The Office intro features B-roll of the show’s characters, but it also uses authentic footage from Scranton, Pennsylvania. John Krasinski, who plays Jim Halpert in the series, is responsible for the footage in The Office’s title sequence. Find out why Krasinski filmed the video in the first place, how much he earned for it, and the issue The Office title sequence caused in the Pocono town.
‘The Office’ intro footage of Scranton, Pennsylvania was filmed in a moving car
Some Office fans might not know Krasinski is the one who filmed the footage of Scranton used in the show’s intro. Krasinski and a friend drove through the town as Krasinski used his camera to tape through the sunroof of a Jeep.
Fans of The Office know the local imagery well. The title sequence features the “Scranton Welcomes You” sign and a stoplight downtown. “That shot of the Scranton sign is us driving [past it] at the full speed limit,” the actor remembered on Brian Baumgartner’s podcast, The Office Deep Dive.
John Krasinski made a mini-documentary after he was cast on ‘The Office’
As Krasinski explained to his former co-star, the inspiration for filming the footage of Scranton came after he got cast in the show. Krasinski’s drive was born out of “pure nerdom.”
“[I was] so excited to have this part,” Krasinski said. At the time he was cast, he was 23-years-old. Krasinski remembers being very excitable — “like a puppy,” as he explained. Krasinski told producer Greg Daniels about his desire to visit Scranton for research.
Filming portions of the town wasn’t the only thing Krasinski did during his visit to Scranton. The Office is a mockumentary series about a fictional paper company. After learning of the paper mill in town, Krasinski set out to visit the company.
He also arranged to interview a few of the mill’s employees, including the manager. Unfortunately, Krasinski wasn’t able to use any of his interview footage.
“The boss found out that [The Office] was based on the English one and [knew] the boss is the boob,” Krasinski explained on the podcast. After contemplating how the public might view his image, the boss of the paper mill asked Krasinski to dispose of the footage. It’s unclear where that footage is today.
John Krasinski earned $1,000 for ‘The Office’ title sequence
“I came back thinking I had immersed myself in this thing,” Krasinski said of his research trip. As an up-and-coming actor, Daniels surprised Krasinski when he asked to use his footage for the show’s title sequence. He was even more surprised when Daniels offered him money for what would become The Office‘s iconic title sequence.
Flabbergasted, Krasinski sold Daniels the footage for $1,000. “[I just did] a straight buyout, it was like $1,000,” Krasinski tells Baumgartner.
Now, he realizes what a “dumb” decision that was. “That could have been the greatest investment in my entire life,” Krasinski jokingly added.
‘The Office’ title sequence briefly caused chaos in Scranton, Pennsylvania
As The Office gained popularity, many fans visited the Pennsylvania town where the show takes place. Ironically, local government had to find a new home for the sign seen in the intro. It was relocated indoors at a local mall to prevent fans from stopping traffic on the highway.
Today, the town of Scranton is familiar with the massive amount of fans The Office has cultivated over the years and ready for visitors looking to take photos.