The Office set visit 2013 photos

In the editing bay with Claire Scanlon

I got to watch editor/director Claire Scanlon edit scenes from the episode Livin’ the Dream.

Since multiple takes are shot of one scene, Claire’s got ’em all lined up as files on her computer. She’s also got a copy of the script in front of her, so she knows what the official lines are.

First she looks at all the takes of the main action, like Andy making the announcement that he’s leaving. Claire will then pick the best version of Andy’s announcement, and then clean it up, maybe getting rid of the “uhs” and “ummms.”

She scrutinizes every detail. At one point she says, “did you notice that Oscar just walked across the room like he was trying to get to his mark as fast as he could?” I’m like, lol, no, I didn’t notice that. But Claire notices, and like magic, she clicks her mouse and poof! — that little piece of film is deleted.

Then she’ll look at the takes of all the other characters’ reaction shots to Andy’s announcement, and tries to pick the best ones as the “sprinkles on top” of the main action. Psychology comes into play; Claire asks, “How would Meredith react in this scene? How would Dwight react?”

In the scene where Jim tries to take his desk back from Clark, remember Clark’s awesome line “it is very easy to get lost in Pete’s beautiful dead eyes”? In another take, he says “beautiful vacant eyes.” Is “dead” funnier than “vacant”? We decide yes.

When Jim decides to give up his desk to Clark, Pam says, “It’s okay. I’ll come visit you.” In one take, Jenna says it in a wholesome way; in another take, she says it more suggestively. The wholesome version is what ends up in the aired episode.

Can I just say, there is something about watching Pam on a big screen high-def TV that makes you truly marvel at how wonderful an actress Jenna Fischer is. She conveys a hundred emotions with her face. The movement is never big, it’s always subtle and quiet. I teared up so many times that week, just watching Jenna perform.

Thanks, Claire, for letting me spend time in the editing bay with you! It was super fun. I love watching how the show is put together. Magic happens on the front end as well as the back end. That’s what she said.

The Office Set Visit photos

18 comments

  1. We need to start a petition to preserve that studio and set. Open it for tours. It should never ever be touched.

  2. Great Pictures, Tanster! In #17 I can see you working on OfficeTally!

    [ from tanster: lol, yes! always working on officetally, wherever i go. :) ]

  3. @michael totally agree with you!!!! I was just thinking that. I never had the opportunity to go there and i would pay to now that it’s over. It would just be nice knowing that the small little office that gave me so many memories is still there. You would have my full support.

  4. Thank you for the amazing look into the editing process! Truly fascinating. I thought Pam’s “It’s okay. I’ll come visit you.” was incredibly suggestive in the episode. Anybody else? Maybe it was more of Jim’s reaction that made it seem suggestive.

  5. In an odd coincidence, it looks like the Tam O’Shanter Inn is right across the street from the Best Buy parking lot where they filmed Jim’s proposal.

  6. Great photos!! I absolutely love the editing photo. I’m in video production and edit a ton of videos and have always wanted to see how The Office is edited. I would love to talk to Claire about it all!

    Again, wonderful photos! I’m glad you got to see so many things on your last set visit! Thank you for sharing. :)

  7. I love the idea of preserving The Office set as a Hollywood behind-the-scenes tour place for fans! The owners of the studio would probably make more money that way vs. renting it out to other productions for filming. I’d go!

    For long-running shows with iconic sets, they usually pack away and save all the set pieces and recognizable props in case they ever do a reunion show (vs. just returning everything to the general prop department for reuse.)

    The Central Perk coffee house set of FRIENDS was reconstructed in a building on the Warner Bros lot – during the studio tour, fans can pose for pictures on the couch, or by the coffee bar where Gunther always stood. Would love that for The Office!

  8. Tanster…I am sure we are ALL curious as to how much you “knew” prior to the finale. While visiting the set, did you see Steve Carell/see them filming the wedding scenes?

    [ from tanster: they filmed the finale over the course of two weeks. The first week was the wedding. I was there the second week. no, I didn’t know that steve carell would be in the finale. the office staff is excellent at keeping secrets. ;) ]

  9. I’ve always loved your details and photos of set visits — truly fascinating. Thank you!

    PS — I, too, would pay for a tour of the set!

  10. Tanster, could you give us any closure/ info./insight about the set and the possibility of seeing it in the future? I really hope it’s not all taken down :(

  11. The British version of the show had a Christmas special after the series ended. We need to petition to get one for the US series. The Office always did have the best Christmas episodes.

  12. @17 I kinda feel like that’s what the “Finale” was supposed to be. Much like the British X-Mas Special; it took place after the airing of the doc.

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