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
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.

Top Rated Comments

Cape Dave Avatar
90 months ago
Meh, 3 months for one episode, a remarkable waste of time.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macduke Avatar
90 months ago
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.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Habakuk Avatar
90 months ago
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 (https://rossau.wordpress.com/2015/02/17/anleitung-fuer-ios-8-mac-os-x-10-iphone-ipad-audio-aufnehmen-oder-midi-verbindung-herstellen-via-lightning-kabel/).
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Carlanga Avatar
90 months ago
So how much did apple spend on this episode outside their normal payment for this show?
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
teslo Avatar
90 months ago
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.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
the-msa Avatar
90 months ago
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.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

Upcoming Products 2022 Feature

Gurman: Apple Preparing 'Widest Array of New Hardware Products in Its History' for Fall

Sunday January 23, 2022 10:32 am PST by
Apple is working on a number of new products that are set to launch this fall, and Bloomberg's Mark Gurman says that it will be "the widest array" of new devices that Apple has introduced in its history. In his latest "Power On" newsletter, Gurman explains that Apple is working on four new flagship iPhones (iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Max, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max), an updated low-end Ma...
macbook pro 14 16 2021

Three Months After Launch, Apple Still Struggling to Meet Demand for Redesigned 14-Inch and 16-Inch MacBook Pro

Monday January 24, 2022 7:12 am PST by
Three months after their launch, the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros continue to experience high demand and seemingly short supply, with shipping dates for both models stretching into multiple weeks in several of Apple's key markets. In the United States, the baseline 14-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 Pro chip is estimated to ship in three to four weeks, promising an arrival by at least...
General Dropbox Feature

macOS 12.3 Will Include Cloud Storage Changes Affecting Dropbox and OneDrive

Tuesday January 25, 2022 3:31 pm PST by
Dropbox today announced that users who update to macOS 12.3 once that software version becomes available may temporarily encounter issues with opening online-only files in some third-party apps on their Mac. In a support document and an email to customers, Dropbox said it is actively working on full support for online-only files on macOS 12.3 and will begin rolling out an updated version of...
Questionable Design Decisions

Apple's Most Questionable Design Decisions in Recent Memory

Sunday January 23, 2022 2:59 am PST by
Apple has always emphasized the depth of thought that goes into the design of its products. In the foreword to Designed by Apple in California, a photo book released by the company in 2016, Jony Ive explains how Apple strives "to define objects that appear effortless" and "so simple, coherent and inevitable that there could be no rational alternative." But every once in a while even Apple...
Apple Watch Red Yellow Green Feature 1

Apple Launches Black Unity Braided Solo Loop With 'Unity Lights' Watch Face

Wednesday January 26, 2022 6:05 am PST by
Apple today announced the Black Unity Braided Solo Loop for the Apple Watch, as well as a new downloadable watch face, to celebrate Black History Month. Following the launch of the limited edition Black Unity Apple Watch Series 6 and Sport Band in 2021, Apple today launched the Black Unity Braided Solo Loop as part of its celebrations for Black History Month this year.Apple is launching a...
att gigabit internet

AT&T Bringing $180/Month 5-Gigabit Internet to 70 Cities

Monday January 24, 2022 9:20 am PST by
AT&T today announced the launch of upgraded AT&T Fiber plans, which support speeds of up to 5 Gigabits for some customers. There are two separate plans, one "2 GIG" plan and one "5 GIG" plan, available to new and existing AT&T Fiber subscribers. According to AT&T, the new plans are available to nearly 5.2 million customers across 70 metro areas including Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, San...
intel vs m1 max chip purple

Benchmarks Confirm Intel's Latest Core i9 Chip Outperforms Apple's M1 Max With Several Caveats

Wednesday January 26, 2022 8:56 am PST by
Benchmark results have started to surface for MSI's new GE76 Raider, one of the first laptops to be powered by Intel's new 12th-generation Core i9 processor. Intel previously said that its new high-end Core i9 processor is faster than Apple's M1 Max chip in the 16-inch MacBook Pro and, as noted by Macworld, early Geekbench 5 results do appear to confirm this claim, but there are several...
ios 15

Apple Releases iOS 15.3 and iPadOS 15.3 With Fix for Safari Bug That Leaks Browsing Activity

Wednesday January 26, 2022 10:00 am PST by
Apple today released iOS 15.3 and iPadOS 15.3, the third major updates to the iOS and iPadOS 15 operating systems that were released in September 2021. iOS and iPadOS 15.3 come almost two weeks after the release of iOS and iPadOS 15.2.1, minor bug fix updates. The iOS 15.3 and iPadOS 15.3 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in ...