TV is sure changing with the pandemic, and one of the more intriguing ways of filming an episode is seeing a rise, as the video chat meeting becomes the episode.
There’s some clever programming on TV lately, particularly if you’re tuning into what’s on for streaming services. Every network has a few shows that make it stand out, and while Apple TV+ is still growing, one of the TV shows that has quickly gained notoriety is Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet, a take one what video games development is like if it was a TV series.
Written and developed by some of TV’s current comedy legends, Rob McElhenney and Charlie Day, who both are a part of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, it’s a humourous look at the complex and fragile egos in modern day video game development, particularly in the world of online RPGs, similar to that of World of Warcraft.
It’s a comedy, and a direct comedy, and like other shows is reliant on a fairly large set with plenty of rooms for the characters to converse and act in, and do so together. Unfortunately, in a world of self-isolation and social distancing, acting in a large set with others is kind of complicated.
We’re still not sure how film and television production will continue for the time being, beyond regular temperature and illness checks, and we suspect filmmakers and production companies are dealing with similar thoughts at the moment, as well.
But there is one way filmmakers can produce material in isolation: video chat.
The increase in working from home has given video chat services such as Zoom, Google Meet, and even Facebook’s own approach a little more use, beyond mere video chats from family member to family member, and it’s something actors and filmmakers are dealing in, as well.
Already, Netflix’s Tiger King has tried the approach in an extra episode hosted by Joel McHale that looks at some of the cast of that show albeit in self-isolation, while Disney+ has tried a singing and dancing video feed with actors and singers doing Disney music in self-isolation with The Disney Family Singalong, as well as the follow-up, Volume II of The Disney Family Singalong.
Filming in quarantine means actors can’t really be in the same rooms as others unless they already live with them, though Sam Neill has come up with a cute approach between himself and Helena Bonham Carter, whereby a small film was filmed in two parts across continents.
HELENA BONHAM CARTER stars in this groundbreaking Cinema Quarantino Production DAS FONE HELL. At vast expense, filmed on two continents over what (seemed like) five years , this profound and heartbreakingly candid insight into Modern Life will shake you to the core (Pilates 101) pic.twitter.com/aVXCfvAyfd
— Sam Neill (@TwoPaddocks) May 23, 2020
Video chat, however, makes for an easier solution when you have a larger cast, and you need to somehow connect them together, especially if the characters are undergoing similar situations to the rest of the world. The Parks & Recreation recently reunited for a take on this, and Mythic Quest is doing the same, releasing a special episode on top of the rest of its first season following that approach.
Available only on Apple TV+, the “Quarantine” episode sees the cast working from home and working over video conferencing, living in the same time as everyone else, with the episode produced on iPhones.
“Lots of workplaces are figuring out this whole working-from-home thing, and the gaming industry is no different,” said Rob McElhenney.
“Virtual meetings are a new and special kind of hell, so I think people will relate. Yes we’ve all had low points, but there have also been incredible moments of triumph and we wanted to celebrate that,” he said.
“We needed to shoot this episode fast without sacrificing quality. Thankfully, we’re living in a time when everyone’s got a camera in their pocket. Having an iPhone coupled with the ingenuity of our crew, allowed us to make this unique piece of television in just days,” said McElhenney. “We hope people enjoy it as much as we enjoyed making it.”
The “Quarantine” episode of Mythic Quest is coming soon to Apple TV in Australia. The episode has launched in the US, but Australia looks set to see it from May 29, also known as Friday this week.