'Parks and Recreation' reunion special shot on iPhone

Popular NBC sitcom “Parks and Recreation”, which was last broadcast in 2015, is scheduled to air a special reunion episode this week to raise funds for coronavirus response efforts, with a half-hour broadcast. -hour fully filmed on iPhone.

The cast of “Parks and Recreation” returns Thursday for a special reunion shot on iPhone. | Source: NBC

As you would expect, coordinating the scripted event when much of the United States is under strict quarantine orders was “very difficult,” co-creator of “Parks told Variety. and Recreation “, Mike Schur.

Schur first contacted a handful of writers from the series, who wrote the script in less than three days, and then the team sent a “small platform with a tripod”, an iPhone, a light, and microphones to actors. Directors and executive producers Morgan Sackett and Dean Holland, as well as script supervisor Valeria Collins, helped develop the episode.

Schur and the ad hoc production group directed and assisted the actors with the framing of the camera and the adjustments to Zoom. The graphics and effects team “The Good Place” was also recruited “so as not to give the impression that everyone was sitting alone in their house looking at a computer,” said Schur.

The episode was filmed in four days.

While the iPhone helped make the reunion episode a reality, Schur doesn’t believe the process represents a change in the way television is made.

“Is there anything about this that points the way forward for television production? And the answer is a resounding no,” said Schur. “To me, it’s not the way television is supposed to be made. just because it’s a fundraiser, because it was fun to bring the actors together. But, you know, television is a team sport. From start to finish, these are groups of people working holistically with each other, and collaborating and being in the same room at the same time. And, you know, I don’t think there is any way that this is a sustainable method for making television. “

The special stars of many original actors in the series, including Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, Aziz Ansari, Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza, Chris Pratt, Adam Scott, Rob Lowe, Jim O’Heir and Retta. Invited stars will also appear.

Schur said he “didn’t think Parks and Rec ‘was ever going to meet,” but the ongoing coronavirus pandemic presented “compelling reason” to bring the actors together. Proceeds from the special will be donated to Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund.

NBC will broadcast the special program “Parks and leisure” on Thursday.

A few other productions use the iPhone to film segments while the coronavirus is locked, including American Idol and the late-night talk show “Conan”.

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