"[T]he only real way to do it is to tell an honest human story, but to do it in a way that people feel like they haven’t seen before."
July 25, 2012 8:39 PM Subscribe
A fascinating interview with Vince Gilligan, showrunner of Breaking Bad. The questions are as excellent as the answers.
This points to that quality of improvisation with the work you’re doing. In a traditional crime show, like “CSI,” if it were a big band, it’s a big band working off charts. The arrangements are very tightly controlled. And what I sense with “Breaking Bad” is a sense of, I don’t know, “John Coltrane on acid.” You have this sense of improvisation where you go with things you know, where you tell the story the length it needs to be told. You’re inspired collectively by a moment and you decide to go deeper into that moment. You’re in essence leading a parallel life with your characters and letting those characters take you where they want to go — not necessarily where the dictates of commercial convention say they have to go.Meanwhile, Alan Sepinwall asks actors Bryan Cranston (2) and Aaron Paul about some of their most iconic moments on the show.
It finally dawned on me that TV is about stasis, and it is about life, whereas our lives are about change. We get older with every passing moment. We change in our lives, we change our hairstyles. We change our outlooks on life, our political views sometimes. TV by design has to have a certain amount of stasis to it, because the goal in television is to have a TV show that lasts for many decades. But it’s hard to have characters on your TV show change when you are trying to provide a safe haven for the viewers, a familiar place for the viewers to come back to week in and week out. And, to that end, when you have a cop show, and a cop shoots a perp, that rule of stasis, that self-imposed stricture of stasis, dictates that a particular act of violence doesn’t resonate too strongly with the character, certainly within the body of the episode. The cop sits around with his boss, after the shooting, and the boss says, “You did what you had to do.” We’ve all seen that scene. But the next episode, it’s like it never happened.and:
I hope I get through my whole life and am able to honestly say this: “I have never Googled myself. And I’ve never Googled ‘Breaking Bad.’” I don’t do it, not because I’m not interested, but because the opposite is true. I am desperately interested, but I know that I will disappear down some rabbit hole if I were to do that. And so while we have this amazing opportunity to listen in to these Twitter feeds and get this instant reaction, it would become a very dangerous sort of an echo chamber.and:
Kubrick’s one of my all-time favorites. The other great quote, that I use all the time from him, was somebody asked him, “What about the space station, and using the Blue Danube throughout that sequence? Just genius! Why did you do it that way?” And Kubrick thought about it, and said, “Showmanship.” It was my favorite answer of all time.
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