Parks And RecreationSource: NBC

What you need to know

  • A Parks and Recreation reunion is due to air on Thursday.
  • It's been shot remotely to raise money for COVID-19 relief.
  • The mobile hardware of choice was, of course, the iPhone.

A report has revealed how the cast of Parks and Recreation were given iPhones in order to film the show's reunion episode due to air this week.

As reported by Variety:

Making half an hour of scripted, original television in the middle of a pandemic isn't easy, but "Parks and Recreation" co-creator Mike Schur told press Tuesday that the current climate presented a "compelling reason" to create one more story for Leslie Knope and other beloved characters from the NBC series for the fundraising special that will air on Thursday...

Calling the logistics "very difficult," Schur credits directors and executive producers Morgan Sackett and Dean Holland, as well as script supervisor Valeria Collins, with making the special happen. Schur reached out to half a dozen of the old writers from the show, who conceived of and penned the script for the special in less than three days. They then mailed or dropped off a "little rig with a tripod," an iPhone, a light and microphones with the cast, and Schur and his team directed the actors and adjusted their framing via Zoom. The special was shot in just four days. Schur recruited "The Good Place" graphics and effects team "to make it not look like everyone was just sitting alone in their houses staring at a computer."

That's right, the new episode has been filmed using only tripods, and an iPhone complete with light and microphone. Actors were helped with framing via Zoom, and it sounds like some graphical wizardry will help transport the actors out of their homes. The producers of the show described the process as "slow and laborious", and stated:

"Is there anything about this that points the way forward for TV production? And the answer is a resounding no"

The new episode will air on NBC this Thursday, with proceeds going to Feeding America's COVID-19 Response Fund.

Parks and Recreation Reunion Special: What it is, when it streams & how to watch it live