How 'Modern Family's' Groundbreaking Episode Was Made

Hit show breaks ground with a new episode shot entirely on iPhones and iPads.

— -- “Modern Family” has always lived up to its name with its depiction of modern, 21st-century family life, but now the show is breaking new ground by depicting that family interacting with 21st-century technology.

Tonight’s episode of the TV comedy was shot using only mobile devices, an idea that grew from a real-life conversation on a mobile device.

“The whole thing began when I was FaceTiming with my daughter, who’s at college,” the show’s co-creator, Steve Levitan, told ABC News. “There were some emails that were open, some Web sites I’d been on and maybe a script I was working on at the time.”

From that experience came tonight’s episode, which takes place entirely on the Mac laptop of Julie Bowen's character, Claire Dunphy, as she waits for a plane and FaceTimes with the rest of her family on their phones.

“We have 11 or 12 characters that all appear this way,” said Levitan. “I think people were somewhat cautious about it in the beginning, shall we say.”

Actor Rico Rodriguez, who plays Manny Delgado in the show, calls the concept “amazing” and “so different.”

“At first, whenever they told us how we were going to do it, holding the cameras, we’re not going to be holding the cameras but we will, the whole thing about iPhones, filming it on iPhones, was kind of mind-boggling,” he said today on “Good Morning America." “But we all got the hang of it pretty fast.”

The episode was filmed in two days -- a “pretty amazing” amount of time, according to Rodriguez -- and got the thumbs-up from the actor.

“Last week all the cast and crew went and screened it and it was a pretty amazing episode,” Rodriguez said. “I got lost in the story even though I knew exactly what was going to happen.”

“I was like, ‘Whoa, this is crazy,’” he said.