‘Modern Family’ episode shot entirely on Apple iPhones, iPads, and MacBook Pros

“Over a series of late October days, camera operators working on an episode of ABC’s ‘Modern Family’ set aside their typical high-definition videocameras and picked up iPhones,” Nick Bilton reports for The New York Times. “The command ‘Action!’ was followed by a tap of that familiar red button on the device’s small video screen.”

“The result, which will be shown next Wednesday, Feb. 25, is an episode shot almost exclusively on mobile devices, an approximation of the way that many actual modern American families (of a certain class) communicate today,” Bilton reports. “‘Connection Lost’ begins on the [MacBook Pro] screen of Claire Dunphy (Julie Bowen), who sits in an airport waiting for her flight. It becomes apparent very quickly that she is struggling to find her daughter Haley (Sarah Hyland) after a fight. Before long, the screen is filled with text messages, emails and FaceTime video chats with the rest of the family.”

“‘I have two daughters at college, and we do a lot of FaceTiming,’ Steve Levitan, the show’s co-creator and executive producer, said at a Q&A session last week on the Fox studio backlot when asked about the episode’s inspiration,” Bilton reports. “‘Everything was shot on the iPhone 6 or new iPads,’ Mr. Levitan said. ‘“With one or two small scenes shot using MacBook Pros.'”

Read more in the full article here.

[Attribution: TIME Magazine via Fortune. Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Arline M.” for the heads up.]


  1. Well, the command ‘Action!’ is actually the last one in the sequence before actual action begins in front of the lens. The usual sequence is: “Sound!” (sound engineer usually responds: “Sound rolling!”), “Camera!” (with camera operator responding: “Camera rolling!”; followed by “Speed!”, if camera is using old-fashioned film), followed by the second assistant – camera (clapper) holding the clapperboard in front of the lens and reading the top line (“Scene xx, take xx”), jumping out of the way. If there are actors in the background (“extras”) Assistant Director yells “Background Action!”, and only now do we hear the ever-so-familiar “Action!”. But we can’t expect ordinary journalist to take a few minutes to google this stuff before writing something that he doesn’t quite know much about. And besides, stylistically, his sentence sounded much more fun….

    1. I hate to pick nits (no, I don’t), but you don’t have to “google” to find this information. There are many search tool besides Google’s that offer compelling features.

      I am campaigning to rid the world of this terrible and rediculous “google” verb as well as the evil company that started it all.

  2. I can’t wait to see this news pop up on a mainstream new site that allows for comments. I’m looking forward to seeing all those Fandroids getting all worked up over this…!

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