James Franco's 'Saturday Night Live' Doc Gets Limited Release

September 7, 2010
Source: Risky Business

James Franco

With the start of the hype machine for Danny Boyle's new film 127 Hours and a starring role in franchise prequel Rise of the Apes, actor James Franco is a busy guy. Outside of the acting realm, Franco has also been promoting a documentary that he made himself as an NYU film student way back in 2008. Saturday Night is the first in-depth, behind-the-scenes documentary chronicling the production of an episode of the staple sketch comedy series "Saturday Night Live." Recently the doc has been making the festival run but Franco recently told Risky Biz that Oscillioscope picked it up for a limited release in February of 2011.

The project comes as a result of an assignment Franco had to make a 7-minute observational documentary about a person "to shape a character." Originally he had his eyes set on artist Dan Cohen, but when plans fell through, his then-recent hosting stint on "Saturday Night Live" inspired him to shift his focus to cast member Bill Hader. The access that Franco was given knocks other previous documentary attempts out of the water as he was able to capture rare footage including parts of the production process that the cast had never even seen. Shot during last season's episode with host John Malkovich, the doc reveals cast members changing between sketches, table reads of various sketches, and even an extremely rare look inside the office of executive producer Lorne Michaels as he selects the sketches that make it to air. This sounds fantastic!

As a huge fan of comedy and Saturday Night Live, this documentary has me salivating at the mouth. Though since the film is only getting a limited release, I'll likely have to wait until it hits DVD to finally partake in a viewing (unless Oscillioscope would like to us a screener). On a related note, I love that an established actor like Franco is taking the time to go back to NYU film school. It really shows his dedication to the craft and a desire to learn about all the facets of filmmaking outside of acting. Definitely looking forward to any project he has on the horizon! In the meantime, we'll keep you updated on the latest with this doc, so stay tuned!

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I heard he's also getting a degree in writing as well. There's nothing this guy can't do. ALSO... I heard Aron Ralston cut off his arm in 2003 so James Franco could play him in a movie 7 years later...

Gmorra on Sep 7, 2010


Gmorra, that's a funny tasteless joke man!

Xerxex on Sep 7, 2010


so is this 7 minutes long?

samir on Sep 7, 2010


#3 it takes only a couple of minutes to get high, but there is a before and a after.

Jeff Spicoli on Sep 7, 2010


@ #3, samir, Good question. His project for NYU was 7 minutes long, but aside from what he cut for that project, Saturday Night is a feature length documentary clocking in around 90 minutes long.

Ethan Anderton on Sep 7, 2010


I missed this at tribeca when it premiered this year - they had a special event with a panel including franco and cast members.

Ryan on Sep 8, 2010

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