Apple's iMessage, FaceTime, and OS X take starring roles in new episode of 'Modern Family'

Posted:
in iPhone edited February 2015
A forthcoming episode of hit television comedy Modern Family puts Apple's iOS and OS X communication services -- notably iMessage and FaceTime -- front and center, with the production crew shooting footage exclusively on the iPhone 6 and iPad Air 2.


A still from the episode, via The Verge.


The entire episode plays out on a Mac OS X desktop as family matriarch Claire Dunphy attempts to reach her daughter while stuck in an airport, according to Re/code. Every shot of the Dunphy family calling or texting each other was taken using an iPhone 6 or iPad Air 2 provided to the production by Apple.

The OS X Yosemite desktop that hosts the numerous conversations is a facsimile, however. The show's motion graphics crew created a detailed replica of Apple's desktop operating system that took "months" to prepare and was updated with each new release, largely due to the infeasibility of recording and then broadcasting an actual display in high definition.

"Basically, what you're seeing on screen is all hand-made," motion graphics producer John Brown told the publication. In a separate interview with The Verge, brown revealed that the initial intention was to use screen capture, but that technique did not hold up to the editing process.

"I was building the assets for Yosemite back when Yosemite was still in beta," he said, adding that Apple's constant updates became somewhat of a thorn in his side. "It was frustrating to be like, 'Act one, totally locked,' and then come in Monday and hear the FaceTime notification has changed."

In addition to the iPhones and iPads, Apple reportedly provided MacBook Pros and a Mac Pro for postproduction, though the company did not pay for any product placement.

Fans of the show can catch the Apple-centric episode next Wednesday, Feb. 25, on ABC.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,715member
    Good product placement.
  • Reply 2 of 11
    "though the company did not pay for any product placement."

    Apple apparently never needs to pay for embedded advertising. Apple either gets freebies like this or gets real-world "oops" ads from things like Oprah using Twitter for iPad to say how much she loves the MS Surface or CNN using Surfaces as stands for iPads.
  • Reply 3 of 11
    linkman wrote: »
    "though the company did not pay for any product placement."

    Apple apparently never needs to pay for embedded advertising. Apple either gets freebies like this or gets real-world "oops" ads from things like Oprah using Twitter for iPad to say how much she loves the MS Surface or CNN using Surfaces as stands for iPads.

    For awhile there were several episodes of The Office that revolved around an Apple product, like an iPod for a gift at a Secret Santa give away. I always wondered if that was because Apple paid for that (which i doubted), or if it was because the iPod was a non-inexpensive and highly desirable gift (I think that's very likely).

    I also wonder about the rumours of The Office was saved from cancelation because of iTunes Music Store downloads of the TV show may have given rise to some of the free Apple focus on the show (just a hypothesis with zero evidence to back it up, as even my starting point is based on a rumour I can't prove).
  • Reply 4 of 11

    In one episode of The Middle, Frankie can be seen sitting on her bed holding what is obviously not an Apple laptop, yet the screen is shown with OS X superimposed. My OCD starts tweaking when I see things like this. In the late Dallas TV series and Under the Dome, you can see all kinds of mismatched combinations of phone hardware, screen shots, and ringtones. My favorite part is that you can still hear the DTMF "hang-up" tone. Under the Dome prominently displayed Microsoft phones and tablets. In several episodes, a Surface tablet can be seen picking up a Wi-Fi signal from miles away outside the dome. Ugh.

  • Reply 5 of 11
    I seem to recall there was also a Modern Family episode that had a major plot point about one of the characters wanting to get an iPad.
  • Reply 6 of 11
    ABC > Disney > Pixar > Apple
  • Reply 7 of 11
    See "Still Alice" if you want to see a serious film with the same kind of Apple product integration.
  • Reply 8 of 11
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,303member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by linkman View Post



    "though the company did not pay for any product placement."



    Apple apparently never needs to pay for embedded advertising. Apple either gets freebies like this or gets real-world "oops" ads from things like Oprah using Twitter for iPad to say how much she loves the MS Surface or CNN using Surfaces as stands for iPads.



    As much as the fAndroid Troll Army tries to coverup the issue with obfuscation the fact of the matter is that a very large majority of professionals in the television and movie industries use Apple products exclusively for pre and post production. 

  • Reply 9 of 11
    I think when programmes hide the Apple logo on MacBooks, it only makes it stand out more.

    The style of a MacBook Pro or MacBook Air is distinctive.
  • Reply 10 of 11
    moreckmoreck Posts: 187member
    Yay. I love this show!
  • Reply 11 of 11
    It was a little more jarring than a typical episode due to of how the moved around and zoomed in on the Mac display, but a good episode all around. They really did a great job at recreating Yosemite UI, although there were a few items I noticed to be out of place, like Apple Maps in iCloud's Find My Friends have a link to open up in Google Maps' Street View (image below).

    Compared to other sitcoms [I]Modern Family[/I] is fairly fasting talking with a lot of sophisticated and layered jokes so those that watched it for the first time expecting it to be like [I]The Big Bang Theory[/I] with pauses after punchlines for laugh tracks may not care for it. From a logistics standpoint this seems really tough to do since they had multiple FaceTime chats in place, sometimes seeing the other characters chatting with other in the background.


    [IMG ALT=""]http://forums.appleinsider.com/content/type/61/id/55791/width/200/height/400[/IMG]
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