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The Breakneck Speed of Editing a ‘Saturday Night Live’ Digital Short

NoFilmSchool talks to Saturday Night Live FIlm Unit editor Adam Epstein, about the breakneck speed at which he outputs the short pre-recorded sketches that are part of the show (like “The Beygency” short below).

Explains Epstein of the normal weekly schedule, “Shooting normally starts early Friday morning — though a handful of times this season it’s been pushed even later. The Beygency was a piece like this. Depending on where the shoot is or what the turnaround is looking like, I either start cutting/organizing on set, or start back at 30 Rock as drives are sent back. I try to get a rough assembly done by the time we leave 30 Rock, normally around 3AM, and send an EDL and a cut of where things are at to our color house. In the case of The Beygency, since they were shooting so late, I worked until around 3AM, got a few hours of sleep, and then came back in around 9 once all the footage was in — then it’s a mad dash to have a full cut for Dress (which needs to be done between 8:00 to 8:30 depending on where it is scheduled in the show lineup) that everyone — Rhys, the writers, the producers, myself — is happy with. It then plays at Dress, and there’s a round of notes or changes between Dress and Air, which usually gives about 1.5 hours to address and have finished for broadcast.”

Read the full story here.