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AJA takes Saturday Night Live to 4K

3 June 2013
AJA takes Saturday Night Live to 4K

Alex Buono, director of Photography for the Saturday Night Live Film Unit, used the AJA Ki Pro Quad to capture Kanish, a 1970s cop show spoof starring Zach Galifianakis and Bill Hader. AJA Video Systems recently released the Ki Pro Quad file-based recording device for professional 4K and HD workflows. It is the only tapeless recorder that supports live debayering of 4K Canon RAW camera data with simultaneous recording to Apple ProRes 422 or 444 files.

Buono has been working on SNL since 1999, and has recently been experimenting with a variety of 4K workflows on the show’s pre-produced segments. “We love the look of the Canon C500 camera, but with our production turnaround schedule, we don’t have time to deal with processing RAW camera files. We tried alternate 4K recording devices, but Ki Pro Quad is the only one that let us go straight from the camera to ProRes.”

Producing in 4K is important to NBC for production, post and archival purposes. For NBC, shooting in 4K is a way to future-proof the show; for Buono, the 4K resolution provides great options for reframing shots that today are still being delivered in 1080 and largely viewed at 720. “Other 4K recorders that we tested required a more time-consuming post workflow. We’ve used previous generations of Ki Pro recorders on other projects and they’ve always been easy to use and super reliable. Ki Pro Quad easily mounted to the back rails of the camera and it just worked like clockwork.”

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