Jamie Hyneman

Mythbuster, Special Effects Guru

General Session 4, April 8, 11:30 am

Raised in Indiana farm country, Jamie Hyneman is a multifaceted man.

Graduating from Indiana University with a degree in Russian, and having worked as a cook, a pet-store owner, a building inspector and a Slavic collection librarian at the United Nations in Geneva, Hyneman ventured to the Caribbean where he ran a sailing/diving charter business. Four years of captaining in the islands proved to be a great teacher, but also eventually became a routine.

Hyneman returned to the states and decided to try his hand at special effects. The diversity of the work and the creativity required intrigued him, so he methodically went about acquiring the required skills, starting as a simple shop assistant. Within two years in the New York City area, he had worked on several feature films and dozens of commercials, several of which he supervised. His next leap took him to the San Francisco bay area and special effects for feature films.

His credits include Robocop, Arachnophobia, Naked Lunch, and numerous other films until he was hired to manage and later took over the Colossal Pictures model shop in San Francisco and M5 Industries was born. Hyneman evolved M5 into a successful versatile effects business that has specialized in problematic custom builds for over 15 years.

Through the course of his 25 years of work in the effects industry, Jamie has had his hand in producing effects for over 800 commercials, dozens of feature films, and hundreds of prototypes.

Although Mythbusters occupied the majority of Jamie's focus for the last 14 years, Hyneman manages to keep a steady flow of R&D projects running in the background.

Hyneman has been awarded an honorary engineering degree from the University of Maine, and an honorary doctorate of engineering from Villanova University, as well as honorary doctorates from the University of Twente in the Netherlands and Lappeenranta University of Technology in Finland. He and Villanova’s College of Engineering have an ongoing collaborative relationship to develop new safety concepts for the military.

The holder of several patents and the winner of numerous industry awards, Hyneman is also a long-standing member of the Screen Actors Guild.

Hyneman is a voracious reader and admittedly doesn’t watch much television. A true inventor at heart, he can usually be found at M5 refining his latest ideas alongside his large and loveable canine.

Jamie Hyneman