An SNL Sketch Comes Down to the Wire

“As Rhys was watching down the final cut, he noticed two errors: one shot slipped into the cut without being ‘un-squeezed’ and another repositioned shot had lost its repo. We all know that these kinds of errors happen all the time, but they rarely happen when you are literally gun-to-the-head, minutes away from a live broadcast.

“It’s now well past 11:30pm — but our spot technically wasn’t airing until after the 2nd commercial so we’re basically in penalty time. Rhys is racing to explain to Adam over the phone which shots need to be fixed. Now remember: I hadn’t slept in what feels like days at this point and all I recall is Adam working his stylus at lightning speed, whispering to himself, ‘It’s gonna be close…it’s gonna be reeeeal close…’”

Alex Buono, director of photography for Saturday Night Live’s film unit, on the making of the recent Wes Anderson horror movie parody—and a very tight deadline to get it on the air. Read more on SNL in the Longreads Archive.

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