Alex Buono, director of photography for Saturday Night Live’s film unit, offers an incredibly detailed post on how they shot the recent Wes Anderson horror-film parody, all the way down to the sets, color palettes, location scouting and lighting. He also reveals just how quickly the entire team needed to work in order to make the show:
There are two major deadlines for the Film Unit. The Dress Rehearsal starts at 8pm – for which the goal is to have the spot fully mixed and color corrected, but sometimes it’s not quite there yet. Then, of course, the live show starts at 11:30pm, and you’d think that would be a pretty hard and fast deadline…except in this case, when Rhys and Adam were truly down to the wire – scrambling to finish revision notes from the dress rehearsal, minor voiceover changes and final color fixes. Rhys was downstairs in the studio edit bay where the final picture and mix are married together and uploaded to the live switcher. 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.