The qualitative comedy that Modern Family provides is seldom found elsewhere. The ease at which the nearly 20-22 minute episode unfolds leaving us teary happy, actually has a mammoth production and post-production team, nights of endless editing madness, a collective effort of all the stars and of course the beauty of words that the scriptwriter weaves out for each episode. In the latest instalment, co-creator Steven Levitan, known for his love for Apple products, has levelled-up his production tactics by shooting the entire chapter with iPhone 6’s and iPad Air 2 tablets. Furthermore, the entire episode unfolds on a Macbook, taking the inter-weaving of technology with entertainment a whole notch further.
Levitan’s relationship with Apple goes back to 2010, where the unreleased version of iPad was showcased in one of the episodes, causing quite a controversy. He was inspired again to use Apple products for producing the latest episode titled‘Connection Lost’ set to air in the US on February 25, after he saw a short film called ‘Noah’ which also takes place on a computer screen.
The latest episode is about Claire Dunphy (played by Julie Bowen) urgently trying to reach her eldest daughter Hailey (played by Sarah Hyland) from the airport, in a bid to resolve a misunderstanding. The entire episode is shown through a Macbook ‘computer screen’ perspective, and the post-production team, Levitan reveals, had to do a great deal of work to make a replica of Apple’s OS X Yosemite operating system, get the fonts to be readable and eye-friendly on a big TV screen, and many other small nuances for this to look as ‘au naturel’ as possible.
Bowen uses Apple features like FaceTime and other social media platforms like Facebook in the episode. This sounds like a paid product placement for Apple, but it really just stems out of Levitan’s own personal life experience. He reveals toRe/code that apart from being inspired by Noah, his everyday struggles to get in touch with his two daughters away at college, also bore heavy influence.
“We all had that reference in our heads — this is how families are communicating today,” Levitan told the publication. “How do we use this to tell a story?”
He said that all the iPhones used in the episode were provided by Apple, who were positively pleased by the idea. “We called them and informed them what we were doing,” he said. “They loved the idea. They provided the iPhones for us.”
Modern Family is in its sixth season with the 18th episode titled ‘Fight or Flight’ airing today in the US. The show is critically acclaimed globally for its subtle clever comedy, and has an IMDB rating of 8.6 out of 10.