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But in 2001, he found movie offers drying up, and, though he had never seen TV in his future, he gratefully accepted a call from the NBC series "Ed."
The timing was terrific. For decades, TV’s hasty, assembly-line production schedule proved an obstacle to giving a series its own visual style.
"Film had been just a way to record the TV picture," Slovis said. A further barrier to getting too creative was the low resolution and squarish shape of the old TV receivers, which conversely had a negative impact on theatrical films, whose wide-screen format was forced to conform (with lots of medium and close-up shots) to movies’ eventual small-screen telecast.
Slovis hails pioneering exceptions such as "Twin Peaks," "Law & Order" and "The X-Files" and credits "CSI" as "one of the first times that cinematography became a real character on a show. TV began changing around us."
Gilligan agreed that "the advent of flat-screen TV really allowed Michael’s work to shine in a way it wouldn’t have 20 years ago."
Now the end of "Breaking Bad" is nigh. But through Sunday’s final fade-out, Slovis’ influence will remain, capturing the "Bad" times you can’t turn your eyes from. He’s a series star who’s out of sight, yet controlling what you see.
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