There is no episode of The Office airing this week. NBC is putting an episode of Teachers in our place tonight. I shared a changing room with three of the actresses from Teachers at a press event earlier this year. They were sweethearts, so I do hope their show does well.
With no Office episode airing tonight, I thought this might be a good week for some more frequently asked questions. These are all from your e-mails. Here we go!
I was wondering: Will you guys ever tape in front of a live studio audience? Misty, Atlanta, Ga.
Probably not. We do not shoot like the average TV show. Most sitcoms are shot on soundstages, where the sets only have three sides with one side open like when you see a play. There are three to four cameras on the floor shooting into the set and the audience sits behind them on bleachers. (This is what is called a "three-camera show." Will & Grace and Friends are examples of three-camera shows.) They rehearse their show during the week and then perform it in front of a live audience one evening. As a result, you hear the laughter of the audience during the episode.
The Office is what is commonly referred to as a "single-camera show." We shoot five days a week for about 12 hours a day. We also shoot on a soundstage, but our sets have four walls and even a ceiling. It looks like a real office. So, first off, there would be no place for the audience to sit. Secondly, the premise of our show is that a documentary film crew came into our office to shoot the people and their activities. It wouldn't make sense to have audience reaction as part of The Office.
Is the show shot at a set in a studio, or is it in a real office building? Abby, Pella, Iowa
In Season 1 of The Office, we shot on location at a real office building, on the second floor of some old offices in Culver City, California. For Season 2, we moved to a soundstage, where they re-created the original office location down to the smallest detail. (Except that they made Michael's office a little larger. It was hard to fit the camera crew into the old office to do his interview segments.)
Why move at all? The No. 1 reason: Now we can control the weather and the amount of light that comes through the windows. When they were real windows facing the real outside, it was tricky! If you watch the DVD of Season 1, I bet you can see some subtle differences between our old location and our new stage.
The craziest thing was that for the first few weeks in our new location we would forget we were on a soundstage and get confused trying to leave. The actual exit doors were all different. Just imagine if someone rebuilt the interior of your house on a soundstage. So when you walked out your "front door," instead of seeing the outside you were still inside a giant warehouse with lights and equipment. It felt like we were on The Truman Show!
Have the writers ever considered filming a show in Scranton? Sheba, Scranton, Pa.
As you know, the show is set in Scranton, but we haven't filmed there yet. It is really a question of budget. It would cost a lot of money to transport the entire cast and crew to Scranton. But we'd like to! I think it would be fun. I figure that it is just a matter of time.
In one of your other blog entries, you talked about the certificates that are posted around the office. What does the one behind Michael's desk say? Mel, St. John's, Minn.
Good eye! It says "Michael Scott is the proud owner of a Seyko Timepiece." (Note: They intentionally misspelled Seiko on the certificate.) I love that one. Not only did Michael buy a fake Seiko watch, he framed the certificate and put it on the wall of his office.
In the Christmas episode, what did Jim write on the note he put in the teapot and later decided not to give to Pam? Brad, Pickerington, Ohio
I don't know what John [Krasinski] wrote on that card. I told him I didn't want to know. John said that he (as Jim) did write something. I figure Pam will find out when the time is right.
Some superquick questions:
Is Angela a babe under all of that conservativeness? Jeffrey, Williamstown, N.J.
Are you the daughter of Carrie Fisher? Anonymous
No. Our last names are spelled differently.
Is Creed cool? Paul, Philadelphia, Pa.
Yes. Very cool. He was a member of the '60s band the Grassroots. We all love him.
I heard you are from St. Louis, so I was curious: Are you a Cardinals fan? Jared, Belleville, Ill.
Of course! And for all you St. Louis folks I went to Nerinx Hall High School in Webster Groves.
Is that yearbook picture (from "E-mail Surveillance" and "Christmas Party") really of John Krasinski? Jenna, New York, N.Y.
If you could choose one celebrity to guest-star on the show, who would it be? Katie, Indianapolis, Ind.
What advice can you give to fellow office assistants and receptionists who feel they are way too qualified to be doing what they are doing? Jeffrey, Los Angeles, Calif.
You are not alone I've been there! I love that Dr. Phil saying "I want you to get excited about your life!" To me, that means taking initiative. Do more than is expected of you. This is great practice for when you finally have the job you love and you want to excel. You'll be used to giving things 110 percent. Try it as an experiment for one week and see what happens.
Thanks to everyone for your nice e-mails. Have a great week!