New 'American Idol' Episodes Filmed Remotely Using iPhones

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"American Idol," one of the many shows to be on hiatus amid the ongoing health crisis in the United States and other countries, is set to return to television on April 26 to finish out the current season, and filming is being done remotely using iPhones.


"American Idol" showrunner Trish Kinane told Deadline that over the course of the last few weeks, the show's producers have been working on a plan to allow contestants to film in their own homes. Each person was sent lighting equipment, wardrobe, and the latest iPhones for self-filming purposes.

Kinane called the new high-end iPhone models from Apple "amazing" and said she wouldn't be surprised to see them used in the studio in the future.
"These are kids who are really used to iPhone technology, they are really familiar with it and use it every day. In the end, we decided rather than send them some complicated camera that you really need a camera operator to use, we would go with the the technology that they're familiar with. These top of the range iPhones are amazing. It wouldn't surprise me if we were using iPhones in the studio in the future," she said.
Apple hardware like iPhones and AirPods have made many appearances on TV shows, videos, and webcasts filmed at home and shared by celebrities, TV presenters, musicians, and more.

For "American Idol," ABC is working "hand-in-hand with Apple." Rob Mills, ABC's SVP of Alternative Series, Specials & Late-Night Programming, said that this kind of home filming wouldn't have been possible five years ago.
"We are blessed to live in a day and age where we have technology, even if this had happened five years ago, I don't know if it would be possible. There is a real can-do spirit here that is exciting and exhausting, it's been fun to figure it out."
There will be four more "American Idol" episodes this season, which will see the 20 contestants whittled down across three episodes before the fourth episode's two-hour finale. The show will feature performances filmed at home with an iPhone, along with appearances by the "American Idol" judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie and host Ryan Seacrest.

Article Link: New 'American Idol' Episodes Filmed Remotely Using iPhones
 

Mdracer

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More cost effective than sending professional video equipment... Just like the extra Tiger King episode, with McHale hosting, the tech had to be idiot proof.
 

CarlJ

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The cameras are quite impressive (especially since they're sending lights as well), and easily understood by most people, but I'm a little astonished they wouldn't send them better microphones than the one built into the iPhone.
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Interesting choice of words…
I don't think you're really wearing that mask, btw - CGI won't protect you.
 

Relentless Power

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For a company so centered on music, why is Apple partnering with a show that has nothing to do with music and everything to do with corporate audio products?
But...it kind of does have something to do with music, because it’s promoting future artists that will eventually be into the ‘music industry‘. So I think it’s all tangibly related.
 
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CarlJ

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For a company so centered on music, why is Apple partnering with a show that has nothing to do with music and everything to do with corporate audio products?
If a TV show that is super popular comes to you and says, "we want to start filming our show with your top-of-the-line smartphones", do you say no? I don't think it particularly has to do with the music-like product that American Idol promotes.

The wording sounds like ABC went to Apple and asked for help (possibly with some promotion/exposure in return), not like Apple sought out ABC. Also, a show like this is one where you may have dozens of remote contestants of varying technical abilities - easier to send them an iPhone than to spend a lot of time videoconferencing to explain how to operate a more serious camera. Compare to, say, a talk show, where they've got a small handful of regulars and can afford to spend time coaching them through setup and send them better cameras.
 

GeoStructural

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They forgot to add:

Using special lenses, mounting equipment, drones and feature-rich apps.

I find it misleading when they publish these stories just like the "shot on iPhone" videos assuming people just point and shoot, in reality many of those shots are taken using a special set of lenses and other accessories.
 
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4jasontv

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I'll bite. What is "trashy" about a singing competition?
Likely because they only sing pop music, which is generally poor quality or "trashy". I am more concerned about my soul. Grandmama always said that rhythm is the devils accent.
 
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iRutherford

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Likely because they only sing pop music, which is generally poor quality or "trashy". I am more concerned about my soul. Grandmama always said that rhythm is the devils accent.
This isn't entirely accurate. They have themed nights that involve Motown, rock, the Lennon/McCartney songbook, Rat Pack standards, country, R&B, and even Broadway musicals. The genres covered in American Idol are surprisingly diverse.
 

CarlJ

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Filmed on iPhones? No, it's recorded on iPhone. Film is not used in an iPhone – there's not enough room inside the unit. ;)
No, see, I heard the CIA had managed to shoehorn a Minox camera into an iPhone, so that one may surreptitiously use an innocent looking phone to take pictures.
 

H3LL5P4WN

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But...it kind of does have something to do with music, because it’s promoting future artists that will eventually be into the ‘music industry‘. So I think it’s all tangibly related.
This isn't entirely accurate. They have themed nights that involve Motown, rock, the Lennon/McCartney songbook, Rat Pack standards, country, R&B, and even Broadway musicals. The genres covered in American Idol are surprisingly diverse.
That's exactly what I was getting at. They aren't artists and that isn't music. They're just doing karaoke in hopes of winning a popular vote that isn't entirely based off of artistic skill and integrity, with the end goal of doing karaoke over songs written for them by the record label's assembled team of song writers, session musicians, and producers.

Now to be clear, I'm not saying that some of them can't sing. I'm saying that they aren't musicians if they aren't writing and performing their own songs.
 
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pweicks

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When we have shows like "Too Hot To Handle" and "Tiger King," you're saying American Idol is "the trashiest TV show"? Really?

I'll bite. What is "trashy" about a singing competition?
Cuz it’s not even a singing competition. It’s more of a “who has the biggest sob story” competition. Honestly. I can’t stand more than five minutes of that show. If you don’t shed any tears while you’re telling the judges how awful and miserable your life has been, they’re not interested. Never mind whether or not you can sing. I’ve never even bothered with any of the other shows you’ve mentioned.
 
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Tech198

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I would just end season now... There going to ruin it on iPhone. You have professional cameras in studios,, and your gonna use an iPhone which doesn't even match up ?

iPhone is good,but i can always tell while it's possible to do a show, i always found watching it 'sub par'

That's exactly what I was getting at. They aren't artists and that isn't music. They're just doing karaoke in hopes of winning a popular vote that isn't entirely based off of artistic skill and integrity, with the end goal of doing karaoke over songs written for them by the record label's assembled team of song writers, session musicians, and producers.

Now to be clear, I'm not saying that some of them can't sing. I'm saying that they aren't musicians if they aren't writing and performing their own songs.
That can be pretty much said of any lsinging shows to win something, including Eurovision, which does a backing track in some cases, "voice". Hence why i don't watch it anymore.. That really ** me off.
 
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H3LL5P4WN

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That can be pretty much said of any lsinging shows to win something, including Eurovision, which does a backing track in some cases, "voice". Hence why i don't watch it anymore.. That really ** me off.
I deliberately don't pay attention to them, so I was unaware of the "also rans." You're completely right however.

Though I guess the premise of The Masked Singer is alright, since it doesn't pretend to be making musicians.
 
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