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This is the first episode of ON THE COUCH from Cine Gear 2014 here from the Paramount Pictures Studios lot here in Hollywood, California. Thanks to our sponsor G-Technology we were able to welcome Alex Buono, director of photography at the Saturday Night Live film unit, and his colleague Adam Epstein who’s the editor on the show.
We talked about the incredible turn-around times these guys have to deal with when producing the show every week. Alex and Adam and the entire team behind SNL have brought a high quality film style to the show for a lot of the sketches that air every week. The incredible thing about them is that they have to work in the shortest time frames to get these done – with preproduction done on Thursday, production on Friday and editing on the Saturday right before the show airs every Saturday evening at 11:30 pm.
We also touched on the right equipment choices for these setups and how everything regarding technology, cameras and lighting has changed since Alex started working on SNL about 15 years ago. They went from film stock to Mini DV and then through the whole “DV revolution” and then the “HD revolution” and DSLRs until where we are today, where we have basically all the choices available.
I found it interesting to hear that despite their crazy turn around times, they shoot on all kinds of cameras that produce all kinds of different data rates and codecs – so it is a process that needs to be adjusted every week depending on the piece they shoot.
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