Apple is releasing a new special new episode of the critically acclaimed gaming comedy series, Mythic Quest, filmed entirely on iPhones: Mythic Quest: Quarantine
Mythic Quest: Quarantine is written by star, co-creator and executive producer Rob McElhenney, co-creator and executive producer Megan Ganz and executive producer and star David Hornsby; and, reunites the ensemble cast including McElhenney, Academy Award-winner F. Murray Abraham, Charlotte Nicdao, Danny Pudi, Imani Hakim, Ashly Burch, David Hornsby, Craig Mazin, Naomi Ekperigin, Caitlin McGee, Jessie Ennis and Humphrey Ker.
Rob McElhenney and Megan Ganz pitched the idea to Apple. McElhenney remarked in a THR interview that, Apple was immediately on board. To be able to film all the cast, the team calculated that the production would need 40 new iPhones and 20 sets of earbuds later that same week. “This was a Monday, and I said, ‘If we have them by Friday, I think we could pull this off. Is that possible?'” McElhenney recounted. “There was a rep on the call who didn’t skip a beat. She said, ‘I already have them tracked down. They’re in L.A. and I can have them to you by this afternoon.'” Three weeks later, Mythic Quest: Quarantine was shot, edited, and ready to air.
Each actor had three iPhones, and the actors shot one iPhone at a time. As soon as a scene was wrapped, the phone would be sterilized, packaged, put in a secure area, picked up by a courier and brought to editorial, sterilized again, and then the footage would be uploaded to the Avid for the editors, who were working from their homes.
Mythic Quest: Quarantine is a new, half-hour installment that finds the team behind the biggest multiplayer video game of all-time tasked with working from home. Poppy (Charlotte Nicdao) and Ian (Rob McElhenney) struggle with solitude, while Brad (Danny Pudi) and David (David Hornsby) start a charitable competition. Assistant Jo (Jessie Ennis) tries to explain video-conferencing to CW (F. Murray Abraham) with mixed results. To produce the episode, the cast and crew worked remotely in multiple locations across the country.
“Lots of workplaces are figuring out this whole working-from-home thing, and the gaming industry is no different. Virtual meetings are a new and special kind of hell, so I think people will relate,” said McElhenney. “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. We hope people enjoy it as much as we enjoyed making it.”
The original Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet series follows a team of video game developers as they navigate the challenges of running a popular video game. The complete first season is now streaming globally on Apple TV+, and has already been picked up for a second season. The Visual Effects Supervisor for the series was John Myers and the main VFX vendor was Encore in LA. The review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 88% approval rating on series one, which was based in part on Ubisoft. During the Television Critics Association original press tour, McElhinney stated that the show came about because Ubisoft (which also produces the series alongside Lionsgate and 3 Arts Entertainment) initially approached him about coming up with a series set in the world of gaming. Ubisoft has also been an invaluable source of research and technical knowledge. The company created all the in-show graphics for the MMORPG fictional game at the centre of the series and provided insights and anecdotes on the gaming industry.
As part of the special episode, there is a storyline about a charitable donation, which is being replicated in real life, with the show raising $600,000 to date for the global NGO Mercy Corps COVID-19 relief program. The episode airs Friday.