The reactant was a mild-mannered high school chemistry teacher in Albuquerque, New Mexico; the reagent was inoperable lung cancer. From these ingredients Vince Gilligan cooked up the compelling, ground-breaking crime drama “Breaking Bad” for AMCtv.
One morning in August 2013, out of the blue, I received a call from AMCtv to discuss a production. highresolution had never worked with AMCtv before, and the call was from someone I had worked with in the past. We met that afternoon.
The final season of “Breaking Bad” was underway, with the series finale coming up fast. I was asked if we could fabricate a desk ornament that would combine the branding of the show with design elements that reflected its premise. I was a huge fan of “Breaking Bad,” and said, “K, Y not?,” without hesitation and we collaborated on the overall design and components of the promotion.
We also needed to create sturdy packaging to protect the ornament. highresolution produced a heavy-weight turned edge sleeve and box. Both were covered in Arrestox Bookcloth from Hollander’s that is made from a green linen fabric with a water based acrylic coating that makes it resistant to scratches, stains and tearing. The fabric was wrapped over the edges and glued to the inside surface, a technique also used in hardcover bookbinding, for a polished look. The outer sleeve was screen printed with the show’s branding. The 7.5” x 7.5” x 4” box had a nice, heavy weight and was durable. No question it was holding something nice.
Inside the box, the ornament was cradled In 2” black foam covered with black velvet. The velvet padding was snug, because we wanted to Be sure that it wouldn’t slide out of place during shipping.
The 5” x 5 “ x 1½” base of the ornament was custom-poured acrylic. We screen printed the chemical symbols for Bromine and Barium on the bottom of the base in green, white and black. They can be seen clearly from any angle.
We then notched two ⅛” wells into the top surface to hold two cubes, each of which contained a glass vial. One vial contained Barium, the other Bromine. Each glass vile was encased in 2” square acrylic molten, along with screened printed acetate with each element’s chemical symbol and atomic number.
At the bottom of the box, we put shredded 100 dollar bills (courtesy of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York) for extra cushioning to protect the printing on the bottom of the base. We produced just 20 pieces for AMCtv. As this is a limited-edition, I would be happy to arrange a meeting to show you the ornament, and answer your questions about its design and fabrication.
We have since worked with AMCtv on several Mo unique promotions and printing. Am I going to share photos and details about them in future blog posts? Is Walter the one who knocks?
All images shot by New York-based photographer Bill Waltzer