How’d They Do That? (Breaking Bad Edition)

SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! On last night’s explosive season finale of Breaking Bad, Gus (Giancarlo Esposito) had a slight mishap. He emerged from Tio’s room after the explosion, straightened his tie, and for a moment appeared to have survived the blast. Then, of course, the camera swung around for the best reveal of the season. FABULOUS! So, how did they do that? Well, the Breaking Bad F/X crew partnered with the Walking Dead F/X crew and worked for MONTHS on that shot. According to show creator Vince Gilligan, a 3D sculpture was digitally melded to the film to allow viewers to “actually see into and through Gus’s head in that final reveal. It’s a combination of great makeup and great visual effects. That one shot where the explosion happens, and then you dolly in on Gus, is actually two shots: the explosion happened in one take, and then the shot revealing Gus — it took me 19 takes to get it right,” Gilligan said. “The big, bravura part of the effect is obviously Gus’s face, what’s left of it, but to me it’s just as amazing how the visual effects guys married the two shots together so that there’s literally no seam between. There’s smoke, but you don’t see the cut in between. It’s just amazing what they’re capable of doing these days.” (via MSNBC)

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