Turn the clock back maybe 7-8 years ago, and you would never think to shoot a TV show or a movie using a smartphone. However, fast forward to today, our smartphones have become increasingly capable of capturing stunning photo and video footage, making them much more viable for these types of tasks.
In fact, during an interview with Variety, “Parks and Recreation” co-creator Mike Schur revealed that the reunion special for the TV series, which ended its run back in 2015, was shot using an iPhone rig and directed over Zoom calls. Given all the social distancing that is currently in place, gathering a large team of crew and cast members simply wasn’t an option.
Instead, the cast was sent a small iPhone rig that consisted of an iPhone, a tripod, a lighting source, and a microphone, and the cast were then directed over Zoom calls to adjust the framing to get the shots that they needed. Impressively, all this was done over the course of just four days.
While they did get the job done, Schur still doesn’t necessarily believe that this is the way moving forwards on how TV shows should be shot. “For me, this is not the way TV is be supposed to be made. It required an incredible amount of basically goodwill volunteer work, or guild minimum, union minimum volunteer work from from sound designers and editors and supervisors and all sorts of people really just doing it, because it’s a fundraiser, because it was fun to get the cast back together.”
That being said, with the lockdowns and stay-at-home orders currently in place, Schur is not the first to turn to smartphones to help continue producing entertainment. We’ve also seen how some late night talk show hosts like Conan O’Brien who have also turned to the use of the iPhone to continue churning out content in these tough times.
‘Parks and Recreation’ Reunion Special Was Shot Using An iPhone