NBC’s “The Office,” ending it’s nine-season run on May 16, was loaded with references to real-life people and places in Scranton, Pa. The city is bidding the comedy a fond farewell. (May 8)
A marriage proposal that costs a quarter of a million dollars doesn’t often take place at a gas station – unless it’s a proposal from “The Office.”
Jenna Fischer, who played the role of Pam Beesly on the NBC comedy “The Office,” explained just how high the cost was for the scene where Jim Halpert (John Krasinski) gets on one knee in the pouring rain to propose to Pam.
“This was the single most expensive scene ever shot during the entire run of the show. It lasts 52 seconds and it cost $250,000,” Fischer revealed in a Wednesday episode of the “Office Ladies” podcast.
Fischer laid out the “insane” details of the proposal scene. She said producer Greg Daniels wanted to kick off Season 5 of the sitcom with a proposal in an ordinary location: a gas station. The location was inspired by a rest stop Daniels often visited, but instead of flying the cast and crew to the real location, they recreated the proposal venue in the parking lot of a Best Buy.
The scene from “The Office” where Jim and Pam get engaged at a gas station cost a whopping $250,000 according to actress Jenna Fischer. (Photo: Byron Cohen, NBC Universal)
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“They used Google street view to capture images of a real gas station along the Merritt Parkway, and then using those images they built it to match in this parking lot,” Fischer said. “It took them about nine days to build it.”
Merritt Parkway is the route that runs from Connecticut to New York and is often heavy with traffic. For the show to give a parking lot the feel of an East Coast roadway, the set designers constructed a race track around the gas station set. Fisher said the production manager hired 35 precision drivers to drive cars and semi trucks at 55 mph around the four lane track to complete the feel.
“When we were standing there on that set you could feel the wind of these cars speeding past you. It was so so bonkers,” she said.
Other costs of the expensive proposal included giant rain machines and hiring a special effects team to digitally paint over the California mountains seen at of the shooting location to be East Coast trees on screen..
“It felt magical, it did,” Fischer added. “I feel like we got it on the first take.”
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