How ‘SNL’s Season 40 Title Sequence Came Together

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Last year SNL director of photography Alex Buono posted a lengthy blog entry about the making of the Wes Anderson parody “The Midnight Coterie of Sinister Intruders,” and this week he’s back with a comprehensive behind-the-scenes look at SNL’s season 40 title sequence. To capture the 40th anniversary feel, Buono explains why the team landed on the mantra of a “Love-letter to New York” and why they used light-writing and other technical tricks as inspiration: “Not just light-writing, but an overall simple, clean concept: as an homage to the 40-year history of SNL, we would approach the sequence using in-camera techniques that would be at home just as well in 1975 as 2014. Nothing that relies on modern post production techniques or other digital trickery (sorry, hyperlapse’ers). It would be low-fi, analog, optical, vintage, classic.” The entire article covers both the artistic and technical techiques used to create the opening titles – you’ll learn a lot about anamorphic lenses and lens-whacking – and is well worth the read over on Buono’s blog. Watch a clip of SNL’s current opening title sequence below: