Tuesday, July 05, 2011

TV that's better than movies


Breaking Bad s3 e12 opening

The new season of Breaking bad is about to break, and AMC has been showing all the previous seasons to get everyone hyped up for it. Man, what a fantastic show!! The incredible music video style montage above is just one example.

Below are a few screenshots showing a taste of the innovative cinematography. I've rarely seen interiors shot so dark, with just pools of light and layering used to separate elements. 


In the shot below, bear in mind that green (the color of money) in this show represents a dream of a better life - generally through money obtained via illegal and self-destructive means. Wendy's vertical blinds are a brilliant representation of jail bars too. I also noticed in the montage above that her headboard resembles the Breaking Bad title screen. 



 Here's a series of over-the-shoulder shots that I find amazing...







... Ending with Walt looking tiny and helpless behind his baby's crib in one of those empty dark rooms. Brilliant I tell ya!


And a sequence shot in a large room using two windows covered by opaque yellow shades. The glowing yellow rectangles are used perfectly here as framing devices and abstract shapes to create beautiful compositions. 








At home with the Whites - a tranquil domestic dinnertime scene.









... You know what this kind of lighting really is? It's Chiaroscuro - figures emerging from darkness into light. Like the stuff Caravaggio used to paint. Look it up if you don't believe me!



And here's the closing few moments of the same episode. Powerful television my friends...





I've been hard at work on my film... and I don't want to show too much just before it gets released, so I'm not posting about it. Soon though, you'll be able to watch it. I'm not doing the festival thing, so as soon as I get it done I'm posting it here for the world to see. 

13 comments:

Vincent T├ętreault said...

HAha ! Excellent series.
I saw the 3 first seasons in a week, a month ago (when i was recovering).
What a blast ! I'm waiting for season 4 to shows up in DVD to put my hands on it.

"Badass dad !"

Your observations are very accurate and i didn't saw a thing when i watched them. I should pay more attention with these little things, but i get so absorb with the story when i watch movies that i miss them (unless i watch it over and over again).

Can't wait to see your movie !

jriggity said...

thanks for sharing the Pics....tons to learn from them....

and super happy you are working on your film...

jriggity

Darkstrider said...

I'm the same way... I usually don't really notice the cinematography the first time i watch an episode. But I download them in HD from iTunes, and watch them again (and again sometimes again... ). That's when I start to notice these things.

Actually, I didn't notice a lot of the things I pointed out in the images above until I was capturing them. As I watched with cinematography in mind, I wanted to just post almost every frame!! I took far too many shots, and posted most of them.

Darkstrider said...

Hey Justin! Wow, you got in there just before I posted my reply to Vince!

Thanks, and I've been enjoying reading about your experience at Laika! Really looking forward to the film you guys're making!!

BlacknickSculpture said...

Interesting observations! I usually get so swept up in the story I never notice the things you've pointed out.

I cant wait for the new season to start!

Darkstrider said...

Yeah, it does take a supreme effort to tear yourself away from the amazing writing, directing, acting, and everything else, before you notice the cinematography. Actually it's a very striking-looking show, but while the visuals are unusual and powerful, they're rather subtle and don't draw undue attention to themselves.

UbaTuber said...

This is one of those shows on my list to watch, I've seen a few eps here and there but really want to watch from the beginning.

AWESOME news about your film!! I can't wait to see it! :D

Darkstrider said...

Jeffrey, I hope you're catching it on AMC... they're playing marathons of the whole series over and over! If not, get a season pass on iTunes in HD!

tonychauzer said...

Love Breaking Bad! Really cool breakdown of the scenes there Mike. Learned a few things :)

Very excited to see the film - all the best on the home stretch.

icepick method said...

Donno if it was your post but i definitely noticed the colors used in the new seasons first episode. All cool blues and red for the most part. Walt in blue, being cool, Jesse, who just pissed off Gus, in red. Gus washed in acidic yellow for the long tension building change out scene.

Last time i saw this much blue and red was 2009's Daybreakers. Where the entire film was lit blue, in the same way the matrix used green. In Daybreakers the stark blue made any blood that was spilled really stand out and pop. Not so much in breaking bad, the blood blends into the red floor, which makes me think victor will be quickly forgotten.

Lee said...

As much as I like Breaking Bad, the show I look to for all lighting inspiration is CSI: Miami. The lighting on that show is AMAZING! The original CSI, set in Last Vegas is great as well. My other favorite show for lighting inspiration is Dexter (but you knew that already) :)

Don said...

Ah, sorry, you probably didn't recognize that name. I've been going by the middle one lately.

Better? ;)

Ben Whitehouse said...

I'm going to have to watch this show now! Many thanks for the inspiration Mike.