After spending a mere day in Modena Italy making traditional balsamic vinegar, I not only fell in love with traditional balsamic and the entire process that goes into its perfection, but also in love with an Italian family and their story. Their devotion to the purity of traditional balsamic and the stark contrast between traditional balsamic that comes from the Emilia-Romagna region and the regular, over-the-counter street shit, reminded me of one of my favorite TV shows: Breaking Bad.

Breaking Balsamic

The process, referred to as ‘cooking’, the analogy of the pure stuff vs. street grade product, and the cooking outfits – clawed at me so much I couldn’t shake it. So I hired a videographer in Italy (Emiliano Bechi Gabrielli), manipulated charmed my legit German filmmaker friend (Moritz Vogel) to edit the whole thing so it didn’t end up looking like one of my botched editing  experiments, and convinced the Biancardi family to shoot a little promo Breaking Bad parody video in the spirit of Breaking Bad despite the fact that they have never seen the show. This wasn’t my first bout with promotional video marking, but it certainly was the most hands on.

Upon reflection, I can imagine my explanation of what I wanted to do must have been pretty confusing for an Italian family.

Yeah, so there is this TV show in America where this high school teacher who has cancer becomes a crystal methamphetamine cook and dealer…This is the perfect analogy for your pure traditional balsamic vinegar and the cheap stuff that people buy who just don’t know any better…and Emilio has the perfect demeanor for Walter White…

Then I think there was some eyes glazing over as I burrowed deeper into my explanation and ended somewhere around the topic of dissolving bodies with acid in barrels and murder in the desert…

Much to my surprise, the family went for it. The Don of the family – Claudio Biancardi – is actually a former high school chemistry teacher, as such, I think the gods of fate were in my corner.

Here are some photos from behind the scenes of the three day shoot.

Giving Jesse Pinkman a run for his money

Giving Jesse Pinkman a run for his money

High Italian spirits going on 9 hours straight of shooting...

High Italian spirits going on 9 hours straight of shooting…

Running from a sinister villain. Standard.

Running from a sinister villain. Standard.

Out of breathe.

Out of breathe.

Late night cooking.

Late night cooking.

Breaking Balsamic in Modena Italy Emilia Romagna-3

The perfect manor for filming just about anything. Ghostbusters is high on my list.

The perfect manor for filming just about anything. Ghostbusters is high on my list.

The Godfather spying on our filming. Classic.

The Godfather spying on our filming. Classic.

Wrapping it up.

Wrapping it up.

Special thanks for the tourism board of Emilia Romagna & Blogville for introducing me to the Acetaia Villa Bianca, El Gripe for letting us use one of their vintage Vespas, and to my German Filmmaker Moritz Vogel for the patience to edit someone else’s storyline and shooting.

There is a new Pinkman in town.

There is a new Pinkman in town.