What you need to know
- American Idol is using the iPhone to film the remaining episodes of its season.
- Judges and contestants will film themselves at home.
- Contestants will be provided with iPhones, lighting equipment, and clothing.
American Idol is one of the major entertainment shows that had to shut down production due to the coronavirus pandemic, but it appears that the showrunners and crew have figured out a way to keep the series going despite the obvious production challenges.
Reported by DeadlineRob Mills, ABC's Senior Vice President of Alternative Series, Specials & Late-Night Programming, said that the crew was inspired by some of the other shows and how they have been able to adapt to remote production.
"We knew we wanted to get some kind of results this season. You started seeing some of the things that artists and musicians were doing on Instagram and Facebook, even some of the stuff on TV, we realised there was a way of doing something different, but could also feel innovative, that's when the producers set about doing these shows that you'll see over the next couple of weeks."
In order to continue production of the series, showrunner Trish Kinane and her team are reportedly sending all of the contestants equipment so they can film and record themselves at home. Some of the gear being sent includes lighting equipment, clothing, and the newest iPhones. Kinane says the decision to use the iPhone was easy and that she could even see the studio using them in the future.
"These are kids who are really used to iPhone technology, they are really familiar with it and use it every day. In the end, we decided rather than send them some complicated camera that you really need a camera operator to use, we would go with the technology that they're familiar with. These top of the range iPhones are amazing. It wouldn't surprise me if we were using iPhones in the studio in the future."
Mills said that the show is working directly with Apple in order to bring the remaining episodes of the season to life and that he is thankful that the technology exists to make this happen.
"We are blessed to live in a day and age where we have technology, even if this had happened five years ago, I don't know if it would be possible. There is a real can-do spirit here that is exciting and exhausting, it's been fun to figure it out."