A tribute to the Breaking Bad wide shot: Jorge Luengo Ruiz compiles the show's best panoramas (VIDEO).

Breaking Bad’s Secret Weapon: The Wide-Angle Shot

Breaking Bad’s Secret Weapon: The Wide-Angle Shot

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Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
Nov. 14 2015 4:23 PM

Breaking Bad’s Secret Weapon: The Wide-Angle Shot


Still from Vimeo

Few shows conjured a sense of place like Breaking Bad. As has been said time and again, the show’s Southwestern setting was as much a character as Walter White or Gus Fring, with creator Vince Gilligan and cinematographer Michael Slovis using an array of visual tools to bring New Mexico’s landscape to the fore.

The most potent of those tools? The wide-angle shot. In every episode, Slovis at some point sets the camera far, far back from the action, rendering humans as mere blips and emphasizing New Mexico’s desert vistas, infinite horizons, and brightly blue skies. Gilligan’s love for Sergio Leone inspired this approach, and now Jorge Luengo Ruiz’s best-of compilation provides a fresh opportunity to marvel at the show’s panoramic beauty.

Sharan Shetty is on the editorial staff of the New Yorker. You can follow him on Twitter