reels
TIME OF YOUR LIFE (SNL)

TIME OF YOUR LIFE (SNL)

In 2012, I posted a trailer-style documentary of a weekend at SNL called "PROJECT SNL". Ten years later I decided to create a home movie style reel out of the extra footage from 2004-2009. Last summer I was out in New York quite frequently to take care of my childhood home which had sustained some heavy damage. While I did recover many cherished things, there were also a few very important things I didn’t (or couldn’t) recover. Some of those items were my prized essay I wrote during my last year of high school (that I hoped to put up on my portfolio), my late older sister’s belongings, and some of my SNL things. One of the SNL things was the shirt I made during my sports jersey phase that Jimmy adored and signed in 2003 that I would keep in my messenger bag for a couple years as a good luck charm of sorts. What’s crazy though is what did make it out were my photos and videos and I found that to be a pretty interesting connection to this passion for filmmaking that I have discovered for myself. I’ve always had a fondness for home movies especially after losing my dad (obviously) but what I’ve come to realize about why I love them is that in times of darkness and feeling like life is just pointless .. having these and making these little montages out of them has brightened that darkness .. letting me see the brighter parts of life that give it a purpose. I’ve also realized I love capturing life as it is .. from weddings, to live performances, to sharing what I love like being at SNL. It was more than a TV show, it was a community where I started finding myself, my voice, and sort of finding who I was. Contrary to popular belief, I did NOT have a terrible childhood at all, but I did have a difficult childhood in terms of me vs my health that interfered with my opportunities to learn and discover my abilities and interests and growth. My school and my doctors thought they were helping but there was way too much control and micromanagement and Saturday Night Live was my escape .. especially being at it in person. When I started going into NYC on my own I was having an absolute blast and when it became a weekly thing I’d often get asked what was so special about SNL. So I started bringing my little DV camcorder and documenting my trips. I got to see all my favorite bands, be a part of so many great things like ‘Man of The Year’ and ‘Snap Famous’, be in the New York Times article, and doing the website for Bill was such a positive reinforcement and a way to keep me busy which was good for my mental health and my grades at school got so much better. This was one thing my doctors and teachers couldn’t take away from me. By 2008, I wanted to make a documentary on the process of doing snl and after not documenting my trips for a while (thanks to my 2007 depression) I started again but I turned this footage into little music video montages (that I eventually took down, thanks to strict rules around copyrighted music) and then I needed a new camera. When my mom gifted me the canon vixia I wanted for christmas later that year, I took the “work with what you know” advice and tested it out at SNL where I really started getting into this documentary idea now that this camera looked more professional and I think that’s where a serious interest in filmmaking began. I started interviewing fans, took footage each weekend and put together this thing that had been such a huge part of my life for so long and what it looked like through my POV. This became “PROJECT SNL / Life on Standby” and then I became a resident videographer for several years down at Zog’s show ‘Sweet’ where some of the SNL guys were coming down to perform as well. Coincidentally, Sudeikis and Forte were co-hosting the show on my first night filming for Seth. Full circle. During my time with ‘Sweet’ it was PROJECT SNL, along with my similar films “Career Day” and “Solace”, that attracted clients when I started building my wedding video business. So, I just wanted to take an opportunity to share my story here of the very beginning and where it started. Sadly this little tragic moment of losing my stuff is now a part of my story so I wanted to share how absolutely grateful I am to have these memories preserved and how grateful I am to have had this experience as a kid to now be a part of my story as well. I was such a dork back then as this very lost but optimistic, over ambitious, hyped up kid on ADHD adrenaline and antidepressants that just wanted to show love and gratitude towards the things I loved that made me happy and overall have a good time. It was time well spent with wonderful memories and experiences. I’m not exactly where I want/hoped to be in my filmmaking journey but I have a lot to be grateful for and certainly have done more than I ever thought and wouldn’t have gotten this far without this beginning. #billhader #jasonsudeikis #snl #saturdaynightlive #documentary #tbt #tedlasso #believe #barryhbo