With “Creating Saturday Night Live,” director-producer Oz Rodriguez wanted “to shine a light on some of the behind-the-scenes wizards that work over there.” Though most of the credit usually goes to the cast, the longtime “SNL” veteran wanted to highlight “the directing, wardrobe, makeup, art direction,” and other crafts that go into producing the weekly sketch comedy series. Watch our exclusive video interview with Rodriguez above.
Rodriguez got his start working at “Funny or Die” before he was hired by Lorne Michaels to direct video shorts for “SNL.” “It felt like going up to the majors,” he recalls. Over the years he became awed by the crew, some of whom had been with the show from the very beginning, and he “would soak up as much information from them as possible.”
Eventually the idea for this pull-the-curtain-back docuseries sprang to his mind. “If you watch an ‘SNL’ documentary, it’s usually about Lorne and the history of the show, and the cast and the famous hosts that come every week,” he explains. “So I felt like there was a lack of representation of some of the people that work at the show that are so amazing, that are in the behind-the-scenes departments.”
Rodriguez has now earned three Emmy nominations for Best Short Form Nonfiction/Reality Program for “Creating Saturday Night Live” (2017-2019). In addition to his work on “SNL,” he has also directed for other shows including “A.P. Bio,” “The Last Man on Earth” and “Maya and Marty.”
“Saturday Night Live” continued its overall Emmy dominance this year with 18 nominations, including Best Variety Sketch Series and acting bids for star Kate McKinnon and guest performers Matt Damon, Robert De Niro, John Mulaney, Sandra Oh, Adam Sandler and Emma Thompson.
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