The Office wasn’t like other TV shows. With its documentary-style storytelling, the camera played a role in capturing the action. Jenna Fischer explained how one error spotted during a season 1 episode wasn’t edited out because it felt authentic to the documentary style.
Jenna Fischer said these mistakes on ‘The Office’ were ‘gold’
While discussing The Office Season 1 episode “Basketball” during a 2019 episode of the Office Ladies podcast, Fischer and her co-host Angela Kinsey pointed out a moment where a boom microphone came into view during a scene.
Fischer explained when the microphone could be spotted. “In the very early moment of this episode, you see the boom microphone dip down into frame,” she said.
“Now, normally, you would never allow this on television. But on our show, this was considered gold,” she continued. “We kept this stuff in, like you never not used a take that was funny just because you saw the boom microphone or anything.”
“Any ‘mistake’ that would normally get cut out of another show, we used it,” the actor added.
Kinsey shared how those kind of moments just added to the feel of the show. “Because you wanted to feel like the documentary,” she said.
Fischer agreed. “Like an authentic documentary. This was really important. So I thought that was kind of a cool little thing,” she explained.
‘The Office’ cast had a fun song for those moments
Kinsey also pointed out a fun behind-the-scenes fact about their boom operator.
“Our boom operator was named Nick Carbone. And one of my favorite things is when sometimes he would get the boom in the shot, we would yell ‘You got Carboned!,’” she explained.
“And then we also started making up a song called ‘Boom Shadow, Boom Shadow.’ Listen, young kids, Google it. That is an old song,” Kinsey added.
The camera was also a character on ‘The Office’
Fischer and Kinsey also shared how the characters would give looks to the camera and that ended up being a hard habit to break in their post-Office jobs.
Kinsey acknowledged Rainn Wilson giving a look to the camera in one scene. “And I feel like this was really fun for all of us,” she said. “This documentary kind of genre, because we did get to do that.”
“And even in years later, I have jobs and every once in a while a director will say, ‘Angela, you just looked at camera. You can’t look at camera,’” she continued.
“I’m like, ‘Oh, crap, sorry. For nine years I would check in with the camera,’” she added.
Fischer found it was a challenging habit to break as well and explained the significance of the cameras on their show.
“It’s so true. The camera was a character,” Fischer explained. “It was another person that we could relate to — the ‘documentarian.’ And so we were encouraged to make them a part of the conversation.”
“And then it’s weird to then take other jobs where you’re like, ‘Oh, right, right. You’re not actually filming me.’ I’m back to pretending like, ‘Yeah, this is not… You’re not in the room,’” she added.
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