Got A.A.R.M. questions for David Rogers?

I’m sad that this is OfficeTally’s final episode Q&A, but so honored that it’s with A.A.R.M. director, David Rogers! David is a long-time editor, producer, and director for the show, and a dear supporter of OfficeTally. You may also remember him as “Angry Ray-Ban Guy” from the Season 5 finale, Company Picnic. :)

If you have a question about ‘A.A.R.M.,’ please add it in a comment below.

This post closes Friday, May 10, at 8pm PT, so get your questions in before then!


  1. Fantastic episode. I wished we got to see a little more with the whole doc airing, but it was done in a very poetic way – love that you just heard Michael. However, if my memory serves me correctly, didn’t the doctor specifically say Dwight was not the father? It was done in a way that I think would be hard for Angela to set that up.

  2. Did you guys initially rule out Dwight’s paternity at the beginning of the season because of The Farm? If The Farm had gone through, would Dwangela have been denied their happy ending? :(

  3. Was there ever a discussion in the writer’s room to reveal to us what was written in the card to Pam?

  4. My favorite shots in the episode were the one with Jim and Dwight! How much was improvised during those takes?

  5. Was the warehouse scene with the A.A.R.M challenge a callback to Office Olympics? Because if so, very nice touch :P

    Also, what was your favorite scene of this episode to shoot?

  6. Give it to me straight — how many times did you guys cry while shooting this episode?

  7. How long did that last awesome dwangela scene take to shoot.
    that was by far the best scene since jam proposal

  8. How much direction did you give Rainn and Angela before their big scene? Or did they just go for it?

  9. So impressed you guys remembered the Teapot and the card! I know a lot of people here did! Plus, it got me thinking, you guys/gals have probably been holding that among other things in your back pocket (… ha) for a while now. What other plots/events did you discuss bringing back from past seasons to this episode?

  10. What an amazing episode. My heart was aching and the tears were flowing.

    What was the most emotional scene shot during A.A.R.M.?

  11. The ending seemed a little choppy, as in short scene after short scene after short scene. You guys made it work great, of course, but are there any deleted scenes that you very much wish could have been included in the final cut?


    Why is the camera crew still filming after the final documentary is finished?

    What do you think about “Livin’ the Dream” and “A.A.R.M.” both ending with musical numbers/goodbyes (Andy in the former, Darryl in the latter)?

    I thought the episode was a little ambiguous about one thing: does Pam really want Jim to stay in Scranton or does she want him to go on the 3-month Athlead pitching trip with Darryl?

  12. Hi David. Will there be any good bonus footage from this episode? Seems like you guys went to great efforts to cover many bases this past episode and that hour was jam-packed with important stuff.

  13. Really fantastic episode. Combined so much of my favorite elements about the show and as it’s the last “normal” episode of The Office, it seemed really appropriate and just lovely all-around.

    There are two things and they’re both about the Christmas Party reference.

    1) Was it talked about throughout the show’s run that you would bring back Jim’s card?

    2) I think there’s some interview or dvd commentary where John Krasinski mentioned that he wrote a card as Jim for Christmas Party. Was that the original card that Jenna read?

  14. 1) Was that Jim’s original card that John wrote in character? Does Jenna know what it says?

    2) I thought Dwight tested Phillip’s DNA & it showed they weren’t related. Explain.

  15. What challenges are faced when trying to make sure all the plots and questions are answered in these final episodes, ones that may have been unanswered for years?

  16. Is it just me, or did the teapot scene actually show more than what was actually used in the actual episode back in Season 2? I wonder if there any other callbacks that were left unused on the cutting room floor?

  17. The scene with Jim and pam and the letter was so awesome!! Did y’all always plan to revealing the letter from the earlier seasons, or was that just somthing you decided to throw into the episode? And will we ever find out what it says?

  18. What does the dang card say?!?! We’ve been waiting a very long time for that card!!!

  19. I’m with many others, so glad that the Christmas card from season 2 was brought back and that Pam got to see what it said, but can we be let in on the secret too…PLEASE!? Also, there were so many good scenes in this episode, which was your favorite one and why?

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

  21. Which scene was directed/filmed most differently than the way the script had been written? Why?

  22. Didn’t we see at the beginning of this season that Dwight was certainly not the father from the doctor? How would this have all ended had The Farm been picked up?

  23. How long has this beautiful ending to the Dwight and Angela story been planned?

    Thanks for the wonderful episode :)

  24. I loved Jim’s video tribute for Pam! What went into making it, and did you take inspiration from any fan videos on YouTube?

  25. Is Dwight and Angela’s son actually related to Rainn in real life? They sure looked related.

  26. For everyone calling foul on the DNA test: Dirty diapers (which is what Dwight submitted to the doctor) make for terrible DNA samples and are often inconclusive or wrong. Also, before Dwight received the results he was asleep. Is it really beyond Angela to force the doctor to fudge the results?

  27. Who played Philip and how much interaction did he have with the actors prior to shooting? He seemed very comfortable with Oscar and Angela.

  28. Was the scene at the end with Jim and Dwight shot to look like the scene where Jim says goodbye to Michael? It looked similar to me.

  29. As the director, how much control did you let the actors/actresses have in this episode, knowing that the series is coming to a close?

    By the way, AMAZING episode!

  30. My question concerns the Christmas Card that Jim finally gives to Pam. Was that the actual card from “Christmas Party”, or was it a mock up that was made specifically for “A.A.R.M.” If the latter, does the original still exist?

  31. David, as a director for this episode which is one of the final ones, did you tackle this differently than other episodes you directed? Did you have to treat it special or differently? How much did the script shape the vision, and how much of it were the interactions, feedback, and improvisation between the actors, you and the crew? Thank you for a great episode!

  32. Wonderful, amazing episode! Loved the Dwight painting, and the Mose and Dwight painting. Who painted them, and will NBC sell poster copies of them?

  33. Hello David Rogers!
    Great episode. I wanted to know: The letter on the tea pot was something you guys wanted to bring up at some point in the series or someone just suggested that through the creative process of this episode?

    And also, had the Dwight spin-off been picked up, would this whole plot involving Dwight, Angela and their wedding been different?

    Greetings from Brazil.

  34. Thank you for all of your contributions to The Office! I’d love to know what the process was in choosing the song for Jim’s video tribute to Pam. Were other songs considered? Who suggested the Snow Patrol song?

  35. Great show!

    When Jim said he had to break the rules and ask for a favor, whose voice was it that responded to him? Who was credited for the documentary guy’s voice?

    Was that the same DVD that Pam would have received anyway when she asked for a copy of their recorded moments?

  36. Great episode! How did you select which three celebrities would be the judges on the talent show?

    Thank you very much!

  37. What a wonderful episode, one of my favorites.

    How important was it to show the true friendship between Dwight and Jim in that scene near the end when Jim was giving advice to Dwight about Angela.

    PS:That scene had me crying.

  38. The appearance of Pam’s video seems to change drastically at one point. Initially, it looks very “punched in”, like it was not actually playing on the laptop but was edited in from another source. Then we cut to a different scene, but when we come back to the video it looks much more natural–there are reflections of the characters (who are watching the video) on the laptop screen and there appears to be a bit of some sort of screen interference. What’s the story behind that?

  39. I feel like Andy’s character has evolved into an amalgam of Michael Scott and David Brent. When Steve left were there still some Michael storylines that were then adapted to other characters?

  40. 1. During the intro to Jim’s CD, was Beesly intentionally misspelled as Beesley? Or was that just a mistake?

    2. During the Wrap Party, Greg Daniels and Phil Shea showed a video of the warehouse with all of the props from the show and explained how NOTHING is ever thrown away, just in case they need to call back to it. With that in mind, was that the original prop letter from Jim to Pam that he gave her?

  41. Who were in the credits that ran before the documentary aired at Poor Richard’s? Were they the names of kids of crew members?

  42. I forgot to put my question. Here it is: How many times did anyone affiliated with the making of The Office burst into tears during the entire process of the making of this episode?

  43. Why no thinly veiled doctor who reference when Catherine Tate joined the cast? Dwight is a sci-fi nut and she was a companion for the doctor

  44. How do you decide what will be the final scene of the opening credits? When last night’s episode was previewed during the wrap party, it ended with Andy still behind the manager’s desk.

    When it aired last night, it ended with Jim kissing Pam. Personally, I was hoping it would end with Dwight behind the desk, since he had waited so long to get the Regional Manager job. Even Creed had a credits sequence for one episode that ended with him behind the desk.

    So my question is two-fold, how do you decide on the final scene of the opening credits (whose decision is it?) and also specifically why the decision was made to end on Pam/Jim last night.


  45. Were Andy’s scenes always planned or was this a later adjustment to bring him back? I loved all the stories. Moving and beautiful. Andy’s was so heart wrenching. Does he find happiness as well?

  46. Hi David!

    I just want to thank you for all the work you’ve done on The Office (as well as NewsRadio and Seinfeld – I’m so glad to have the chance to tell someone who worked on The Serenity Now how much I loved that episode). I have two questions: how long ago had the writer’s room thought up that Dwight’s proposal? That scene was gold. And also, one question that has always plagued me – during the talking heads, has Stanley been in the background, or is it footage of him played on a loop?

  47. Andy met a woman in line for his a cappella audition. Were they supposed to be a romantic connection so we know Andy will find happiness after Erin? Were there any scenes of Andy/line girl or Andy/Erin cut from the episode due to time?

  48. Loved the episode! I just want to know; was the card Jim gave to Pam was the same card from Season 2?

  49. Can we expect an explanation of the paternity test saying Dwight wasn’t the father in the finale?

  50. If you had just five more minutes of air time, was there one scene that had to be cut that you would have left in?

  51. Were you guys throwing us a curveball when you cast Aaron Rodgers as one of the A Cappella judges? Was convinced he’d be in an Athlead segment. Was awesome nonetheless.

  52. What was the song playing during Jim’s video for Pam, while he was telling Dwight about love?

  53. How did you train Baby Philip to do all of those scenes so well? He mastered the act of calming down as soon as he was around Dwight. Did he have a lot of experience with the actors/actresses?

  54. In the beginning of the episode, when you show the line for the audition, you do a long tracking shot with many extras waving at the camera. How many of these were people from the actual crew in a cameo?

    Who voiced the guy from the (fictional) crew who agrees to help Jim with a montage?

  55. Dave, what was your favorite scene you had to cut out of an episode? Mine was Jim talking about his best first date (with Pam). Thanks for all your hard work over the years!

  56. Sublime episode last night! In editing and directing the episode, how did you go about incorporating elements of the show’s history that fans hold so dear (like the teapot) without having them come off as shoehorned in for nostalgia? I was really blown away by how deftly the episode managed to make something that happened 7 seasons ago feel so relevant in season 9. It was beautiful.

  57. Was the Christmas card that Jim gives Pam the same prop from season 2, and did John actually write anything in the card?

  58. My question is similar to #48 Greg’s: Was a Dwight-as-Manager tag for the opening credits planned or shot?

  59. I’m sure you’d probably prefer more technical questions, but I would honestly like to hear about the emotion that went into your last directing job for “The Office.” Did you find that it made it hard to focus at times, or did it compel you to work even harder than usual? Were there any directing/editing choices you made that reflected your own views regarding how you wanted to see things wrapped up for the series?

  60. I loved last night’s episode. Honestly… I have gone back and watched again already. Just a small question, if Esther dropped Dwight off at work, how did he have his car to pull Angela over? I keep thinking I have missed something.

    Thank you so much for helping to bring this series to a memorable heartfelt ending.

  61. Did Jenna get to watch the JAM montage before she filmed that scene? I feel like it would have been more powerful/dramatic for her to watch it in real-time, like we did.

    This was one of my favorite episodes of all time.

  62. How did Pam watch that beautifully edited montage (did Jim specifically request certain moments?) and not immediately say “let’s move to Philadelphia”?

    Is the documentary supposed to be only one episode or a series? Thanks!!

  63. Not a question about A.A.R.M, which was great by the way, but I’ve been wondering; what was the change in mindset from the writers’ view in Andy’s characterization from Season 8 to Season 9? I don’t think there’s any denying that Andy’s character changed significantly between the two seasons, but I wanted to know if this was a conscious decision on the writers’ part or not.

  64. Hi, 1) what did Jim write on the card, 2) Would have loved to have seen Pam watch what Jim said to Michael about her on the Booze Cruise!

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