Leslie David Baker is a trouper who sits in the background for all of the talking heads — never on a loop, especially since the characters often move their arms in front of the window as they speak.
Dwigt: 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?
David: Zero. They were all professional background artists or “extras” as they’re often called in the industry. We had 250 people there that day. Honestly, our crew doesn’t have time to stand in a line.
Tyson: 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).
David: I love that scene too! I would have to go back and view all of the deleted scenes to see what I wish made it into an episode. The episodes and deleted scenes all blend together for me now.
Ashwin: 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?
David: I think the key is we don’t overdue it. We recognize and don’t whitewash what’s come before us and we respect our continuity, but at the same time we’ve never put the events from the past on a pedestal.
Cristy: If Esther dropped Dwight off at work, how did he have his car to pull Angela over? I keep thinking I have missed something.
David: Well they’ve been dating a bit to the point that he’s considering asking her to marry him. My guess is that she picked him up from work the day before and they spent the night together.
tanster: Who was the choreographer for the Darryl dance scene?
Mary Ann Kellogg was our choreographer for the Darryl dance scene. She also choreographed the big dance number in Niagara, the gang dancing in Cafe Disco, and the Lip Dub from Nepotism.
Monica: Who played Philip and how much interaction did he have with the actors prior to shooting? He seemed very comfortable with Oscar and Angela.
Grace: 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?
Debbie Wilson: Is baby Phillip related to anyone in the cast or crew?
David: Baby Phillip was absolutely amazing! He was played by Vince and Evan Edwards and this was their first professional job in front of cameras on a professional set. They were not related to anyone in the cast or crew, but quickly became part of our “family” as soon as everybody saw and fell in love with them. Phillip even looks like the perfect offspring of Dwight and Angela between having Dwight’s nose and lips, and Angela’s blonde hair!
The kids pointed at the Galactica, was never afraid whenever a new cast member would hold them, and one said the word “beet!” when asked what he would prefer during “Schrutes and Consequences.” That wasn’t even scripted. All he had to do was grab the beet, but he pointed at it and said “beet.” It was amazing!
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!
I love that John wrote a special note to Jenna!! I am so going to miss Jim and Pam!!
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.
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! ]
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.
Wow! Wonderful Q&A — thank you!
He answered my question! Thanks for answering, and thanks tanster for organizing!
Give it up for Stanley the Manly! LDB is the man for sitting through all the talking heads.
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!
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.
Amazing Q&A. It really makes the episode that much better (and it was close to perfect to begin with).
Wow, only John and Jenna know what’s in the card, that’s amazing!! It makes the scene even more potent.
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.
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.
Thank you so much for this!
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…
Wow that was an amazing Q and A, as someone has already
said, thanks to David for answering and Tanster for asking them.
Awesome Q&A. Love this stuff.
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.
Great Q&A! I really enjoyed reading it :)
Thank you so much for the awesome insight, David! And thanks for the organization of this Q and A, Tanster! You’re both so great. And as always, even more obsessed with JAM after reading about this private card. Can they get any more perfect?!
Wow, just wow. I read this right after seeing the video “The Faces of Jim.” I miss them already!
Really great Q&A. This was awesome of David.
I’m still confused about the Beesly/Beesley thing. Didn’t Jim’s video say Beesley?
Wow. Great Q&A! Thanks so much for answering my question. I actually forgot that Dwight had used a dirty diaper for the DNA test. I’m also glad that the content of the card won’t be revealed…it’s much better that way.
What will we do now? Now that the Office is officially over? Will the characters watch themselves now?
the only unanswered question – why did Michael hate Toby so much? Greg Daniels mentioned he might do a backstory on that but never did…I would love to know!
I wonder if that means that LDB technically has the most screen time of any actor on the show. I hope that reflects in his syndication royalties! :)
Thank you David, it was a very informative and moving Q&A. Glad you contributed to the show.
Some things, like the card from Jim to Pam, are better left unexplained. And I’m glad they never addressed that.
The common guess for Toby is that, Toby being HR, he didn’t answer to Michael Scott, wasn’t compelled to take part in his charades and may have transmitted over the years reports and complaints to the headquarters, as he was supposed to do.
Anyway, Dwight did fire Toby in the finale, something Michael could never do. Either David Wallace changed the rules, or he approved first Dwight’s request for undisclosed reasons (Toby not reporting that Andy was missing?)
And it still made it more effective that Michael’s hatred for Toby is so irrational. If there had been a concrete reason for it, we would have linked Michael’s behavior with the original incident. Without explanation, it was even more childish and effective.
Great Q&A, thanks for this!
Question though: from which episode is the deleted scene Tyson refers to in his question – with Jim talking about his best first date with Pam?
Amazing! Thank you!
I thought the misspellings of Pam’s last name were addressed in a commentary from one of the Niagara episodes. They said that at the rehearsal dinner, on the sign outside of the door, beesley was spelled wrong on purpose.listen to commentary though
Did erin end up with plop?