Science Rules! Two Fans are making a Bill Nye Documentary

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Millennials across the U.S. probably remember Bill Nye from middle school science class.  The Science Guy taught you how to explode things and other lessons your teacher had been talking about for months. Instead of putting you to sleep, Bill Nye made science interesting and fun. Two filmmakers (and fans) have launched a Kickstarter to fund a documentary on the man who continues to impact the world through lectures, activism, and yes, even exploding the occasional thing. We had a chance to ask Jason Sussberg and David Alvarado about Bill’s impact on their own lives and why documenting his life is so important.
Geek & Sundry:  Were you both big fans of Bill Nye growing up?
Jason: Yes, absolutely. Both David and I were super Bill Nye fans in the 90’s. I don’t know anybody who wasn’t a fan of the show. It was just such a weird, wonderful show.
G&S:  What impact did The Science Guy show have on you?
David: I grew up in north Texas, the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and it was very much a community who did not value things like the teaching of evolution in school, the tendency towards reason, rational discussion and general liberal thought — I don’t mean politically liberal — but liberal as in looking at things from different perspectives and trying to make a decision from a rational standpoint. So for me when I saw The Science Guy show on TV, I saw something very different. I saw the voice of somebody who was excited about nature, who had questions and was questioning the answers and encouraged that of his viewers.
Photo Credit: Erika Kapin

G&S: Have you heard from a lot of fans who have been impacted by Bill and the show?
Jason: That’s kind of the extraordinary thing about this. We didn’t really know that there was this community of people who were so touched by him. You would hear people say, “Oh I love Bill Nye growing up” and that was sort of it. But in the course of making the documentary we’re realizing that people are doctors because of him, people are engineers because of him and we’re literally talking to these people every day who are tweeting to us and reaching out to us apropos of nothing and saying, “He literally changed my life. Without his show I would not be an electrical engineer.” or “I would not be working on batteries at Tesla.”

G&S: What do you think makes Bill Nye’s story a good documentary?
Jason: The interesting thing about this story is that there’s this really great, amazing life that he has lived up until this point. He’s 59 years old, going on 60, and he’s really kicking it into high gear with advocacy and activism. He really wants to change the world and is on the journey to do. He’s someone who has an amazing past but what he’s doing now is in the present, is unfolding in real time and is extraordinary and we get to go along for the journey.

G&S: Why do you think this movie needs to be made?
David: It may sound grandiose but if you just think about something that you care about, personally care about, I feel like the advancement of science and technology and understanding of nature can only enhance those things that we hold dear. It’s a tool to make our world better and the thing about Bill Nye is that when we were all kids, he made us excited about science and technology and now he’s out there trying to do the very same thing on a much bigger scale. We want people to find that inspiration — to get really excited like we were when we were kids about science — be just as excited about it as adults.

Check out the Kickstarter to see clips from the film and pick up some really cool rewards!

Featured Image Photo Credit: Erika Kapin

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