On the set of the upcoming Alien: Covenant, Adam Savage learns about the array of prop guns and knives used in filming by production armorist John Bowring! Adam then stops by the breakaway effects department to see how the various alien, human, and synthetic bloods and fluids are made and used to great effect on screen!
Adam loves wearing his Totoro cosplay at conventions, and is surprised to find another Totoro cosplayer at this year's Silicon Valley Comic Con (also coincidentally named Adam!) We get a look at Adam's extensive upgrades to his costume, and hit the floor in a double Totoro incognito!
It's been a while since we've opened a mystery mailbag, so let's see what's been sent to the Tested office! This package comes from Canada, and holds within some gear that speaks to our prop making sensibilities.
In Austin, Adam visits Travis Early College High School to learn about its maker-based, problem-solving curriculum and to lend its forensics class a hand with its beat-the-fingerprint-scanner project. (This series and tour is made possible by The Fab Foundation and Chevron.)
Science could never get done without the right tools. And all that gear has to come from somewhere. Many of the gadgets sitting on laboratory shelves around the world have histories just as interesting as the discoveries they've made. Each month we're telling the stories of how the most important lab tools came to be.
There are few more essential tools to a scientist then the ability to keep contaminants out of their research. Dust, microbes, and even vapors can screw up delicate experiments. And as science gets more and more precise, sometimes even a single atom out of place could mean the difference between successful science and total failure. This is why we have cleanrooms. They control the level of contaminated air inside a space and allow scientists to do delicate work without fear that a rogue element will upend everything.
Willis Whitfield invented the cleanroom in 1962. It was a revolution at the time -- the design schematics for the first "ultra-clean room" even has a patent: US3158457 A. But 1962 wasn't all that long ago. It's hard to believe that no one was protecting their environments from contamination before then.
People were certainly trying. According to a paper on the history of the cleanroom by Daniel Hollbrook, a historian at Marshall University, the earliest people to make an attempt at creating controlled environments were watchmakers. It makes sense if you think about it -- they were dealing with teeny tiny parts that had to move in tandem and even a small speck of dirt would throw off their delicate work. In the 1850s one American watch factory, he says, solved the problem of dirt getting into their watch parts by physically moving their entire company from the polluted city of Roxbury, Massachusetts, to a more rural part of the state. Then they located the actual room where they built the watch mechanics above ground level. It was one of the first instances of an isolated area dedicated to building mechanisms.
Adam talks about his cosplay repair workshop, incognito costume walks, and answers some great questions at this year's Silicon Valley Comic Con!
Simone joins physicist Sabrina Gonzalez and Woz for a wide-ranging discussion at this year's Silicon Valley Comic Con!
Adam Savage visits the production of Alien: Covenant to learn how Ridley Scott and his creative collaborators bring us back into the Alien universe. In this first episode of our behind-the-scenes series, Adam tours the massive set of the Dreadnought as it's being built, painted, and weathered to life by the production team in preparation for filming!
For this year's Silicon Valley Comic Con, Adam goes incognito in one of his favorite cosplays--Chewbacca! This upgraded Chewie is a bit different than the Wookiee costume he wore a few years back, with a new bandolier, bowcaster, and mask. Plus, Adam rigs up an animitronic C-3PO to wear on his back, complete with custom dialogue!
Adam enters his own kind of heaven while touring the shop of Austin's Thinkery, where the staff not only makes this children museum's exhibits, but many of its fixtures as well. (This series and tour is made possible by The Fab Foundation and Chevron.)
We meet Alicia (aka VertVixen), who brought her impressive Lich Queen armor to this year's Replica Prop Forum party. Alicia shows us the details of her cosplay build, explaining how she turned digitally modeled pieces into beautifully finished pieces of armor and weaponry!
At this year's Replica Prop Forum showcase, we meet Michael Asanuma, who brought a collection of beautiful animatronic music boxes that he worked on at Mccune Masterworks. These displays, while not replicas of movie props, are bespoke kinetic art pieces with eyecatching detail and charming animations. We loved checking them out!
When we last toured Frank's workshop, he had just moved into a new 2000 square foot space with new infrastructure to support scaled up projects. One year later, we get a tour of his latest upgrades, including custom tool storage, paint spray booth, and digital fabrication machines like 3D printers and a laser cutter!
For reasons that will be clearer when you watch his cameo in the season 2 finale of Syfy's Expanse, Adam gets a full 3D scan of himself at Spin VFX in Toronto!
Replica prop builder Nick Tierce is an unabashed fan of Disney's Tomorrowland, and has built a beautiful replica of the jetpack that George Clooney's character makes in the film. We chat with Nick about the process of piecing together his replica and why this prop and underappreciated film is so meaningful to him.
We meet Darren Moser, a Star Wars costume and prop builder who's been working on a life-size K-2SO from Rogue One. His version of the droid is meant to be puppeted, and Darren demonstrates the joint and linkage systems he's using to bring this character to life. Follow along his K-2SO build at the Replica Prop Forum!