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Why Jimmy’s Mesa Verde Commercial Made SaulShowrunner Peter Gould Nerd Out on ’60s-Era Film

One critical part of Kim and Jimmy‘s scheme to take down Mesa Verde was a carefully crafted commercial that would paint Kevin’s father, the man who started the banking chain, as a guy that has taken advantage of vulnerable customers of the very bank they put their trust in. For the creators of Better Call Saul, this meant developing a vintage commercial that looked like it was actually filmed in the ’60s.

Fortunately, as discussed on the latest installment of the Better Call Saul Insider Podcast, executive producer Peter Gould and his team were more than up for the challenge. “We knew we were going to shoot film, we knew it was probably going to be 16mm film. I know we looked at 8mm even to see, although I think that ultimately looked too much like home movie to work,” director Michael Morris says, explaining just the tip of the iceberg of the thinking that went into the film that would be used. He continued to rattle off a snippet of an email that Gould sent during production outlining all of the tests they’d run to get it right, including “8mm reversal, 8mm negative, 16mm reversal, 16mm negative with two colorists on two separate systems.”

And that’s just the work that went into choosing the film. As Gould continued to elaborate, the real trick to creating the vintage look and feel has a lot to do with style and technique. “It’s the way things are shot, and the presentation, and the lighting,” Gould, a lover of movies who was intent on getting it right, says. “I see a lot of fake silent movies and it seems like people have never watched a real silent movie and all they’ve watch is satire of silent movies.”

Based on this conversation, the Better Call Saul crew clearly wasn’t going to be accused on skimping on the details. Hear the creators break down how they made the vintage Mesa Verde commercial and more behind-the-scenes details in the Insider Podcast.

Plus, don’t miss the latest episode of Better Call Saul available now on amc.com and AMC apps for mobile and devices.

New episodes every Monday at 9/8c. To stay up-to-date with all the latest news, sign up for the Better Call Saul Insiders Club.

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