Essays · Movies · TV

‘Breaking Bad:’ The Movie

By  · Published on March 13th, 2017

The Ballad of Walter White in two taut hours.

When people are attempting to compliment series of this, the New Golden Age of television, often they throw out this double-edged quip: “it’s like a really long movie.”

While this is indeed meant to be a positive statement, it’s a little denigrating at the same time, as it would seem to suggest that film is television fully-evolved, the highest peak of visual storytelling. Me personally, I like to think about it sort of the other way around: movies are visually-driven and narratively like Cliff’s Notes, and television is the novel, a place where narrative is the master, not time.

No doubt we could sit here you and I and discuss the merits of one medium over the other until we are both old(er), gray(er), and plum out of breath, or we could meet in the middle and watch this truly remarkable video that has somehow managed to edit the entire series of Vince Gilligan’s Breaking Bad into a very compelling two-hour movie. For real.

Not only does the video extoll the virtues of both film and television – the former by presenting a new version of a story already told that is more concise and distilled to its emotional essence, the latter by making you notice the missing exposition, in some cases longing for it, in some cases discovering it unnecessary – it also highlights that however differently the two media tackle storytelling, ultimately they’re cut from the same cloth, both with their advantages and disadvantages, and both with the same goal: to relate a compelling narrative.

As someone who has only recently started dabbling with editing myself, I cannot for the life of me imagine the amount of work, familiarity, and planning that must have gone in to this video, but I can more than appreciate the result and am certain you will too. No need to tread lightly, just dive right in.

UPDATE: Ugh. It’s down again. Oh well, we’ll always have 50+ hours of the actual series. Just not on Vimeo.

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Novelist, Screenwriter, Video Essayist