The popular Discovery Channel TV show MythBusters, first airing January 23, 2003, has been a huge hit. Used by many middle and high school teachers, the show tests the validity of rumors, news stories, myths, and more using elements of the scientific method, while bringing in a unique entertainment aspect as well (i.e., epic explosions. See video below).
Adam Savage attended New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts for six months before dropping out to work in graphic design and animation, eventually leading to work in film special effects. His model work has appeared in major films such as Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones and The Matrix Reloaded. On November 25, 2011, Savage received an honorary doctorate from the University of Twente (Netherlands).
Jamie Hyneman earned a degree in Russian Linguistics from Indiana University. He owns M5 Industries, the special effects workshop where MythBusters is filmed, is one of the designers of Wavecam, an aerial robotic camera system used in sports and entertainment, and is also known for his robot entry, Blendo, deemed too dangerous for entry in the Robot Wars competition. Hyneman also received an honorary doctorate from the University of Twente (Netherlands), as well as an honorary Doctorate of Engineering from Villanova University.
The three other hosts of the show have a range of experience. Tory Belleci worked with Hyneman in special effects. Grant Imahara graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in electrical engineering, and is known for his appearances on the show BattleBots. Kari Byron graduated magna cum laude from San Francisco State University with a degree in film and sculpture.
Both Adam and Jamie are special effects experts, and like most in the field, were either self-taught or apprenticed with other experts. While most science-related courses can give you the necessary understanding of what happens, there are currently no colleges that offer a program specifically tailored to special effects. If you love what you see on MythBusters, these degrees might suit you best:
- Computer generated imagery (CGI) animation
- Computer graphics
- 3D digital graphics
In the meantime, check out some of these awesome explosions from the show. No matter what you want to major in, let’s face it: who doesn’t like things blowing up?