Saturday Night Live's Post-Production Workflow: How NBC's Landmark Live Comedy Show Manages the Challenge of Editing the "Film Unit" Uisng Adobe Premiere CS6

Ever wonder how the pre-produced elements (like mock commercials and music videos) make it onto NBC's Saturday Night Live?

In a fascinating Oct. 11th, 2012 post to Studio Daily journalist Beth Marchant got editor Adam Epstein to reveal how the magic happens. Filmmakers thinking about editing for shows with tight deadlines might learn a great deal from this piece about post-production workflow. Even if you aren't an editor, it's fascinating to read about how the patented SNL topical spoofs are pulled together literally overnight.

According to Adam Epstein, prior to the current season, the show had been using Final Cut for editing pre-shot video segments. Typically those segments are shot entirely on Fridays - to air the next day. The overnight and all day Saturday editing sessions were epic. But "when Apple released Final Cut Pro X. "We thought, 'Well, this just isn't going to work at all.' So much of what I do is After Effects-specific, so when CS5.5 came along with Dynamic Linking — definitely the killer feature for me thus far — we decided to try that out on a simple piece featuring Kristen Wiig and Will Ferrell toward the end of last season. It went so smoothly that once CS6 came out, we decided to dial the full workflow in and make sure it fit our needs. So far, it really has."

Take a look at the example embedded in the Studio Daily post and consider how much filmmaking experience and expertise goes into creating the distinctive look and graphics of these filmed elements on a very tight timeline.

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