How They Made Gus Fring’s Iconic Death Scene in ‘Breaking Bad’
Set in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Breaking Bad follows Walter White (Bryan Cranston), a meek high school chemistry teacher who transforms into a ruthless player in the local methamphetamine drug trade, driven by a desire to financially provide for his family after being diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. Whites journey leads him into partnership with Fring, but relationships fray as he insist on protecting his protégé and former student Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul).
With his family’s safety on the line, White concocts a murder suicided plot with rival Hector Salamanca (Mark Margolis), who deeply hates Fring but is unable to get act upon it due to his disability. When Fring visits Hector, the wheelchair bound cartel associate triggers a bomb that kills himself and Fring. In a last moment of defiance over death, Fring leaves the room, straightens his tie and dies. The shocking scene shows that half of Frings face has been blown off.
Corridor Digital is an American production studio based in Los Angeles, known for creating pop-culture-related viral online short-form videos since 2010, Their YouTube Channel Corridor Crew includes popular series VFX Artists React to Bad & Great CGi, with their latest video looking at The Witcher series 2, The Matrix Resurrections and Breaking Bad. Skip to 8:05 on THIS video to watch the BB section, where they guys break down the VFX and special effects used to perform the amazing scene, which takes places in season 4’s finale.
There’s an extra little detail that I love, his eye looks where his other eye does… They also did have some practical prosthetics on his face, and in visual effects. Not only do they have to remove that, but they have to remove pretty much the entirety of the head, so that they can have a clean plate, so that, where it actually is kinda eating into his head, they can replace that.
The fact that it’s very hard to tell what is real versus what is not is a testament to how good the execution of this effect is. They were meticulous about how they were going to go about doing this effect, because they knew that they were going to be doing this as a visual effect, and they wanted to support it with the prosthetic makeup.
The episode was appropriately titled “Face Off” and was a massive turning point for the show, as Season 4 had built Fring up to be the shows ultimate big bad. With Fring now dead, Walter White was now the defacto Kingpin of methamphetamine in New Mexico.
However, that is not the end of Frings story, as spin-off show Better Call Saul brings back Gus Fring for a look at some stories that Breaking bad never told. The prequel show explores the world of troubled attorney Jimmy McGil and later series delves deeply into Frings growing empire. Better Call Saul season 6 premieres later this year, so be sure to catch this when it drops.
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