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We represent reality, we don't reproduce it. ~Breaking Bad cinematographer Michael Slovis


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Michael Slovis says:

One trademark in the show that's terrific and that Vince and I talk about and exploit is that we often don't see the faces of the main characters. Vince says that everyone knows who these people are so we really don't need to see their faces. Other networks or studios would be upset if you put your main character in a silhouette or put a little bit of light on his head; they want you to see him.

We always head towards the emotion of the scene and not necessarily towards seeing the faces. If I can tell the story in a pitch-black room with the face totally in silhouette, that's what we do. It's expressionistic. We represent reality, we don't reproduce it.

Another example of that are those colors in New Mexico. Those golden, orangey, yellowy colors don't exist in real life. Never once had anyone at the studio or network said, Those colors don't exist, don't do it because it disturbs me. Those colors let me know where we are and are supported by the story, although they don't exist in nature or reality. We take a very, very representational, emotionally based, expressionistic approach. The same thing goes with those wacky POV shots we do... nobody sees things from those angles but they serve the story.

What makes Breaking Bad so powerful a story is that all of the elements of storytelling work so well together.

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