Alex Buono is the Film Unit Cinematographer for Saturday Night Live and also the Co-Director/Cinematographer for IFC’s new comedy series Documentary Now! Alex’s work on SNL revolves around shooting the fake commercials and pre-filmed sketches in the show, which they oftentimes complete less than a week after receiving a script.
Alex is back on the road this summer with his Visual Storytelling 2 Tour, where he shares the filmmaking techniques he’s learned after years of creating several different looks & styles amidst the fast-turnaround schedules SNL and his other productions have thrust upon him.
The incredibly tight schedules of SNL and the Visual Storytelling 2 Tour force Alex to work quickly. He makes sure to stay keenly aware of new technologies that can help him speed up his workflow – technologies like Rosco’s new SoftDrop. Alex took six 8’x12’SoftDrops with him on his latest 32-city tour to create the backgrounds for his hands-on filmmaking workshops. This allowed him to transform the 32 hotel ballrooms he visited into locations his attendees might find themselves shooting so that he could illustrate how to light & shoot scenes in an office, a cave or – the ever-popular – in-car shot.
After a few weeks on the road – Alex had this to say about his experience with SoftDrop: “I’ve used Rosco’s vinyl backdrops for years but have only recently had a chance to try their new Softdrops and I am so impressed. Not only do they look great on camera but they’re much simpler to light and even simpler to transport — we just loosely fold them up and throw them on the truck — these things don’t wrinkle or crease — making setup and tear-down such a breeze.”
Buono continued, “as someone who has worked on five touring filmmaker workshops now, the Rosco Softdrops are a dream come true. From the crew’s viewpoint the ability to change out to a new SoftDrop with two people in under five minutes is amazing! SoftDrop has saved us hours of work. I don’t think I’ll ever do another tour without them.”
There is definitely an art to lighting and shooting with backdrops, and Alex Buono makes our SoftDrops appear incredibly realistic on-camera. To see all of Alex’s filmmaking techniques, including what he’s able to do with Rosco SoftDrop – make sure you register for the Visual Storytelling 2 Tour when it pulls into a city near you. If you’d like to learn more about SoftDrop and how it can benefit your next production, either contact us or visit the SoftDrop web page.