How Upcoming 'Modern Family' Episode Was Shot Entirely on iPhone and iPad Cameras

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 24, 2015.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Last week, it was announced that the February 25 episode of Emmy-winning sitcom "Modern Family" would take place solely on a MacBook screen and only be shot with cameras from iPhones and iPads. BuzzFeed News got in touch with the episode's director and series co-creator Steven Levitan to find out how they shot the episode.

    In a video originally provided to BuzzFeed News, and now available for download on iTunes [Direct Link], Levitan explains that all of the iPhones were kept in holsters held by cameramen. To avoid making the shot look like it was being filmed by a floating device, the actors were told to hold their arm near the cameramen's arm.

    Initially, Levitan and the crew wanted the actors to hold the phone throughout film, but they found it wasn't as east to control and that actors would misplace the devices as well as shoot off-set.

    The episode took over three months to complete, with a lot of time dedicated to post production as the special effects team had to rebuild OS X Yosemite from the ground up, mimicking its animations and art style while also taking artistic license to make certain things better suited for the story they wanted to tell.

    While the episode's format isn't the same as the standard "Modern Family" format, Levitan says there have been other instances during the show's six year run where they've used iPhones to shoot certain scenes. For instance, instead of staging a basketball game for a scene where a character dresses as a mascot, Levitan shot his son's basketball game on his iPhone and used special effects to splice the character into that basketball game.

    The episode, which is called "Connection Lost" airs Wednesday, February 25 on ABC.

    Article Link: How Upcoming 'Modern Family' Episode Was Shot Entirely on iPhone and iPad Cameras
  2. Cape Dave macrumors 68000

    Nov 16, 2012
    Meh, 3 months for one episode, a remarkable waste of time.
  3. nikko1423 macrumors member

    Sep 12, 2012
    The splicing a person into a live shot seems pretty cool to me actually
  4. farewelwilliams macrumors 68020

    Jun 18, 2014
  5. macduke macrumors G4


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    I've always liked the show so I'm interested to see how this episode turns out. The creators of the show have always seemed to be pretty Apple friendly with the products featured on the show. The dad, Phil, even had the same iPhone 5 case as me (Belkin Grip Candy Sheer in Black/Green) and loves his iPad, which I think was a plot point in an early episode. I'm pretty sure they've used Macs quite a bit too over the years. I wouldn't be surprised if Phil ends up getting an Apple Watch at some point soon.
  6. mejsric macrumors 6502a


    Mar 28, 2013
  7. puckhead193 macrumors G3


    May 25, 2004
    they also had a whole episode dedicated to Phil getting an iPad, and perhaps a take off of MR when he states some user on the forums got one at X mall.
  8. macduke macrumors G4


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    Yeah that sounds familiar now.

    Makes me think of one of my first posts on MacRumors that was about how many original iPhones the Apple Stores were going to have. I don't think I've ever mentioned this, but Apple saw my post and freaked out. My friend called me and he was really scared. He recognized my forum name. He worked for Apple for a few more years before moving on so it was fine. Oh good old forum fun…always trying to get the edge on new product releases.
  9. mrgraff macrumors 6502a


    Apr 18, 2010
    Nice. You'll get some bites...
  10. the-msa macrumors 6502

    Oct 24, 2013
    Well, every cheap and shortlived Indian drama or sitcom (let alone the ones with decent production values) is filled with apple products. iPhones and macbooks everywhere. Apple is paying really well for product placements.
  11. riverfreak macrumors 65816


    Jan 10, 2005
    Thonglor, Bangkok
    They had to "rebuild OS X Yosemite from the ground up?" What precisely does that mean? I'm assuming they had to build graphical representations of OS X or is Apple distributing source code to hit sitcoms now?

    That might explain the current sad state of photo management across devices.
  12. 2010mini macrumors 601

    Jun 19, 2013
    Apple officially says it does not. They do however give product freely to studios to use.
  13. Paradoxally macrumors 68000

    Feb 4, 2011
    No wonder Yosemite sucks....
  14. teslo macrumors 6502a


    Jun 9, 2014
    ...or maybe 'a lot of fun and creativity for everyone involved, resulting in a funny, watchable episode of one of the few funny, watchable shows on network tv presently'?

    gawd, you "FIRST!" commenters are such a bore.
  15. Carlanga macrumors 604


    Nov 5, 2009
    So how much did apple spend on this episode outside their normal payment for this show?
  16. AFPoster macrumors 68000

    Jul 14, 2008
    Charlotte, NC
    Anyone know the Apps used for filming / editing?
  17. Keane16 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 8, 2007
    Is it? Do you have as source link?

    Last I heard Apple only hands out free stuff, but doesn't pay to have it's products placed.

    This may have changed:
  18. absessive macrumors newbie


    Jul 17, 2011
    Boston, MA
    Well even the movies, now there's not a single movie where atleast the lead has a macbook usually the old 13-inch MBP. Almost seems like there's probably 3-4 mbps that are out on rent just for movie purposes.
  19. michaelant macrumors regular


    Apr 8, 2006
  20. macdaveaustin macrumors newbie

    Apr 19, 2007
    Actually, Apple never pays for product placement. Microsoft, Samsung, Dell all do, but if you see an Apple product in a TV show or movie, it was the choice of the director/producer, not because Apple paid for it to be there.
  21. Habakuk macrumors 6502a

    Jul 10, 2007
    Vienna Austria Europe
    Since all we need for a tv show today is faces and heads the next format for tv sets will be 9:16 finally.

    Did you know already? You can record you iPad's or iPhone's screen right on your Mac. Just plug in lightning cable, open QuickTime, choose the iOS device as your source (mic and cam) and hit Record. Works with the latest operating systems. The QT video window will be fit automatically to the iOS device's orientation and resolution. Will record action games or video camera signal 1:1! (Only exception: Phone calls.)

    1) Open QuickTime

    2) File > New Audio Recording

    3) Click the very small arrow next to the record button

    4) Select the iPad/iPhone as your source

    5) Select High (mp4) or Maximum (uncompressed aiff)

    6) Hit record and start playing audio and/or video on your device (you must move the QT volume slider below to hear audio—monitoring)

    7) Stop when done, and save the file.


    German-language description.
  22. scottsjack macrumors 68000

    Aug 25, 2010
    I tried to watch 'Modern Family' once. I wouldn't even recommend shooting on my old iPhone 3GS. It would be a waste of rechargeable electricity.
  23. SaraMac95014 macrumors member

    Dec 23, 2014

    Proof that Samsung et al pay for product placement?

    So Apple may not write a check but I'm sure they're giving away employee time for "technical assistance".
    What do you think happens to the products after the episode/movie is done shooting? Do you think they're going back to some shelf in Cupertino?

    Apple is providing something in return.


    Nothing new.

    The article doesn't mention anything about union restrictions on actors doing the photography. I'd like to read about that.

    As for this episode, sounds lame. Maybe they will edit so that Siri and Maps appear to work.
  24. KdParker macrumors 601


    Oct 1, 2010
    I can see that being done.

    Heck - Besides getting on of the HD video cameras, I don't see a reason to buy a camera when I have the iPhone camera.
  25. dannyyankou macrumors G3


    Mar 2, 2012
    Scarsdale, NY
    I'm really impressed with how that episode turned out. What other company besides apple can get 30 minutes of free advertising?

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38 February 24, 2015