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
79 months ago
Meh, 3 months for one episode, a remarkable waste of time.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macduke Avatar
79 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
79 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
79 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
79 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
79 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)

Top Stories

imac pro featured black

Apple Confirms iMac Pro Will Be Discontinued When Supplies Run Out, Recommends 27-Inch iMac

Saturday March 6, 2021 7:33 am PST by
Apple on late Friday evening added a "while supplies last" notice to its iMac Pro product page worldwide, and removed all upgrade options for the computer, leaving only the standard configuration available to order for now. We've since confirmed with Apple that when supplies run out, the iMac Pro will no longer be available whatsoever. Apple says the latest 27-inch iMac introduced in August...
bloodoxygenapplewatch

Apple Watch Series 7 to Gain Breakthrough New Health Feature

Friday March 5, 2021 5:34 am PST by
Apple is reportedly planning to bring a new, first-of-its-kind health technology to the Apple Watch Series 7, in what could be a breakthrough for managing conditions such as diabetes more easily. According to a recent report from ETNews, the Apple Watch Series 7 will feature blood glucose monitoring via a non-invasive optical sensor. Measuring blood glucose levels, also known as blood...
Top Stories 48

Top Stories: iPhone 13 Leaks, OLED iPads and Macs, New AirTags Evidence

Saturday March 6, 2021 6:00 am PST by
iPhone rumors are heating up, with noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo this week releasing a wide-ranging report outlining his expectations for the iPhone lineup over the next three years. This week also saw rumors about OLED displays potentially coming to iPad and Mac starting next year, increasing signs of AirTags functionality in iOS 14.5 betas, and more, so check out all of the details below! i...
apple products refurbished store banner

Class Action Lawsuit Over Apple Providing Refurbished Replacement Devices Proceeding to Trial in August

Friday March 5, 2021 9:53 am PST by
Initially filed in 2016, a class action lawsuit that accuses Apple of violating the Magnusson-Moss Warranty Act, Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, and other U.S. laws by providing customers with refurbished replacement devices is set to proceed to trial August 16, according to a notice this week from law firm Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP. Apple's repair terms and conditions state that,...
Oled iPads and MackBook Pro

OLED 10.9-Inch iPad Rumored for Early 2022, 12.9-Inch iPad Pro and 16-Inch MacBook Pro Could Follow

Thursday March 4, 2021 8:37 pm PST by
Earlier today, DigiTimes shared a preview of an upcoming report claiming that Apple is working on both iPad and Mac notebook models with OLED displays that could launch starting in 2022. The full report from DigiTimes is now available, and it includes several new alleged details about Apple's plans. According to the report, the first of these devices to adopt an OLED display is likely to be...
iPhone 13 Notch Feature2

iPhone 13 Rumor Recap: Smaller Notch, Larger Batteries, 120Hz for Pro Models, Improved 5G, Wi-Fi 6E, and More

Friday March 5, 2021 8:20 am PST by
While we are likely at least six months away from Apple unveiling the so-called iPhone 13 lineup, rumors about the devices are starting to accumulate, so we've put together this recap of everything that is expected so far. The upcoming iPhone 13 lineup will consist of the same four models and the same screen sizes as the iPhone 12 lineup, according to reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo,...
imac pro while supplies last

iMac Pro No Longer Custom Configurable, Available 'While Supplies Last'

Friday March 5, 2021 10:14 pm PST by
Apple appears to be on the verge of discontinuing the iMac Pro, with the store page for the high-end all-in-one Mac including a "While supplies last" tagline and only the base model with no custom configurations available for purchase. The iMac Pro launched in December 2017, and while there have been a few tweaks to the available configurations over the years, it has received no substantial...
hlh030121feafutureoffitness012 1614286673

A Look Inside Apple's 23,000 Square-Foot Fitness+ Studio

Friday March 5, 2021 10:59 am PST by
Apple Fitness+, the latest service to join the Apple family, integrates tightly with the Apple Watch to offer a comprehensive and growing selection of workout and exercise videos made by a team of professional trainers. Apple Fitness+ Studio (via Men's Health) Apple curates and records all of the videos at a location in Santa Monica, California, and each video features a similar background...
maxresdefault

What's on Your iPhone Home Screen?

Thursday March 4, 2021 10:31 am PST by
Over on our YouTube channel, MacRumors videographer Dan has a new video up where he shares his Home Screen, wallpaper, and all of his current favorite widgets. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Check out Dan's video to see his setup, and then comment below and show us your own Home Screens. It's always fun to see other peoples' Home Screens, and with widgets and...
microsoft edge vertical tabs

Microsoft Edge 89 Brings Vertical Tabs and New History View

Friday March 5, 2021 4:06 am PST by
Microsoft has officially released version 89 of its popular Chromium-based Edge browser, bringing its long-trialed vertical tabs feature to Mac for the first time. Vertical tabs are intended to make more efficient use of screen space, and should prove a welcome addition for users browsing on 16:9 ratio displays in particular. Users can click vertical tabs to switch between them and...