• James Kunovski

Television Production Still Bible

This is an appreciation collage post. No copyright infringement is intended.

The concept of mise-en-scene and composition have been explored with a lens for decades. Television explores a somewhat refrained sense of cinematography, mainly due to budget and time constraints. Coupling characters with their surroundings leads to a 'perfect composition'. One that is less focused on experimentation and more on efficiency.

In this scenario, it is the case of the set stills photographer to twist the atmosphere. In a way, they are a fly on the wall, observing a more animated and visceral lining to what should look recognisable.

By capturing the movement of these characters, we are drawn into their world. A reflective moment in a sordid bar or a couple’s dispute all seem closer to heart sans a structured cinematographic look. It also allows us to pause, in our own time, and reflect on a world that we’d otherwise see in an hour slot.

The production stills below, all from TV shows that have aired in the past decade, examine their characters in honest detail.

Atlanta, FX

Veep, HBO

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Amazon Prime

Westworld, HBO

Breaking Bad, AMC

Westworld, HBO

Breaking Bad, AMC

The Crown, Netflix

True Detective, HBO

The Deuce, HBO

The Knick, Cinemax

Boardwalk Empire, HBO

Mad Men, AMC

The Crown, Netflix

Fargo, FX

The Handmaid's Tale, Hulu

Game of Thrones, HBO

Big Little Lies, HBO

The Handmaid's Tale, Hulu

Barry, HBO

Breaking Bad, AMC

The Leftovers, HBO

Mr. Robot, USA Network