• Did you order new AirTags? We've opened a dedicated AirTags forum.

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
52,533
14,231



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.

modernfamilyiphone.png
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
 

macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
11,420
15,548
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.
 
Comment

puckhead193

macrumors G3
May 25, 2004
9,386
647
NY
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.

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.
 
Comment

macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
11,420
15,548
Central U.S.
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.

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.
 
Comment

the-msa

macrumors 6502
Oct 24, 2013
419
203
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.
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.
 
Comment

riverfreak

macrumors 65816
Jan 10, 2005
1,449
1,659
Over the Reignbough
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.
 
Comment

2010mini

macrumors 601
Jun 19, 2013
4,541
4,547
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.

Apple officially says it does not. They do however give product freely to studios to use.
 
Comment

Paradoxally

macrumors 68000
Feb 4, 2011
1,686
2,184
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.

No wonder Yosemite sucks....
 
Comment

teslo

macrumors 6502a
Jun 9, 2014
929
599
Meh, 3 months for one episode, a remarkable waste of time.

...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.
 
Comment

Carlanga

macrumors 604
Nov 5, 2009
7,046
1,337
So how much did apple spend on this episode outside their normal payment for this show?
 
Comment

Keane16

macrumors 6502a
Dec 8, 2007
810
671
Apple is paying really well for product placements.

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:

Apple's products have long been featured in movies and television shows, despite Apple's claims that the company does not pay for such placements. The company does, however, provide free devices for product placement, and Apple's popularity and design aesthetic have led many films and shows to take advantage of such offers.

https://www.macrumors.com/2013/02/0...s-new-heights-in-netflix-show-house-of-cards/
 
Comment

absessive

macrumors newbie
Jul 17, 2011
22
6
Boston, MA
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.

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.
 
Comment

macdaveaustin

macrumors newbie
Apr 19, 2007
15
0
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.

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.
 
Comment

Habakuk

macrumors 6502a
Jul 10, 2007
967
40
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.

quicktime-videoaufnahme_osx-ios_rossau.png


German-language description.
 
Comment

scottsjack

macrumors 68000
Aug 25, 2010
1,904
308
Arizona
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.
 
Comment

SaraMac95014

macrumors member
Dec 23, 2014
51
1
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.


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.

----------

The splicing a person into a live shot seems pretty cool to me actually

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.
 
Comment

KdParker

macrumors 601
Oct 1, 2010
4,793
998
Everywhere
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.
 
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.