The theft earlier this year of a Breaking Bad script from star Bryan Cranston’s car wasn’t the first time details of the acclaimed AMC series have fallen into the wrong hands. “A script was accidentally sent to a non crew member in Season Four,” executive producer Michelle MacLaren wrote yesterday during a Reddit AMA. “The recipient contacted us and said he was sent the script accidentally but does not want to open it and ruin the surprise. We sent him swag and a huge thank you.”
The anecdote was part of an extensive chat in which MacLaren and other Breaking Bad insiders touched on the show’s attention to detail and, of course, the upcoming final eight episodes, which are scheduled to begin August 11th. Fans prodded MacLaren, writers’ assistant Gordon Smith, script coordinator Jenn Carroll and post-production editor and coordinator Trevor Baker for any scrap about how the show might end.
The staff was tight-lipped about the potential fates of Walter White (played by Cranston), Jesse Pinkman (played by Aaron Paul) and the rest of the characters, with Smith joking, “I can pretty much say the only ending we didn’t consider was where Walt moves to Uruguay and sets up a military dictatorship with the help of a series of Hitler’s clones and his space army of . . . you get where I’m going with this. It’s all open.”
The staff acknowledged feeling the pressure to come up with the perfect ending, much of which they said was self-imposed. “Honestly, it’s been tough on everyone every step of the way. That’s probably one reason that breaking each episode took a little longer – because everyone wanted it to be perfect,” Carroll wrote. “Same thing in production: everyone wanted every prop, every set, every casting decision, every wardrobe selection – EVERYTHING – to be perfect, because everyone wanted to make the best show possible, and everyone especially wanted to do right by Vince” Gilligan, who created Breaking Bad.
Fans were also curious about the close attention to detail, from the continuity of tone from season to season to the way the show makes use of color.
“Every color is carefully thought out and approved by Vince Gilligan,” MacLaren wrote. “Our wonderful costume designers put together a color chart at the beginning of each season and we discuss where the characters and their colors are going to go.”
Smith chimed in about Gilligan’s intentions, writing, “I’m not sure Vince has a thematic meaning in mind as much as a mood. Colors attach to certain characters, for sure (Walt and green, Sky and blue, etc), but the tonality of the colors is crucial. Often a character’s colors will get darker and have more black in them as their story gets darker, and sometimes just the opposite. Vince tries to make the colors have an emotional impact more than a literal meaning, I think. He really tries to make everything in the frame impact the audience’s feelings.”
Another fan switched gears and asked MacLaren about her recent experiences directing Game of Thrones and the parallels between working on the fantasy series and Breaking Bad. MacLaren wrote that both shows give directors plenty of creative freedom, within the restrictions of time and budget.
“The biggest difference is location and in some cases size, but both are extremely challenging in a wonderful way,” MacLaren wrote. “Game of Thrones is logistically huge and it is exciting shooting in Ireland, Croatia and Morocco but it is also thrilling shooting in New Mexico, which has some of the most beautiful light I have ever seen.”