“Breaking Bad” fans were thrilled yesterday when the show’s creator Vince Gilligan appeared alongside Michael Lynton, chairman and CEO Sony Pictures Entertainment, at a keynote presentation by Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai at CES 2014 yesterday.
While the big news was Sony’s new streaming game service and a cloud-based TV service, “Breaking Bad” fans were eager to hear Gilligan’s take on streaming video and on demand services.
“When I started in the TV business, the conventional wisdom was serialized storytelling was to be avoided,” Gilligan said. That was before Netflix and binge viewing. “With these SVOD services, it allows for a serialized sort of storytelling, in fact, even the hyperserialized form of storytelling we employed on ‘Breaking Bad.’ [Streaming] allows people to catch up whenever they want at any hour of the day or night.”
Gilligan said he is a fan of the large TVs which are ubiquitous on the CES convention floor. “When I grew up, TV series were framed and cut to a smaller screen size which led to a lot of talking heads. With giant, wide TVs, you get to frame and emulate John Ford or Sergio Leone and, in the case of “Breaking Bad,” you can place characters in an endless expanse of Mexico prairie which gets to look very painterly and cinematic. That’s a wonderful development.”
Gilligan gushed about new video cameras which can allow creators to shoot inside cramped spaces. “With these tiny new cameras that exist, we can put them on the back of a mailbox or in the wheel well of a car or we can have Walt back over one! And they intercut very well with a motion picture. They’re inexpensive in a way that I can’t even believe! We can risk breaking them! If it comes down between a $300 camera and a million-dollar shot, I’ll break the $300 camera every day of the week.”
He’s also eager for the age of head-mounted displays (such as Google Glass, although he didn’t name check it). “I’m looking forward to the head-mount display. Just to allow folks to be enveloped in the storytelling, whether it’s ‘Breaking Bad,’ or as a fan, if I could be enveloped in ‘The Godfather’ or ‘Jackie Brown,’ one of my favorite Tarantino movies — I’m looking forward to that,” he said.