Adam Savage

By | January 11, 2009

Quotations by Adam Savage

Adam Whitney Savage is an American industrial design and special effects

I’ve learned over decades of building that a deadline is a potent tool for problem-solving.

The Internet is probably the most important technological advancement of my lifetime. Its strength lies in its open architecture and its ability to allow a framework where all voices can be heard.

I reject your reality and substitute my own.

Again, like I said, my life has been about being fascinated by objects and the stories that they tell, and also making them for myself, obtaining them, appreciating them and diving into them.

Fractals, the theory of relativity, the genome: these are magnificently beautiful constructs.

That’s our job – to strap rockets onto everything.

This is the point in the show where we say, ‘Oh, what else do we have in the van that’s flammable?’

Prayer doesn’t work because someone out there is listening, it works because someone in here is listening. I’ve paid attention. I’ve pictured what I want to happen in my life. I’ve meditated extensively on my family, my future, my past actions and what did and didn’t work for me about them.

There’s this group online that I frequent. It’s a group of prop crazies just like me called the Replica Props Forum, and it’s people who trade, make and travel in information about movie props.

I’m not a sculptor; I’m a hard-edged model maker. You give me a drawing, you give me a prop to replicate, you give me a crane, scaffolding, parts from ‘Star Wars’ – especially parts from ‘Star Wars’ – I can do this stuff all day long. It’s exactly how I made my living for 15 years.

In theory, cars are fairly simple. If they don’t start, it’s either the fuel system or the electrical system. Teach yourself about the path of each in your engine and tracing it is fairly straightforward. But at the beginning, mastering each new system seems like an unreachable shore. The car is effectively a black box.

There’s few things that get you over your own crap more than working hard.

The coolest toys don’t have to be bought; they can be built. In fact, sometimes the only way they’ll ever exist is if you make them yourself.

My workplace is wherever I’m making something, which could be in a field in gold country, or in an abandoned warehouse on a military base.

Deadlines refine the mind. They remove variables like exotic materials and processes that take too long. The closer the deadline, the more likely you’ll start thinking waaay outside the box.

The only thing that differentiates you and me from a couple of fourteen year old pyromaniacs is balistic glass!

I believe that inside every tool is a hammer.

We’re allowed to explore the world at large on these things; the urban-legend aspect of it is just kind of an excuse.

We didn’t set out to be educators or even scientists, and we don’t purport that what we do is real science but we’re demonstrating a methodology by which one can engage and satisfy your curiosity.

The explosions, like the urban legends, are a great way of bringing people in to watch, because it’s really fun, and you know we’re always going to give you a satisfying ending.

I just had one of those ‘what the hell are we doing’ moments.

Adam Savage  bio

I’m a lifelong movie addict, and one of my favorite projects is making replica props and costumes. Nearly every one of these – from R2D2 to Hellboy’s revolver – ends with the paint job. And it’s not just cosmetic. The paint literally tells a story: what this thing is made of, where it’s been, what it’s been used for, and for how long.

Jack of all trades, master of none, though often better than a master of one.

Let’s get on our knees and pray. I don’t know to whom. Is there a patron saint of ballistics gel?

Being a geek is all about learning the inventories of things.

Firemen have the coolest toys ever!

It’s a treat to see the sun rise over the desert. What am I saying? It’s a treat to fire off a rocket car over the desert!

The idea of an ordered and elegant universe is a lovely one. One worth clinging to. But you don’t need religion to appreciate the ordered existence. It’s not just an idea, it’s reality. We’re discovering the hidden orders of the universe every day.

When I finally got up to Industrial Light And Magic to work on the ‘Star Wars’ movies as a model-maker, it felt like dying and going to heaven.

I think one of the defining moments of adulthood is the realization that nobody’s going to take care of you. That you have to do the heavy lifting while you’re here. And when you don’t, well, you suffer the consequences.

sticks and stones can only break bones; but words can shatter the soul

The fact is that the British Museum had a complete specimen of a dodo in their collection up until the 18th century – it was actually mummified, skin and all – but in a fit of space-saving zeal, they actually cut off the head and they cut off the feet and they burned the rest in a bonfire.

I have concluded through careful empirical analysis and much thought that somebody is looking out for me, keeping track of what I think about things, forgiving me when I do less than I ought. Giving me strength to shoot for more than I think I’m capable of. I believe they know everything that I do and think, and they still love me, and I’ve concluded, after careful consideration, that this person keeping score is me

There are women who are wishing that they were that piece of tape right now.

That aesthetic of the Star Wars universe: the do-it-yourself, hotrod ethic that George Lucas exported from his childhood, is exactly the same kind of soul behind what we do and build for the show. It may not look pretty, but it gets the job done.

Mostly I make lists for projects. This can be daunting. Breaking something big into its constituent parts will help you organize your thoughts, but it can also force you to confront the depth of your ignorance and the hugeness of the task. That’s OK. The project may be the lion, but the list is your whip.

Isn’t television glamourous?

From earliest times, humans – explorers and thinkers – have wanted to figure out the shape of their world. Forever, the way we’ve done that is through storytelling. It is difficult to let the truth get in the way of a good story.

I go home at the end of the day and I rarely talk about what I did that day. So my wife’s experience is just like that of anybody else whose husband goes away to a blue collar job and comes home bruised and dirty and often proud of the work that they’re doing.

My dignity and good television – they’ll never meet.

I’ve always thought something that makes you laugh, it makes you laugh because there’s a little bit of truth to it.

 

Stand back! I gotta get some rocket fuel out of the fridge!

The difference between screwing around and science is writing it down.

Don’t work for fools. It’s not worth it. Getting paid less to work for people you like and believe in is much better for you (and your career) in the long run.

I like to work fast. I despise not having the right tool or, worse, knowing I have it but not being able to find it. It’s a pointless delay that wrecks my pace – and mood.

My advice is keep your lips away from the spinning things.

I’m actually the fourth generation in my family to have no practical use for the church, or God, or religion. My children continue this trend.

The best-case scenario is that the glass shatters in my face! How do you think that makes me feel?

Technology is usually there to let some process go on hidden in the background. For us on ‘MythBusters,’ we’re always trying to make the process apparent. So, we have learned to try and never rely on a technological solution when an analogue one is in front of us.

Of course, I love tools. I also love arranging them, to the point where I came up with a name for my organizing metric: first-order retrievability.

We don’t necessarily stand by our faults every time, but we will always stand by our methodologies and ethos.

I’m always going to be making costumes. It’s one of the ways I relax my brain. In addition to the pleasure of having the piece, there is a deep and abiding pleasure for me assembling something in my head – learning to know something in its totality in my head, and then putting together all the constituent parts into a cohesive whole.

Gravity. It’s not just a good idea; it’s the law!

In the spirit of science, there really is no such thing as a ‘failed experiment.’ Any test that yields valid data is a valid test.

I learned at an early age that I could make the things that I wanted. That’s a very powerful thing to realize as a kid. LEGOs were a key part of that.

We are always works in progress. You will hurt people you love, and help people you detest. This is called being a human and it happens to everyone.

It’s sort of a mental attitude about critical thinking and curiosity. It’s about mindset of looking at the world in a playful and curious and creative way.

New York State is giant and has some of the most beautiful landscape on the Eastern seaboard. There is so much history in New York State, from the Erie Canal to the Catskills, the birth of American stand-up comedy.

I find that your basic Internet chat board is way too vitriolic for my taste.

I am now standing in a mixture of cooling fluid, gasoline, and cola.

Failure is always an option

I’m obsessed with the form of a toolbox. The idea of a portable kit that has everything you might need ignites something inside me. It’s like Batman’s utility belt.

I find it’s too much for me to read endless critiques, even if we’re being well-defended, of exactly what we’re doing. When someone tells us something we’re doing wrong on the boards, we try to respond, we try to be responsive to the fan boards, but yeah, I can’t read them.

I think LEGOs are one of the best toys ever developed.

We cleared all traces of our occupation out of M6 and moved to M7, and it’s been quite smooth over there. We chose a place all the way at the end of an industrial park.

Sometimes my brain writes a check that reality can’t cash.

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