It isn’t every day major TV shows film entire episodes with only iPhones and iPads, but the makers of Modern Family decided to do just that for an upcoming episode of the popular comedy. The episode, called “Connection Lost,” is all about parents trying to get in contact with their disinterested kids via technology.
Claire Dunphy, the mother of three kids on the show, who’s played by Julie Bowen, is stuck in an airport during the entire episode and all she wants to do is contact her daughter, Haley, who’s upset with her after a fight. Her daughter steadfastly ignores Claire, who attempts to reach her in every way she can think of via her MacBook. She tries email, FaceTime, Facebook and just about everything else to no avail. Naturally, her husband Phil — and just about everyone else — has to get involved, too.
The footage of the conversations were shot entirely with iPhone 6 and iPad Air 2 devices that were provided by Apple. During the show, the screen often resembles Claire’s desktop, which is really a painstakingly crafted mockup of Apple’s OS X Yosemite, created by the Modern Family team while the OS was still in beta.
Modern Family co-creator and executive producer Steven Levitan, said that although many Apple products are featured in the episode, the company didn’t pay for product placement.
“We called them and informed them what we were doing,” he said, according to Recode. “They loved the idea. They provided the iPhones for us.”
Levitan says he simply wanted to show how families communicate during the modern age, now that we have instant access to communication at all times. He even faced similar challenges with his own daughters when they went off to college.
“We all had that reference in our heads — this is how families are communicating today,” Levitan said. ” How do we use this to tell a story?”
Levitan added that he knew he had to do the episode after he saw 17-minute short film Noah at the Toronto International Film Festival student showcase in 2013, do something similar.
The episode of Modern Family will air at 9 p.m. Wednesday, February 25, on ABC.