A.A.R.M. Q&A with David Rogers

When Jim points out the “hierarchy mobile” to Dwight and tells him that they’re missing an Assistant To The Assistant To The Regional Manager, Rainn came up with the line “I’d need more string, but it’s doable.” Such a wonderful little Dwight moment that his consideration of a new position rests on how it would be able to fit in his mobile.

After Jim crowns Dwight and runs after Pam, Rainn came up with the line, “From now on anyone who needs to speak to me, has got to go through me first,” which I loved and ended the scene with. Early on our Executive Producer Greg Daniels told us in editing, “Whatever’s funniest wins. Doesn’t matter if a writer wrote it, or an actor made it up on the spot. We go with what’s best.”

One hilarious improv that was cut out, was after Jim reassigns “performing a test on a baby.” He gives it to Dwight and leaves. But as Dwight sits behind his desk looking out at the bullpen, a “summoning bag” gets thrown at him and hits the blinds behind him. As the new A.A.R.M., he gets up and asks if Jim wants him, and Jim responds from the doorway, “Nope, just returning it.” Dwight immediately sits down and another bean bag hits him. Jim then says “Now I need you!” It was very funny, but took away from leaving us with Dwight’s intensity on what to do about Baby Phillip, which was better for the story.

twoblackballz: Was the warehouse scene with the A.A.R.M challenge a callback to Office Olympics? Also, what was your favorite scene of this episode to shoot?

David: The obstacle course wasn’t really a callback, but I can definitely see the similarities in using regular office equipment in a different way than they’re originally intended. I loved the upside down office chairs as turnstiles and the boxes of paper as hurdles. The episode’s writer Brent Forrester and I worked on the course with our Art Department and Set Decorators and I wanted Rainn Wilson’s input since he was the one doing the course. He came up with the elevation at the end, using paper boxes as steps, and finishing on a palette of boxes.

I was blessed with such a great script with so many great scenes that it’s hard to say what’s my favorite. I loved Dwight pulling over Angela and getting to film a car stunt. I had a blast filming Darryl’s dance with the rest of the gang. I loved shooting the whole day with Andy waiting in line and auditioning for America’s Next A Capella Sensation! There are literally tons of others from Jim talking to Dwight about love, Jim giving Pam the teapot card after she watches the DVD, and almost every scene with Baby Phillip!

gabagool: How many times did you guys cry while shooting this episode?

There was not a ton of crying on set during the filming of this episode. Even though we knew the show was very close to ending, the cast and crew were in great spirits and firing on all cylinders. However, on my second to last day of shooting, after filming Dwight pulling over Angela, and proposing, we then went to Poor Richard’s and blocked and rehearsed the last scene of the episode where the gang watches the premiere of the documentary. After rehearsal we broke for lunch and then had our table read for… our series finale.

That’s when the crying started. That final table read was an amazing experience and cast members, crew, writers, producers and even a director who had the rest of his afternoon to shoot all either cried or at the least got teary. It took a while to settle down when it was time to come back and shoot the bar scene.

Tiffany: That Jim/Pam moment was such a turning point in their relationship. How was the feeling on set shooting that scene?

33 comments

  1. Wow! Great Q&A! Thanks to David for taking the time to carefully answer so many questions, and thanks to Tanster for asking all of them!

  2. I love that John wrote a special note to Jenna!! I am so going to miss Jim and Pam!!

  3. John writing a special message in the card without Jenna knowing is a total Jim move….It’s like they really are a unit. I always thought they had a great chemistry together.

  4. Okay, and I’m a mess now after reading about John writing the note to Jenna that made her react like that! Absolutely the best Q & A ever – can we get a special edition box set of all 9 seasons with Dave doing audio commentary for every episode?!

    [ from tanster: i second that! ]

  5. Thank you, David, for answering these questions! So cool to know that you were “the voice”.

    John and Jenna are so freaking awesome. JAM has always reminded my husband and I of our relationship, he says I’m his Pam, but John and Jenna’s friendship is what makes their characters so…magical.

  6. Give it up for Stanley the Manly! LDB is the man for sitting through all the talking heads.

  7. The best Q&A ever! This was fascinating, fun to read and informative. I love how much care and thought and detail are put into these amazing episodes. I’m going to miss this show and all the talented people who work on it. Thank you David Rogers and Office Tally!

  8. Wow, that was amazing! Thank you, Dave Rogers. Incredible insight into the episode and how sweet was it that JK wrote a special note to JF in the card.

  9. Amazing Q&A. It really makes the episode that much better (and it was close to perfect to begin with).

  10. Wow, only John and Jenna know what’s in the card, that’s amazing!! It makes the scene even more potent.

  11. My unanswered question has always been… who is the father of Jan’s baby? It always seemed to me that she had some extra knowledge when she told people she went to the sperm bank. My theory is that Astrid is really Hunter’s, OR… Jan picked out Kevin from the sperm bank donor book.

  12. The information about the card made me happy. It’s like the hug and the “Thank you” was not only between Jim and Pam, but a genuine moment between John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer, which just makes it awesome.

  13. The one unanswered question I still have and don’t really expect to be resolved is whether Kevin is really the biological father of Astrid…

  14. Jan got an anonymous donation from a donor bank. The only way to know if Kevin was the father would be to do a genetic test with him….but why would Jan ever do that?! It wouldn’t make any sense to reveal a father.

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