Outrageous Experiments

Allen’s Exit Interview

posted: 02/25/17
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Spy Car Elimination

It was a very (VERY) difficult decision, but YouTuber -- and fan favorite -- Allen Pan was the last contestant to go home before the final four. We talked to him about his experience on MythBusters: The Search and what went wrong for him during the James Bond Spy Car challenge.

  1. You were the force behind the tar-and-feather concept. What about this build went right for you?

I'd say the build itself was at least pretty solid. We went with the KISS principle that week (Keep It Simple, Stupid!) and that meant things like a spring loaded trunk and hot glued butterfly valves. So at the very least those parts worked!

  1. Unfortunately, your team's rig didn't do much to obscure the chase car's vision. What went wrong?

Pretty much everything! Mostly we just ran out of time and weren't able to do a full system test. The racetrack was the first time we got to deploy the pressure sprayers and feather launcher in situ, and if we had been able to test those beforehand we would have seen the sprayers weren't angled right, the party supplies would get clogged up, etc.

  1. If you could change anything about this episode, what would it be?

I'd have eased the restrictions on our sticky materials! The Alameda Runway is pretty strict, and we might have had a better chance if we could use something a little less environmentally friendly (superglue anyone?).

  1. What was your FAVORITE myth to work on? Why?

Definitely Myth #1, sideways ejection seat! All 10 of us were there, the myth was super exciting, and it was our first time on the runway!

  1. How is being a MythBuster harder than it looked to you as a viewer?

You definitely get less time to build than you'd think! Between multiple takes, doing pieces to camera, and waiting for everything to be set up for tests, you get maybe half a day of actual building for every full work day! That was probably the most challenging part.

  1. How is being a MythBuster easier than it looked to you as a viewer?

When we were filming probably the thing we worried about the most was how we would look on camera. Turns out with the MB camera crew and editors we really shouldn't have worried at all! It's definitely easier to be good looking and interesting than I thought with those guys at the helm!

  1. Is there anything you want viewers to know about you or this experience that they may not get from watching the show?

Probably the incredible amount of thought and work that went into each episode. It's easy to forget during an hourlong show that most of these builds occurred over an entire week, which means that literally 111 hours out of 112 aren't shown (assuming two teams). So as a viewer if you ever find yourself thinking "why didn't they just...?" trust me, we thought about it and decided not to do it for good reasons!

  1. What was it like meeting Adam Savage?

My jaw literally dropped. I think he noticed and looked at me funny! He gave us all advice that carried me through the show, which was to just be sincere. Hearing that from him was amazing, because it kind of alleviated the elephant in the room; we didn't have to be the new Jamie or Adam, we just had to be ourselves!

  1. Did you watch MythBusters? What was your favorite episode?

I grew up with Mythbusters! Seriously, Mythbusters has literally been around for most of my life (14 years out of 27). When I was a kid Earthquake Machine was probably my favorite because of how crazy effective resonance was! It was surprising and stuck with me, and unfortunately there are some cut segments from our Needle in a Haystack attempt where we discussed finding the resonant frequency of the cow to get max vibration.

  1. You've worked with Grant Imahara. Can you talk about that a bit?

That was awesome! I had just gotten a lot of exposure for some viral Youtube videos, and an electronics distributor contacted me asking if I wanted to help them with an ad campaign. I was already on board when they mentioned that Grant would be in the video as well, at which point I had a nerd explosion. He's pretty much the nicest dude; after we were done filming he hung out with me at the airport telling Mythbusters stories! I never thought just a few months later I'd have a few of my own.

  1. What's next for you?

I'm going back to what got me on the show in the first place, making awesome Youtube videos! Plus I'm totally friends with the new Mythbusters now, so who knows! I wouldn't mind a Stan-Lee-esque cameo on the new show!

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