THE TUESDAY DROP: 2500+ TV Show Shots

06.14.22   Get your Decks ready ShotDeck Team! We’re adding a lot of highly requested content this week, including shots from the first, groundbreaking season of Breaking Bad and the second season of Fargo. Check them out below, and remember you can always request films and TV shows for future drops by clicking here!

BREAKING BAD is a crime drama series created by Vince Gilligan, starring Bryan Cranston as mild-mannered high school chemistry teacher Walter White, who is dumbstruck when he learns that he has terminal cancer. Desperate not to have his illness ruin him and his family financially, he decides to go into business with his student Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) cooking meth out of an old RV. Breaking Bad Season 1 aired on the AMC network from January to March of 2008, and was nominated for four Primetime Emmy Awards, winning in the Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series (Cranston) and Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing – Drama Series (Lynne Willingham) categories. Gilligan worked on the pilot for Breaking Bad with American cinematographer John Toll, and on the majority of the rest of season 1 with Reynaldo Villalobos

From the start of the series, Gilligan had a clear philosophy on the visual language required of Breaking Bad, establishing a look with Toll (that continued with Villalobos) built around stylized realism that conveyed a heightened sense of contrasts, mirroring the journey Walter White was going through. The camera oscillates between static shots and hand-held camera work that corresponds to the state of calm or anxiety that the characters are feeling, and the 35mm film that the show was shot on pushes the natural light sources frequently used to give a sense of contrast in both the lighting treatment and the colors. As the season progresses, the visual language of Breaking Bad becomes more and more ambitious, pushing the tropes of US television cinematography into new territory. 

FARGO is a black comedy crime drama television series created by Noah Hawley, inspired by the 1996 film of the same name by Joel and Ethan Coen. The series aired on the FX network and follows an anthology format, with each season set in a different era and location with a different story and mostly different characters and cast. Season 2, which aired in October 2015, is set in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota in March 1979, and stars Kirsten Dunst, Patrick Wilson, Jesse Plemmons, Jean Smart and Ted Danson. It follows the lives of Peggy and Ed Blumquist (Dunst and Plemmons) as they attempt to cover up the hit and run homicide of Rye Gerhardt (Kieran Culkin), the son of a powerful crime family. Fargo Season 2 was nominated for 18 Primetime Emmy Awards, winning for Outstanding Limited Series and Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special.

Hawley worked on Season 2 with American production designer Warren Alan Young. The two began their collaboration with a clear remit to recreate 1979 Minnesota and the Dakotas as faithfully as possible, going through period design books such as All-American Ads of the 70s for initial inspiration of the color palette and materials needed to dress the sets. Young collaborated with cinematographer Dana Gonzales to color-code the series’s two warring factions in contrasting color palettes. The scenes set in Luverne, Minnesota were directly influenced by the 70s street photographs of William Eggleston, with locations living primarily in hues of oranges, yellows and greens. By contrast, the Idaho ranch occupied by the Gerhardt crime family had its look inspired by the muted colors and cooler tones found in the paintings of Andrew Wyeth, giving them a harsher, more stark look. Young designed spaces inspired by the style established by the films of the Coen brothers, opting for symmetry and creating a look that pushed realism into slightly off-kilter territory by designing compositions for the camera that felt just slightly too well-composed to be entirely naturalistic.