Apple’s promise of high-quality video “shot on iPhone” is getting another real-world stress test, as the late-night TV host, Conan O’Brien announced on Wednesday that he will return to doing the full shows that will be shot using iPhone. On Monday, March 30, new episodes of late-night show “Conan” will air on TBS, with all the production staff working from home, a video that’s shot on iPhone and interviews filmed over Skype.
The news was first reported by Variety and confirmed by O’Brien in the form of a tweet, where he jokes the experience “will not be pretty.”
The move to shoot shows remotely is an interesting attempt at restarting daily TV production at a time when everyone’s been ordered to work from home.
Typically, the late-night shows are put on with a big crew of writers and producers and filmed in front of a big live audience. With the CDC advising people to stay at home and gather in groups of no more than 10 due to the threat of the Covid-19, TV production industry-wide is being shut down.
Until now, that also included all major late-night productions, like Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, and James Corden.
O’Brien’s team consists of 75 people and, like others, it went on hiatus in order to protect staff safety. But during the shutdown, O’Brien continued to film short videos, which led the team to this idea of doing a full show, but in a different format.
“Conan” isn’t the only show trying to work around the shutdown. Jimmy Fallon has been filming YouTube videos that are incorporated into the evening’s rerun of the “Tonight Show.” Colbert has been filming a new monologue for “The Late Show” reruns. And Kimmel has been sharing his own “#minilogue” on social media.
However, “Conan” is promising full episodes, not just new segments.
“The quality of my work will not go down because technically that’s not possible,” O’Brien said in a statement shared by Variety.