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

The upcoming February 25 episode of ABC's multiple Emmy-winning sitcom "Modern Family" will take place solely on a MacBook screen (via The Verge). The episode, being shot by director and series co-creator Steve Levitan, used an iPhone 6 and iPad Air 2 to shoot every scene.

The episode's story focuses on Claire Dunphy's (Julie Bowen) attempt to reach her daughter Haley (Sarah Hyland) by contacting various other members of the Dunphy/Pritchett clan via multiple forms of MacBook apps, all while stuck in an airport.

Modern Family
The show will not only use various chat apps like Apple's own FaceTime and Messages, but include references to everything from Reminders to the now-obsolete iPhoto. Levitan mentioned that the idea for the episode came from his own experience communicating with his kids in college through the vast array of chat software available today.

"I have two daughters at college, and we do a lot of FaceTiming," he said at a recent press event in Los Angeles. He was working one day with a number of emails and websites open on his machine, when a video chat from his daughter popped up. On the screen he saw his work, his daughter, himself, and his wife doing something behind him all at the same time. "And I realized on that screen you could tell so much about my life. So the original idea was from there."

The show has been a proponent of Apple-related gadgets in the past, with an early-series episode mostly dedicated to Claire's attempt to get Phil the original iPad. Apple was even reported to lend the show a slew of iPhones, iPads, and MacBook Pros for shooting the video chats and for allowing the show's editors to conduct post-production work once the shoot was done.

The episode has been so long in production - with motion graphics artist John Brown at the head - the team had been working on it since OS X Yosemite itself was in beta. "It was frustrating to be like, 'Act one, totally locked,' and then come in Monday and hear the FaceTime notification has changed," Brown said.

Besides a few slight liberties to the Apple OS X platform, including giving FaceTime the ability to handle multiple calls at once and a few aesthetic alterations to Yosemite's transparency options, The Verge reports the environment created by the episode "felt all too familiar."

The episode, entitled "Connection Lost" airs Wednesday, February 25 on ABC.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
70 months ago
From The Verge:

"DOES ANYBODY REALLY USE THE REMINDERS APP?"

I do, I know a lot of other people do.
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
70 months ago

I'm sure they'll work in a scene that appears upside down for no reason just like facetime with my mom on her iphone 6 plus.


Maybe she's just in Australia and hasn't told you?
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
70 months ago

from the verge:

"does anybody really use the reminders app?"

i do, i know a lot of other people do.



"does anybody really use game center?"
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
70 months ago

From The Verge:

"DOES ANYBODY REALLY USE THE REMINDERS APP?"

I do, I know a lot of other people do.


I do a lot. In fact, I made a grocery list on it and I can add items to my grocery list using Siri. It's pretty awesome.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
70 months ago

From The Verge:

"DOES ANYBODY REALLY USE THE REMINDERS APP?"

I do, I know a lot of other people do.


What? I use it almost every day!
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
70 months ago
Oh my God I love Modern Family
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iPhone 12 Sizes Compared with iPhone SE, 7, 8, SE 2, X, 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max [Update]

Tuesday July 7, 2020 6:49 pm PDT by
Apple is planning on launching the iPhone 12 this fall which is rumored to be coming in 3 different sizes: 5.4", 6.1" and 6.7". The middle size (6.1") matches up with the currently shipping iPhone 11, but the other two sizes will be entirely new. Over the weekend, there was some excitement about how well the new 5.4" iPhone 12 compares to the original iPhone SE. Those who have been hoping...

Everything New in iOS 14 Beta 2: New Calendar Icon, Files Widget and More

Tuesday July 7, 2020 11:38 am PDT by
Apple today released the second beta of iOS 14 to developers for testing purposes, tweaking and refining some of the features that are coming in the update. Below, we've rounded up all of the changes that we found in the second beta. - Calendar icon - There's a new Calendar app icon in iOS 14 beta 2, with the day of the week abbreviated rather than spelled out. - Clock icon - The clock...

Hands On With iPhone 12 Models Showing New Sizes and Design

Monday July 6, 2020 2:04 pm PDT by
Ahead of the launch of new iPhones we often see dummy models created based on leaked schematics and specifications, with those models designed to let case makers create cases for the new devices ahead of their release. We got our hands on a set of dummy models that represent the iPhone 12 lineup, giving us our first close look at the iPhone 4-style design and the different size options. Subscri ...

Developer's Visual Comparison of macOS Catalina and Big Sur Offers Closer Look at Apple's UI Redesign for Macs

Tuesday July 7, 2020 4:00 am PDT by
macOS 11 Big Sur is the next major release of Apple's operating system for Mac, and following its preview at WWDC, one of the biggest discussions has revolved around the all-new user interface redesign. Developers are still learning what the impact the new UI will have on their apps, and with that in mind, app designer Andrew Denty has compiled an extensive visual comparison of the user...

Analyst Believes iPhone 12 Pricing Will Start $50 Higher Even Without EarPods or Charger in Box

Wednesday July 8, 2020 9:35 am PDT by
Despite multiple reports indicating that Apple will not include EarPods or a wall charger with iPhone 12 models this year, one analyst believes that pricing will still increase slightly compared to the iPhone 11 lineup. In a research note provided to MacRumors, analyst Jeff Pu forecasted that iPhone 12 pricing will start at $749 for a new 5.4-inch model, an increase of $50 over the base...

14-Inch MacBook Pro With Mini-LED Display Expected to Enter Production in 2021

Wednesday July 8, 2020 7:51 am PDT by
Apple suppliers will begin competing to win manufacturing orders for new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with Mini-LED displays in the first quarter of 2021, according to Taiwanese research firm TrendForce. Rumors of a 14-inch MacBook Pro have surfaced since Apple replaced the 15-inch MacBook Pro with a new 16-inch model last year. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has previously said that...

Apple Seeds First Betas of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 to Public Beta Testers

Thursday July 9, 2020 10:14 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the first public betas of upcoming iOS and iPadOS 14 updates to its public beta testing group, two weeks after first providing the updates to developers after the WWDC keynote and a day after seeding the second developer betas. Public beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing program can download the iOS/‌iPadOS‌ 14 updates over the air after installing ...

Apple's Arm-Based Macs With Apple Silicon Chips Will Support Thunderbolt

Wednesday July 8, 2020 3:14 pm PDT by
Apple is working on Macs that use its custom Apple-designed Apple Silicon chips instead of Intel chips, but Apple has committed to continuing to support Thunderbolt, reports The Verge. In a statement, an Apple spokesperson said that Apple's upcoming machines will offer support for Intel's Thunderbolt USB-C standard. "Over a decade ago, Apple partnered with Intel to design and develop...

Apple Cuts iPhone Trade-In Values as iPhone 12 Launch Nears

Tuesday July 7, 2020 7:46 am PDT by
With just two months to go until the usual timeframe for Apple's iPhone launch events, Apple is cutting back on maximum trade-in values of previous-generation iPhones for those looking to upgrade to a new model. Maximum values on more recent models have dropped by $30–$50, while older models have generally dropped by $5–$20 with a few models seeing no change in value.iPhone XS Max: $500 to...

Some iPhone Users Report Significant Battery Drain Due to Music App Background Activity in iOS 13.5.1

Wednesday July 8, 2020 1:49 am PDT by
A significant minority of iPhone users have taken to Apple's Support Communities and Reddit to report battery drain issues largely related to the Music app and high levels of background activity. Hundreds of users, many running iOS 13.5.1 on devices both new and old, are experiencing rapid battery drain when the Music app is not in use. In some cases, the background activity occurs over...