M5 Industries

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M5 Industries, Inc.
Industry Motion picture support services
Genre Visual Effects
Founded c. 1996
Founder Jamie Hyneman
Headquarters 1268 Missouri Street, San Francisco, CA 94107, U.S.
Key people
Jamie Hyneman
  • Research and development
  • Custom fabrication and testing
Owner Jamie Hyneman
Website Official website

M5 Industries (M5i) is a special effects company located in San Francisco, California[1] best known as the working lab of the TV series MythBusters. M5 once produced special effects props for commercials and film, stop motion animation, and animatronic puppets, such as those seen in James and the Giant Peach and The Nightmare Before Christmas. They also extend into prototype development and various display projects.

M5 Industries has produced special effects for many commercials, such as a motorized 7 Up soft drink vending machine that shoots soda cans at people and a remote-controlled shoe for Nike.

M5 emerged around 1996,[2] after Jamie Hyneman, manager of Colossal Pictures' model shop, took over the facility.[3] A statement on the M5 Industries Web site says the company no longer does special effects for movies and television. The facilities were used extensively for the production of the television show MythBusters, whose series finale aired in March 2016. The company now performs research and development work for various other companies, which include developing electric vehicles, various lifesaving devices, and other useful gadgetry.

The company was founded by Jamie Hyneman,[4][5] co-host with Adam Savage of MythBusters on the Discovery Channel. Many of the people who appear on MythBusters were originally employees of M5, notably Kari Byron. When the series began, its primary shooting location was the M5 Industries workshop, now known itself as "M5". During the second season, when a second team of MythBusters was introduced, a second space located at 2200 Jerrold Avenue San Francisco, CA 94124 37°44′47.5″N 122°23′52.6″W / 37.746528°N 122.397944°W / 37.746528; -122.397944, dubbed "M6" was leased for them. However, the show caused significant disruption to neighbouring tenants, resulting in a loss of the lease on M6. M6 was followed by M7, a separate annex of M5 located 800 yards (730 metres) from M5.[4][6][7]

The company's name was suggested by Savage. He intended to suggest the name of either the branch of the British secret service which built gadgets in James Bond fiction (Q Branch) or British secret service itself (MI6), but was mistaken as to the correct name, and suggested M5. Savage alleges that Hyneman never paid him the promised $50 prize for having his suggestion selected.[5]

Grant Imahara also explained that he asked Jamie Hyneman what the "M" stood for in M5 to which he replied "Movies, Monsters, Mechanics, Machining..." and Imahara was thinking that the final M comically stood for Mustache.[8]

M5 Industries website from 2000 says "M5 stands for Models, Machines, Miniatures, Manufacturing... and yes, at least a little bit of Magic." [9]

The workshop does not offer tours or allow visits from the public because of insurance issues.[10]


  1. ^ M5 Industries, Inc., 1268 Missouri St., San Francisco, CA 94107, Tel. +1 415-550-0688 37°45′01″N 122°23′44″W / 37.75028°N 122.39556°W / 37.75028; -122.39556 (37.750333,-122.395639)
  2. ^ M5 was noted as being founded about 15 years before a 2011 episode of MythBusters "Location, Location, Location", MythBusters (Episode SP6 "Location, Location, Location"), 9 November 2011 
  3. ^ "Jamie Hyneman". MythBusters: Jamie and Adam Unleashed. Retrieved 26 December 2015. 
  4. ^ a b http://entertainment.howstuffworks.com/mythbusters3.htm "MythBusters" Shop: M5 Industries, HowStuffWorks
  5. ^ a b "Transcript of Jamie and Adam's Nov. 10, 2004, Online Chat," pg. 5 Retrieved 11 October 2006.
  6. ^ A day with the 'MythBusters' Retrieved 7 March 2008
  7. ^ Jamie Hyneman Answers Fan Questions. Published 22 April 2007. Retrieved 7 March 2008 Archived April 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.‹The template Wayback is being considered for merging.› 
  8. ^ Grant Imahara speaks at University of Alabama in Huntsville April 2011 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0c_E0nxLulE
  9. ^ "M5 Industries – Portfolio". m5industries.com. Archived from the original on 11 January 2001. Retrieved 29 March 2016. 
  10. ^ Retrieved 27 July 2010

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°45′01″N 122°23′45″W / 37.750371°N 122.395712°W / 37.750371; -122.395712