‘The Office’: The Real Reason the Show Was Filmed In an Actual Office Building — Not a Hollywood Set
The Office graced our television screens for nine seasons between 2005 and 2013. There was a way to fall in love with every character, as they somehow all livened up the drab Scranton office setting.
Surprisingly, though, this show wasn’t filmed on a Hollywood set. The Office takes place in a real office building — and there’s a reason for that.
John Krasinski helped film the opening sequence for ‘The Office’
The show takes place in Scranton, Pennsylvania, but it wasn’t actually filmed in the city. Rather, the filming took place in Culver City, California, but the crew did everything they could to make it look as much like Scranton as possible. And the same goes for the show’s opening sequence, which actually was filmed in Pennsylvania.
John Krasinski is credited with filming the opening sequence’s first few scenes. Upon landing the role of Jim Halpert, Krasinski and some friends decided to take a road trip to Scranton, Pennsylvania, to see the city in which Krasinski would be living (fictionally) for the next eight years. While there, Krasinski filmed some street signs and stop lights, which the producers thought would be the perfect addition to accompany the show’s lively jingle.
The show was filmed in a real office building — not a Hollywood set
Most shows take place on a set because it allows for more flexibility in terms of filming. However, this was not the case for The Office, which was filmed inside of an actual Culver City, California, office building.
According to Insider, since The Office was meant to be filmed in the style of a documentary, producers felt that filming inside an actual office building brought more authenticity.
“A lot of times on sets, they actually build the office so if they wanna film and get a certain camera angle, they can move a wall,” actress Angela Kinsey said on her podcast, Office Ladies. “On our show, because it was in an actual office building, you just had to work with it. And it sort of really lent itself to the documentary style that all the shots weren’t going to look pretty.”
Filming within real areas brought the show to life, and this wasn’t only the case for the office building; the “Dinner Party” episode at Jan and Michael’s condo was filmed in a real condo, and the Dundies took place at an actual Chili’s.
Steve Carell actually wrote 2 episodes of the show
Many of the show’s actors doubled as writers. Specifically, Mindy Kaling (Kelly), B.J. Novak (Ryan), and Paul Lieberstein (Toby) were primary writers of the show as well as characters. But Steve Carell (Michael) actually wrote two episodes as well. The hilarious unfolding of the season 2 finale, “Casino Night” was entirely Carell’s doing. He’d suggested the idea of a casino night, and the writers let him take the reins.
Carell also wrote “Survivor Man,” a season 4 episode during which Michael hosts a wilderness retreat for himself after he’s not invited to Ryan’s wilderness get together.