CinematographerArthur Albert (imdb link)
GenreTelevision; Drama
Aspect Ratio1.78
Filming Location – Albuquerque, New Mexico
CameraRed / Epic Dragon
LensesZeiss Standard Speeds; Arri Master Primes; Angenieux Optimo Zooms

The Show
Breaking Bad prequel following the early law career of con artist turned attorney Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk).

Here’s cinematographer Arthur Albert, who shot the entirety of the show’s first two seasons, on distinguishing Saul from Breaking Bad.

I started prep three weeks before the first day of shooting. I asked Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould if the wanted to continue the style of Breaking Bad, and their answer was that they did not want a complete break, but they wanted it to be different as well. They stressed repeatedly that they felt TV shows were all starting to look the same, and that they wanted Saul to look like nothing else on television. They showed me stills from The Conformist and from Kubrick’s work. Our first day of shooting was in bright sunlight in a skate park. I kept looking for Jean-Louis Trintignant in a period tuxedo, but he was nowhere to be found.

One point of departure was that they didn’t want the handheld look that gave Breaking Bad its nervous energy. In fact they did not want any camera movement that was unmotivated. This was quite a departure from my last few shows, where the producers would start twitching if the camera wasn’t moving at all times. It required retraining my operators to avoid movement unless absolutely necessary.

Vince kept pushing the look darker and darker, saying “we know who they are, we don’t need to see them all the time”, which is a departure from what is essentially a comedy.

Read the full interview.

Click on any of the links below for a collection of frames from that category.

Wide shots
Two Shots
Three Shots
High and Low Angles
Vanishing Point
Unusual Camera Perspectives
Rack Focus
Composing With Large Groups

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