Breaking Bad’s pilot was originally set to take place in Riverside, California. The area is known for having a nasty meth problem, so it seemed like a perfect fit. Even so, executives at Sony’s television production studio felt that New Mexico would be a better location. Not so much for artistic reasons, but because they knew that the southwestern state would offer a hefty discount if they filmed there. Though hesitant at first to bring the AMC show to the hot, arid deserts of New Mexico, creator Vince Gilligan later admitted that it was, in fact, an excellent idea. The city of Albuquerque, in many ways, became its own standout character. (Not to mention a suddenly more enticing tourist destination.)
The big, open sky and earth tones shown throughout Breaking Bad gave the series a wonderfully cinematic feel. In addition to the brown and yellow hues, the show used various shots to show off New Mexico’s long horizons, the most memorable probably being the wide shot. “The wide shots come from Vince’s love of [Italian director] Sergio Leone,” Michael Slovis, the show’s director of photography, told Wired. “One of the first things he told me was to look at the The Good, The Bad And The Ugly.”
In an effort to illustrate just how beautiful those wide shots from Breaking Bad really were, video essayist Jorge Luengo Ruiz put together a supercut from all five seasons of the show. It’s incredible how the shots make serious drug dealing and a dirty RV look a little more pleasing.