Greg Daniels and Justin Spitzer discuss holiday episodes
Greg: Hi! Nice to see you!
tanster: How’d you think it went?
Greg: I thought it was fun! I just was sad we couldn’t get to all the people who were in line.
tanster: I think it was really great that you guys had the whole panel be fan questions. Because that hasn’t been true of some of the other panels.
Greg: Yes. Well, I would like to say that it was because we really knew what it was going to be like and wanted to give everybody a chance to talk, but it’s because we really didn’t prepare. (Laughs)
tanster: You know, it’s really funny, I think this happened at The Office Convention as well, where you guys were not kept updated with all the details until the very last minute.
Greg: Well, you know, there’s a lot of work to make a TV show!
tanster: I know!
Greg: And we’re doing 28 episodes this year, so all week we’ve been staying up late to get our premiere ready, ’cause it shoots at 7am on Monday. And, you know, we’ve been polishing it.
tanster: Are you still rewriting it this weekend?
Greg: No, we’re done rewriting. But you know, there was production meetings, and we were trying to clear music, and you know, doing all the kind of things you gotta do.
tanster: So is it just back into the groove after summer?
Greg: Yeah, pretty much. I mean, we really didn’t take off the summer. We really didn’t take off anything. We were gone for four weeks out of the office, but everybody was writing scripts then.
tanster: So it’s like non-stop.
Greg: It’s been pretty non-stop. I mean we had the advantage of really recharging our batteries during the strike, so definitely the attitude of the company is, “That was your vacation.” (Laughs) You know, “keep going.”
tanster: Can you clarify the number of episodes? — you said 28. So does that mean 28 half-hours?
Greg: Yeah, that means 28 half-hours.
tanster: So not necessarily 28 episodes.
Greg: That’s correct. For example, the premiere is going to be an hour long.
Greg: Has anyone told you about the premiere?
tanster: Jen told me about the whole weight loss thing. And each act is going to be a week in the summer. So that’s pretty cool. That’s a very unique idea. Something you haven’t done before.
Greg: Yeah. So that should be fun.
tanster: Jen also mentioned a baby shower.
Greg: Yeah, a baby shower is coming up. Good.
tanster (in a super lame attempt to get more information): Now Mindy said something during an interview that people who were disappointed by the whole Jim-Pam non-proposal would, I don’t know, get some information, or be satisfied somehow, soon, with developments.
Greg (not falling for it): Interesting. (We both laugh.)
tanster: And that’s all you’ll say about that.
Greg: Yeah, you know, I think they should watch the show.
tanster: Will you be doing any holiday episodes? A lot of fans miss Christmas, and Halloween …
Greg: We missed it, too. We had such a good Christmas one written, and there is a Halloween episode, or there will be Halloween during an episode, it won’t all be about Halloween, coming up.
tanster: For Season 5?
Greg: Yes. (To other writers) What are we doing for Christmas this year? (To Justin) You wrote it, right? (To me) Hang on a second … (Walks over to Justin, and they start whispering out of earshot … gah!)
tanster (to Lee): Darn!
Greg: Okay, yeah. It’s the Christmas episode. Justin wrote the last one, which we had him not do, because of the strike.
tanster: Wait, you can’t do it now?
Justin: Uh, not now.
Greg: That particular one’s dead. It’s too bad.
tanster: The whole thing?
Greg: Maybe one day the script will come out and it’ll be like a fantastic fan thing.
Justin: A little memorabilia.
tanster (to Justin): But you’re writing another one.
Greg: He wrote the next one, too, yeah.
tanster: So your specialty is Christmas.
Greg: If at first you don’t succeed … (everybody laughs)
Justin (laughing): I’m just going to keep going. (Joking) This year, we’re assuming there’s going to be an actors’ strike right around when we film Christmas …
Justin: … so one of these days, there’ll be a Christmas episode.
tanster: Oh, that’s sad!
Justin: Christmas has been around for 2,000 years, so I’ll get one of them to work for me.
tanster: You’re like the Susan Lucci of The Office writers.
Justin (laughing): Yes!