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Breaking Bad’s Powerful Motivated Camera Movement

By Joseph Cha on October 1st 2015

Making Good with Breaking Bad

It’s no secret that Breaking Bad is a masterpiece of a television show. It has an amazing cast, brilliant writing, and some of the best cinematography I have ever seen on television. When you combine cinematic compositions with intentional camera movement, then you’re not just setting up for the scene, but adding impact to the story.

In the video below, we have an example from Breaking Bad, and how the motivated camera movement propels the storytelling. Take a look, but be warned, it may contain some mild spoilers.

Breaking Bad’s Powerful Motivated Camera Movement

BREAKING BAD – Motivated Camera Movement from Vashi Nedomansky on Vimeo.

Nowadays we have so many options for camera movement. You can pan, tilt, slide, glide, fly, dolly, zoom, parallax, etc… The variety is seemingly endless, but just because you can doesn’t mean you should. When you shoot you should approach each scene with the story in mind and plan your motivated camera movements accordingly, instead of just doing what “looks cool.”

To achieve a shot like this you must have airtight communication between the writer, the director, the shooter, and the editor. This shot is only achieved intentionally.

I hope this challenges you to be more intentional with your writing and cinematography. Next time you watch a movie or television show, pay attention to the cinematic movements and how it affects the story.

[Source: VashiVisuals]


I’m a photographer and cinematographer based in Southern California. When I don’t have a camera in my face I enjoy going to the movies and dissecting the story telling and visual aesthetics.


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  1. Joshua Grasso

    Crazy…just watched this episode last night and thought it was perfect to teach my students about dollying for a purpose. Then you guys had it all in a video ready for me. How perfect!

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  2. Danny Caro

    I just shared the article with all my film making friends. A must watch for all. Great advice!

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  3. Keegan Carroll

    Wow! What an amazing camera work. Really kept me on the edge of my seat and once Walter was shown it was a massive climax! Im a stills photographer and shots like this makes me tip my hat to the cinematographer/Videographers out there!

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  4. Roberto Miramontes

    Damn, Walter surprised me again. I forgotted that twist.

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  5. Brandon Dewey

    great show and that was a great to watch it again from a videographer point of view.

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