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3 Questions with J.L. Pomeroy, producer of Live from New York!

“Saturday Night Live is such an important and emotionally impactful New York institution” says producer J.L. Pomeroy as we sit in an office space during Hot Docs on a sunny and chilly day.

Pomeroy is clearly very proud of the film, and speaks about changing the narrative. Quite frankly, the only place to do really do justice to the film is to see it in a theatre. Pomeroy had just unspooled the film at its World Premiere as the opening night film of the Tribeca Film Festival, and spoke with an equal amount of pride at seeing the film receive such a spirited reception in Toronto.

How did you come to make the film?

When Tom Broecker (my producing partner) and I first conceived of this film, the costume designer for the last twenty years, both of us felt very strongly that the reason we wanted to do this doc was to elevate this institution and not just look at it as a sketch comedy show, but rather a complete and total impact on American culture, and an important part of our DNA as a country, and then we went and pitched our show to Lorne (Michaels) and he gave us the green light. This was the first time in forty years that Lorne has allowed an outside filmmaking team to come in, but to allow complete and total creative freedom. The timing had to be juuust right.

What were you most eager to present?

We’re talking about racial diversity, we’re talking about sexual equality, we’re talking about response to tragedy, these are some pretty serious topics, but the reality is that we have everybody complete and total license to say whatever they wanted, and as you saw, the story we were telling we were doing so completely objectively. It was taking the discussion to a different place. It’s first hand storytelling from the people that were living these things, and that’s what we wanted to share.

Can you speak to how great the film looks?

It’s hugely important to us that it looks and feels like a film. One of the main thing we like is coming to film festivals like we’re doing in Toronto, and then releasing the film on June 10th is that it’s the first time that you can go into a theatre and experience the film with a room full of strangers and collective laughs and sharing that time together for the first time ever, since the show has been created. It’s really great to see the reactions of Canadians, because Lorne is Canadian.

Live From New York! will be released as a part of the Cineplex Event Screen and Landmark Cinemas on Wednesday, June 10th