Warning: Spoilers for S4E8 “Bagman” ahead.
If you’ve seen this week’s episode of Better Call Saul on Stan you’ll know what a punch it packs.
Creator and director Vince Gilligan discussed the episode with Variety.
Here are two excerpts:
What were some of the challenges in shooting this episode?
VG: A typical schedule is a nine-day schedule, but we knew right from the get-go that this would be more than nine days. I think our original thought was maybe it would be 11 days. Ultimately it was one episode for the price of two. I think we wound up going somewhere around 17 or 18 days. I was a Megillah, it was something else.
Tell me more about that shootout scene, would you say that’s the most action-packed moment we’ve seen on “Saul” so far?
VG: There are so many beats in it and it was important, just based on my read of the script, to play the whole thing as much as possible from Saul’s point of view. Pre-shootout, shootout and then the post-shootout moments. And that made it a bit tricky, in terms of wanting to have Bob Odenkirk in every shot if possible. There are one or two shots that he’s not actually in, but I would hope at least 90% of the shots include him in it, even if he’s a little tiny character in the background. He almost gets killed and then the shooting starts and then he has to hide out. He sees another vehicle coming and then all these other vehicles need to get their tires shot out so that they’re not viable means of escape for Mike and Jimmy later. Jimmy’s own car needs to be shot, except in a way that makes it drivable — but not for long.
There were so many little moments that had to be serviced. It was huge and it was exhausting to shoot for everyone, for the crew, certainly for Bob, and all of the stuntmen who did such a wonderful job playing those bad guys, that gang of robbers. And it’s with the sun beating down on us all day long. I believe it took four and a half or five days to shoot. I don’t know that I’ve ever worked on one scene that long or that hard before, and when we finally got through it, it felt like a great weight was lifted off of us. But then we realized, “Oh my god we got the whole rest of this episode to go, there’s so much more to shoot.” It was big.