The Office: Actresses Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey, interpreters of Pam and Angela in The Office, revealed behind-the-scenes details of the scene in which John Krasinski’s character Jim proposes to the then receptionist. During the Office Ladies podcast, the duo commented that this part of the plot — long-awaited by fans, but which took place only at the beginning of the show’s fifth season — was considered the most expensive scene of the entire attraction, estimated at $250 thousand.
It is worth remembering that, at the time, Pam and Jim were living away from each other, as she took classes in graphic design in New York, while he continued working at Dunder Mifflin, in Scranton. This context made them go weeks without seeing each other and, in order to kill their homesickness, they arranged to meet halfway, at a gas station – where the proposal was made.
In conversation, the two revealed that the event was a surprise for everyone, even for a large part of the cast. “First of all, I want you to know that Greg [Daniels, showrunner] spoke to me and Krasinski about what was going to happen. He said he really wanted Jim to propose to Pam at the season premiere. He thought it would be unexpected as it’s something you usually expect from a season finale. So he thought it would be a real shock, ”said Fischer.
“And it was, I didn’t expect it,” replied Kinsey. “Daniels said that he also wanted to confuse people because the location of the event is very common. He wanted it to be special, but also to show that Jim made the decision without much planning ”, added Fischer, noting that the showrunner thought of this scenario as the ideal location, inspired by a real post that the executive stopped to rest when traveling on Merritt Parkway Road, Connecticut.
“We didn’t go to the real location, that’s the most insane part. [The production] built a replica in the parking lot of a store, where I used to go. For that, they used Google Street View and took the images from the real post and built a set from that ”, explained Fischer. Such a process would have taken 9 days to build and to create the illusion of highway traffic they placed a racecourse circuit in the vicinity.
Some cars and trucks were hired to pass in front of the establishment created, and large machines were also installed to generate rain, artificially. To further increase their sense of realism, they called on a company specializing in visual effects to replace California’s mountainous background with typical Connecticut trees.
All this work made the recording expensive in a scene with a screen time of only 52 seconds.
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