen table; it was very painful choosing a small subset. The first question is from a sixth grader at Wells Middle School. Marlene asks, “Dear MythBusters, what did you want to be when you grow up, and what inspired you to be scientists? P.S. I’m a big fan. Thank you for coming to my home town of Dublin, California.” Marlene describes you as scientists. Do you consider what you do science or just determined curiosity?
Byron: “Isn’t it the same thing?”
Savage: “A ballistics expert, Alexander Jason, told me this last week – ‘the only difference between science and screwing around is when you write it down’. I can tell you that I had two early dreams when I was a kid. The first job I ever wanted was to be a designer for LEGO. LEGO is the greatest toy ever invented, and I had cities of LEGO in my room, I had a LEGO spaceport – this was all in the 80s when they started to break out and do really cool stuff. I had LEGO until I discovered girls at like, 20.
“Then the other thing I wanted to do was work on Star Wars. Star Wars came out when I was eleven years old. It was a totally pivotal moment for me, and when I was 18, my best friend at that time was telling me why I was a screw up, and he was saying, ‘Your problem is that you have talent with no ambition’. He was totally right by the way, at that point. “Talent, but no ambition. If you had ambition, you wouldn’t be here in my bedroom talking to me about this stuff. You’d be saying, ‘I’m sorry Mr. Lucas, I can’t do that by Tuesday.’” So cut to 17 years later, I was working up at the Lucas Film ranch in the art department on Episode 2, and I got to actually say, ‘I’m sorry Mr. Lucas, I can’t do that by Tuesday.’ I called him right away.”
Byron: “So when the Star Wars LEGOs came out, was that the best day your life?”
Savage: “One hundred percent.”
Morehead: Many students say – including Michelle, a seventh grader from Fallon Middle School – ask questions like this. “What is the inspiration for the ideas for the experiments you do? You do so many cool ideas that I would never have thought about before.” So where do you get the inspiration?
Byron: “Well, we’re very lucky that we have a lot of audience participation, and we have a message board that we get a lot of our myths from. Most of the myths that we get are actually from the people who watch the show. We get them from you guys. You send them in, and we put them in the hopper and just wait for the right time to actually test them. We started out using books, and then the Internet, and mostly we just use you guys now.”
Savage: “I was at an appearance a few weeks ago and some twelve-year-old kid stood up and goes, “You know that myth, that saying, I know it like the back of my hand? Why don’t you guys test that?” And I’m like, ‘I have no idea why we haven’t tested that.’ It’s on our list, we’re going to do it. It’s going to be awesome. Let’s go back and talk about the scientist thing. None of us intended to make a show that was educational or interesting to children. And I think that’s why children like it, because they can tell we’re not trying to pander to them. And for a long time, Jamie and I joke – and I know you guys do too – about our having no background in science. Jamie’s got a degree in Russian Studies and I have a high school diploma. But honestly, after meeting all of the scientists that we get to meet and work with on the show over the years, I do think that we’re scientists. We think methodically and critically through problems that we’ve got to solve, and that is the simplest definition of being a scientist. So I think we all do get to hold that title.”
“After meeting all of the scientists that we get to meet and work with on the show over the years, I do think that we’re scientists. We think methodically and critically through problems that we’ve got to solve, and that is the simplest definition of being a scientist.” – Adam Savage
Morehead: Jessica, a freshman from Dublin High wonders, “How much research do you guys do before you do an experiment?” And building on that question, Madison, Danny, Erin, and Johnny, all eighth graders from Fallon Middle School wrote, “What do you guys do on set when you aren’t filming? Is it all work, or do you get to fool around.” Talk about a typical day, if there is such a thing, preparing and filming for MythBusters.
Byron: “Well, you know, we actually have quite a bit of research that goes into each of our myths, and we have a research team of a couple of people over at M5 – Jamie and Adam’s shop – and some people in Australia who go through months of research to get to the point where we actually are testing the myth. We all sit down in a meeting and talk it through and come up with the ideas for the actual experiments, but all the research and background that goes into it is extensive.”
Savage: “Sometimes we have unforeseen events that cause us to stop producing for a couple of days, we get sick or something like that, so we might have to change our schedule. A few weeks ago we had to do a story in five days. Normally we take about nine days to do one. So we busted one out of the list that was just something that I wanted to try, and we did it in five days with almost no research. But I can tell you lead balloon – Jamie and I built a fourteen foot diameter balloon out of lead that floated with helium – it was two and a half years to find a factory that could roll lead to the thinness that we required. Really, I mean, two other factories actually broke their equipment trying it. So we left this wake of destruction on our way to try that. And also, regarding fooling around when we’re not shooting, one of the greatest things in the world is to have a high-speed camera to play with. And so we will go down to the shop and do things like throw water balloons at each other’s faces to watch what happens. And for the record, getting hit in the face with a water balloon is pretty much like getting punched in the face really hard. It’s no fun at all.”
Byron: “You did that to Jamie?”
Savage: “No, no. Matt did that to me.
Byron: “That would be certain death, I’m pretty sure.”
Savage: “He’d be like this. ‘Oh, that really hurt.’ I’m sorry. ‘Ahh, that really hurt.’”
Byron: “Then you’ve got to watch everything you drank from then on.”
Savage: “We have a prank détente on MythBusters – none of us prank each other, because it’s like a mutually assured instruction.”
Byron: “That’s totally not true. Tory and Grant prank me all the time. All the time. I can’t tell you how often I’ve thrown up not on camera. Just saying…”
Savage: “I saw the saliva one. That made me throw up.”
Morehead: One thing you have in common is prior experience working with your hands, something that seems to be unfortunately leaving the school system – the shop class that I had doesn’t seem to exist anymore. Adam, how is your experience as a practical effects artist, and Kari, how is your work as a sculptor been applied to MythBusters?
Savage: “I’ve always made things. My father was an artist, he was a painter, he was an animator, and he gave me access to his charge account at the hardware store from the time that I was 13. And I never abused it, actually. I was actually able to put out all the fires before anyone noticed. So I was always encouraged to make things. I did do a stint of acting as an older child. I got into a theater. It’s a great ground floor for learning how to do just about everything. That lead to the film industry, and I love special effects in film because you were building something different every single day and problem-solving constantly.
“I thought that I came to MythBusters with some skills and when you are problem-solving, you are thinking scientifically. I mean, making stuff is problem-solving. A craftsman – and I’m sure there’s more than a few in this room that know this – a craftsman isn’t someone who doesn’t make mistakes. They get to see them coming from further away than you can, and they can change and move and stop and avert. So that has deeply affected how we work on MythBusters, and it’s one of the reasons everyone thinks that we have a lot of people building stuff for us behind the scenes, and we really don’t. There’s like, three guys. Everything you see us build, we all build.”
Byron: “For me, having a background in art I think helped me immensely to become someone who really likes science because I started to approach it in a very MythBusters way. I really like just getting my hands dirty, and that’s the kind of science that I like to do, and I never realized how much I was going to like science until I started approaching it like art. Just digging in and doing things that made me messy, and you just have to work your way through a creative process to get to the answers.”
Savage: “I also think that that’s one of the loveliest things about what we’ve learned on the show. Science is a messy thing and it’s confusing and concerning – that step of the scientific method that says form a hypothesis, which is what our meetings are all about when we’re doing story meetings. How do we do this? What can we expect to see here? The ‘form a hypothesis’ part is the most deeply creative thing there is. You come up with one, then you come up with another, and you’re arguing it out with the other MythBusters, and you come up with five more. And it’s self-generated thing. It’s deeply creative.”
“For me, having a background in art I think helped me immensely to become someone who really likes science because I started to approach it in a very MythBusters way. I really like just getting my hands dirty, and that’s the kind of science that I like to do, and I never realized how much I was going to like science until I started approaching it like art.” – Kari Byron
Morehead: You’ve filmed over 50 episodes in and around Dublin.
Savage: “This is like our second shop.”
Morehead: Andrew, a senior at Dublin High School wondered “how much of a factor are local resources like the bomb range for testing myths? For example, are there myths you can’t do because you just can’t find the right place with the right specifications?”
Byron: “Sooner or later we seem to find the right place. You know, we are very, very lucky to film in the Bay Area because we have just such a wealth of things to pull from, and Dublin in particular. The bomb range has made it possible for us to do so many things that we couldn’t do anywhere else.”
Savage: “One of the things that we do when we sit down and have a story meeting is we plot out what we think is going to happen in the episode, and then we come up with a set of experiments, and it doesn’t ever go like you plan. I can’t stress that enough. It does not ever go like we plan. So we plot out, we book locations based on what we expect to happen, and then an experiment yields different results, and all of a sudden we need a new location that day. And it’s the relationships with people that we have around the Bay Area from the guy who runs the Alameda and Hunter’s Point shipyards – Jamie and I spent all day today up in the Numara Island shipyard – the bomb range – the personal relationships that we have at those locations allow us to be so quick on our feet that the show really is as haphazard as it looks on television. There’s no artifice to it, and I really like that.”
Morehead: Sixth grader Gianna at Fallon Middle School is interested if “you have ever been too scared to do an experiment, and if so, which one and why? How did you overcome the fear?” Kari, I was watching an episode with my daughter Evelyn (who is sitting in the front row – huge fan) and it was the episode where you were testing the Chinese water torture myth, and I was pretty convinced that was not pleasant. Talk a little bit about things you’ve been too afraid to do or things like Chinese water torture that maybe you regretted doing afterwards.
Byron: “I regretted Chinese water torture before we did it. I thought it was a terrible idea, but I was pretty new to the program, and I was just like, ‘All right. You guys don’t know what you’re doing.’”
Savage: “Terrible idea.”
Byron: “‘Wait a minute. If we prove this, wouldn’t it be torture? No? Okay, let’s keep going.’ Generally we overcome our fear because it’s almost like being dared by a sibling to do things, you’ll end up doing it sooner or later; it’s rare that we’re actually too afraid. Have you been too afraid to do an experiment?”
Savage: “There’s one.”
Savage: “There’s this myth that a truck full of liquid oxygen is driving down a highway and it gets compromised and spills LOX – what they call liquid oxygen – all over the road. Now, oxygen makes things burn – it’s one of the key components. Liquid oxygen makes things burn like you have no idea. So the myth is that the liquid oxygen on the petroleum-based asphalt turns the entire road into a bomb. So we looked into this. We started experimenting with little amounts of liquid oxygen, enough to discover that liquid oxygen is the scariest stuff on the planet. It really will turn an oily rag high explosive, and that is no hyperbole there. It also does it not behave predictably, which makes it twice as scary. The cost of not being predictable is such that either you end up with an episode where nothing happens and no one wants to go near the place where nothing’s happening, or you blow up much more. What happens when you release a cloud of oxygen – of pure oxygen? What does it do, float down to the freeway and all of a sudden everyone’s cars accelerate to a hundred miles an hour? It is a great story, and it is one that we’ll just never do.”
Morehead: We have some very avid robot makers in the audience today. Adam, tell me what you learned from Jamie’s robot Blendo. And Kari, I understand you were able to Emcee a competition in the robot world.
Byron: “I got to Emcee the VEX world championships in Disney World. It was amazing. Kids from all over the world filled this huge auditorium, and it was just seeing that many bright kids that were way smarter than I am running around making these robots that do such incredible things, I was impressed. In fact, I think there’s a team over here from VEX [points to audience] these are some of the bright kids that I’m talking about.”
Savage: “Way back when, when I was first working for Jamie Hyneman in 1992 Jamie said, ‘Oh, I’ve heard about this thing called Robot Wars that this guy Martin is starting.’ And we were part of the very first Robot Wars, and Jamie had this idea that – he’s like, ‘I want to build a robot that nobody else is thinking about.’ That’s actually one of Jamie’s primary modes of thinking. What can I do that no one else is thinking about? Which means that half of his ideas are so harebrained you fear for his sanity. And the other half are so brilliant, you fear for yours.
“He came up with this idea of taking basically an upside down wok and spinning it to 30,000 RPM and then allowing the centrifugal energy of it spinning to run it. It wouldn’t need an engine – in his mind – you’d set it free, and it would run for the five minutes of the competition. So he called up his friend who’s a physicist and his friend said if you’ve got it spinning that fast, the seal would burst into flames from friction with the air. In fact, the whole thing might just go pop and blow up.
“So he scaled it back to 400 RPM. Blendo is an upside down wok on a flywheel spinning at about 75 miles per hour. And it had two horns on it, and each horn was a piece of hardened steel – tool steel – and the force that Blendo delivered was equivalent to a piece of steel the size of your fist going the speed of sound. It was shocking. We passed all the safety tests, but each match lasted five seconds. Blendo enters the arena and tries to steer – which Blendo was not very good at, but it didn’t matter – opponent enters, touches Blendo, opponent completely decimated. And in four out of our five matches, pieces of Blendo flew over the ten-foot barrier and into the laps of insurance claims adjusters I think, because we were disqualified from fighting, but awarded first price in lieu of competition two years in a row.”
Byron: “They just hand you the trophies, and say, ‘Please go home.’”
Savage: “And we were like, ‘Yeah, that’s how it’s done!’ Actually, if you’ve ever seen the television show Battle Bots, that arena has a top on it because of us.”
“That’s actually one of Jamie’s primary modes of thinking. What can I do that no one else is thinking about? Which means that half of his ideas are so harebrained you fear for his sanity. And the other half are so brilliant, you fear for yours.” – Adam Savage
Morehead: Several students were also interested in your crash dummy Buster. I requested that Buster attend, and the producers of MythBusters said unfortunately, he’s unavailable. He’s filming.
Byron: “And he would also need a lot of fixing. He is in pieces right now!”
Savage: “He’s also heavy. We’re going to do this story. You know, in movies, somebody kills the guy, and then he takes the body and wraps it in carpet and throws it in the trunk of his car. No way.”
Byron: “No way.”
Savage: “There’s a reason they call it dead weight. Bodies are ridiculously heavy. Jamie threw his back out trying to move one of our simulates a couple of years ago. It’s just not feasible. Buster, he’s heavy.”
Byron: “When I used to fix Buster all the time, I actually got pinned underneath him until somebody came to find me. Because I couldn’t get him off me again.”
Savage: “Buster had to take some classes after that for harassment. That was not rehearsed. I just came up with that. You’re welcome.” [laughter]
Morehead: We received a bunch of questions on the Bermuda Triangle. Here’s one of them. Anna, a sixth grader at Wells Middle School asked, “Have you or will you ever do a myth on the Bermuda Triangle, and if you would test one, which would it be? And yes, you guys are awesome.”
Byron: “I want to try one so bad.”
Savage: “It’s on the list. There are several theories about how the Bermuda Triangle might work. Large methane bubbles coming up – bubbling up from the ocean – that could actually cause a ship to sink. Theories about the Bermuda Triangle have been on our list for a long time because they’re quiet testable. Besides that, unfortunately, it falls into the Loch Ness Monster territory. We can’t actually imitate large weather patterns, but we’ll test good theories.”
Morehead: And like the Loch Ness Monster, there were other questions about ghosts and the paranormal, and you don’t seem to cover those. Talk about why.
Byron: “You can’t really test them.”
Savage: “You can’t test a negative. We learned this really early on actually. We tried to test, oh, is Buster dead or alive? Well, what is dead or alive? Well, actually, that turned out to be this very, very weird window that’s hard to define because it means so many different things under different circumstanced. And this is the soul of science. It’s relative. The relativity between one thing and another. And we always want to test a control against anything that we’re testing. We want to compare it to something. All you’ve proven, if you go look for ghosts and don’t find them, is that you don’t know how to find ghosts, or they don’t exist. We believe the latter, we leave it untested. We’re not going to prove a negative, we’re not going to look for Big Foot, the Yeti, the Loch Ness Monster. That’s just for some other shows.”
Morehead: You had a chance to walk by the Duct Tape Suspension Bridge built by Dublin High students on our way over, and that was clearly inspired by a MythBusters myth. You’ve done a lot of duct tape myths. What’s been the most challenging / fun duct tape myth you’ve done to-date, and do you plan to do more?
Savage: “When the new season of MythBusters starts in March, the kickoff episode is called Duct Tape Island. Jamie and I got stranded on the island of Oahu, Hawaii and we had to survive, thrive, and eventually escape using nothing but a pallet full of duct tape. In the end, we built and attempted to escape in a 21-foot outrigger canoe made of duct tape. Built in a day. I can tell you, my fingertips were bruised from tearing.”
Byron: “‘Wah’, in Hawaii, playing with duct tape. I was here. It was raining!”
Morehead: So on tough shoots – I recall an episode up in the snow, in like four feet of snow, and I think the myth was bouncing a –
Byron: “Spinning ice bullet.”
Morehead: Spinning bullet. What’s the least favorite location – maybe that’s the one – that you’ve had to shoot in?
Savage: “That didn’t even make it look as bad as it was.”
Byron: “No, we did the spinning ice one where you shoot into the ice at a certain angle that the bullet just spins. Now, it seemed like such a silly little myth until we actually had to find a place to do it, and it snowed. It snowed sideways at 60 miles an hour down in a frozen lake that we had to dig out continually so that we could film. And not only did we actually have to snowshoe our way in, but we didn’t bring enough snowshoes, so we have to snowshoe all the equipment in, bring the snowshoes back to the next person, so they could snowshoe their way in and walk in each other’s footprints, and the snow got up to literally chest-high.”
Savage: “They sent pictures back to us of them walking in single formation holding to each other because it was getting dark, and they had to get back to the hotel. I have to say, one of the hardest things it turns out to actually find to film scientifically is a frozen lake. They’re really hard to come by. I know they have them all over the place, but finding one where we can go shoot bullets is really difficult.”
Byron: “And on that particular shoot, our cameraman had walking pneumonia, and our sound guy had to constantly clear the snow out of her sound equipment, so the whole time we’re like, ‘I don’t know if they can even hear this.’ It was miserable.”
Savage: “Yeah, we’ve filmed now in 118 degrees. We’ve filmed 45 degrees below zero. We’ve run the full gamut at this point of uncomfortable and difficult situations.”
Morehead: You’ve challenged some deeply entrenched myths, and one of my favorites is the myth that a ringing cell phone can start a fire while pumping gas. Have you ever challenged myths where government regulators in the scientific community start calling you and saying, “What the heck are you up to?”
Savage: “Actually, quite the opposite. So gas station fires happen very rarely. Like, a hundred billion people fill up their gas every year, and there’s like, seven fires a year at gas stations from static electricity. But since that episode of MythBusters aired, it’s now like, three a year. So we’ve cut it in half.”
Morehead: So what does cause those sparks, if it isn’t cell phones?
Savage: “Well, when you’re moving around on your fabric, and you get a static spark and you can feel it from a centimeter away, the resistance of air is ten thousand volts per centimeter. So that static spark is a ten thousand volt spark. We show that that’s plenty under the right conditions, with the right stoichiometry, to light gas fumes, absolutely.”
Byron: “Getting in and out of your car, moving around.”
Savage: “So yeah, moving around your car, you can actually build up 20 to 30 thousand volts of static electricity. The stickers here in California now specifically say that an excess of static buildup could cause a fire, and I believe that’s directly because of MythBusters.”
Byron: “What about explosive decompression?”
Savage: “Explosive decompression was the myth we did about shooting a bullet through the side of an airplane where everything gets sucked out of the tiny hole. We went down to Mohave, we busted it. The most response that I get from that is Air Marshalls who find me in the airport no matter where I am, and then they thank me for that episode because of their wives. It’s funny, it turns out that the wives of Air Marshalls don’t like flying because they know someone on the plane has a gun, even if it’s their husband. And they said after watching your episode, they were totally cool about being on an airplane.”
Morehead: Wow. Going back to Dublin High School, Jannik, if you’re in the audience, here’s your question. This is a very broad question. “What were your dreams as a child? I can’t believe you all wanted to end up in the job that you’re in now, even though it’s an awesome job.”
Byron: “I wanted to be a working artist, and that’s actually how I got into this job. I went to get an internship with Jamie at M5 Industries because it was a way to actually be a sculptor in a practical way, toy prototyping and doing props. It basically made me want to be Adam when I grew up, because I’m much younger than him. And I didn’t realize that this was my dream job until I started going home at night and telling my boyfriend (now husband) how excited I was about what we were doing, even if it was handling excrement. I’d be like, ‘This was the coolest day!’ He’s like, ‘This is not your day job, this is your dream job.’ So my dream job found me.”
Savage: “Like I said, my dad was an artist. He was a terrific example for me, because he had worked in advertising, serious advertising, like the generation just after Mad Men, the late 50s and early 60s, and he got out of advertising before I was born and raised us doing these little animated spots for Sesame Street, the little things that happen between the seconds on Sesame Street, like squares, counting, stuff like that. And so I grew up with the example of someone who only did what they really wanted to do, and they figured out a way to make it work, and some years they made five thousand dollars and in other years they made a lot more. I thought about a lot of different things I wanted to do, but the best part of my parents’ encouragement was I felt like any of them was possible. And now I know that you can actually make a living doing something that you really like.”
“And I didn’t realize that this was my dream job until I started going home at night and telling my boyfriend (now husband) how excited I was about what we were doing, even if it was handling excrement. I’d be like, ‘This was the coolest day!’ He’s like, ‘This is not your day job, this is your dream job.’ So my dream job found me.” – Kari Byron
Morehead: Nathan, a freshman at Dublin High School wrote, “Have you ever accidentally invented something while testing a myth?” And building on that question, what has surprised you the most during filming? And I’m thinking of elephants and mice as one example.
Savage: “Actually I have a new one that’s most surprising. We did this myth called Blind Driving, and the myth is that a guy gets so drunk he convinces his blind friend to drive him home while he gives directions. So we went actually out here to the Dublin EVOC range, and Jamie and I took turns. One of us was blindfolded and driving, and the other gave instructions. And we did okay at it. We knocked over a few cones and everything.
“Then we went down to this place we all call Zombie Town, which is this abandoned military community down in Monterrey where we’ve filmed a whole bunch of stuff. And we got an actual blind guy. Now, this is the greatest part. One is that the actual blind guy was a far better driver than Jamie or I blindfolded. But here’s the reason. He has no preconceptions. His existence is based on getting feedback, so when you tell him, turn left, move the steering wheel to the left until I say stop, he just does it. Jamie and I have this map of the world in our heads and we’re constantly trying to adjust for it. So the blind guy turned out to be a terrific driver while Jamie was giving him instructions. The single most amazing thing that none of us thought was even remotely possible is that when Jamie then got drunk, he made the blind guy drive like a drunk person. Weaving all over the road, going fast and going slow. It was unbelievable. It was uncanny. And Jamie got out and he was like, ‘I thought that went really well.’ One of my favorite results we’ve ever gotten.”
Morehead: I’m going to finish off with a question we got from many of the high school and middle school students. What other things, including the duct tape episode you mentioned, can we look forward to from MythBusters that you’re allowed to share without breaking confidentiality agreements?
Byron: “Right now I’m working on something that I think is so awesome. It involves dragons. We’re actually doing the Chinese fire dragon, which is basically a giant arrow rocket that shoots off into the air, and then once it reaches apogee, it shoots off more arrows that are on fire. That’s just incredible. I mean, we’re working with the aerodynamics of a dragon head, we’re working with rockets. It’s all just really fascinating to me.”
Savage: “They’re driving out to the middle of the Mohave Desert to film it.”
Byron: “Yes, far, far away from you.” [applause]
Savage: “We’re doing ‘Cliffhanger’. At the end of Cliffhanger, Sly is running across a rope bridge that blows up behind him and he takes three more steps and then leaps. We’re going to see how feasible that really is – tomorrow. Yeah, tomorrow. I was actually looking at the bridge today thinking, ‘I’m going to get on that tomorrow? That is scary.’
“We’ve also got something coming up in April that I’m really looking forward to called Airplane Boarding Myths. So it turns out there’s three ways to board an airplane. There’s back to front, windows in, and then there’s this new method which is a random distribution, windows in, but every sixth row kind of. Now it turns out that back to front, you could fill a 100-seat plane in like, seven minutes. Windows in is like, five minutes. And then this new method is like, three and a half minutes flat. But, people who are doing that new method hate it, because they can’t tell what’s going on. And it’s a totally natural human response. You’re like, ‘I don’t know why I’m not getting on the plane with my wife.’ Because she’s in the middle seat and you need to put your bag in. So we’re going do the whole gamut - which method works and how do people feel about it. We’ve just got to find – does anybody here have a plane with 100 seats in it? Turns out to be really hard to find, and John Travolta won’t return our calls.”
Byron: “So can you test it with people who are jerks and have too big of a bag and don’t get on until the very end?”
Savage: “Well, no, actually what I was thinking of doing was choosing a 100 people and I think we would take 20 of them and give them cards that gave them different personalities. Like one of your legs doesn’t work. Or your bag is filled with precious art your mother made and it’s ceramic. So we make these people into MacGuffin’s so they get to gum up the works. ‘You will not leave your husband’ – these kind of things. I think that absolutely we have to build those personality traits in.”
Byron: “So who’s going to be the extra flatulent guy that has the fast food bag, because that’s the one sitting next to me every single time. All right, that’s probably enough.”
Morehead: I want to thank you for taking time away from your families. You’re filming today, you’re filming tomorrow, and it was very gracious of you to come to Dublin, and we hope to see you back filming. With that, I would like to bring up Dublin High School principal Carol Shimizu and the City of Dublin Mayor Tim Sbranti to present some Dublin Gale swag. Let’s make sure they fit!
Byron: “Thank you Dublin!”
Savage: “Thank you guys so much. We love you, and we will see you soon.”