‘The Office’: There’s a Deep Meaning Why Jim’s Talking Head Interviews Are Filmed in Front of an Outside Window
There are a lot of eagle-eyed fans of The Office who pick up on some of the smaller details and, no surprise, nothing is done by coincidence. During the May 6 episode of the Office Ladies podcast, hosts Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey answer a question from a fan who noticed something interesting about where the talking head segments are shot for various characters — and why Jim’s are often shot in front of window that faces outside.
The Office’s talking head segments serve as a confessional
The documentary style of The Office has cameras following the Dunder Mifflin workers around during their day but interjected into each episode are talking head interviews where the staff is singled out to provide more perspective.
Many of these segments are shot in the conference room, break room, or kitchen, among various locations around the office, but one fan noticed that Jim’s are often shot with an outside window behind him.
The idea to shoot Jim’s talking heads this way, it turns out, is very deliberate and the Office Ladies podcast uncovered the reason why Jim’s interviews are done this way.
Why Jim’s talking heads are filmed in front of an outside window
During the Office Ladies podcast for season 2 episode 21, titled “Conflict Resolution,” Fischer and Kinsey shared a fan question about how Jim’s talking heads are filmed in front of an outside window and he seems to be the only one, as others typically are seated in front of the window that faces the office’s bullpen.
Fischer reached out to showrunner Greg Daniels to get some intel about the matter. “I asked him, ‘Was this deliberate? Was this an accident?,’” she explained. “And he said that it was something that Randall Einhorn, our cinematographer, suggested to Greg starting with the pilot and Greg absolutely loved it.”
She added, “He said Randall’s intention here was that it didn’t necessarily have to be only Jim, but the idea was that any character that had a future outside of Dunder Mifflin or held some sort of internal optimism would sit in front of a window leading out into the world, but characters who didn’t want to leave Dunder Mifflin, or who maybe were in more of a position of being trapped, would do their talking heads facing into the office.”
In the episode, Jim pursues a job opportunity in anoter branch, so this idea definitely tracks.
Where have other characters’ talking heads been filmed?
In response to the explanation, Kinsey shared, “That’s really deep,” then tried to remember a time she might have been seated there. “I’m sitting here wracking my brain to think if my character ever sat on that other wall with the window facing out behind her and the one that comes to my mind… it was when you and I did ‘big pregs, little pregs’. I think it’s the only time I ever sat there.”
Fischer added that she had been seated there but only with Jim. “Well for a very long time I only sat there if I was with Jim, which was really the only possible future for Pam outside of the office, I think,” Fischer explained. “Otherwise, she was rather trapped in her bad decision of being with Roy.”
Michael often filmed talking heads from his desk and there is a window behind it with an outside view, however.