Despite taking place at a realistic looking roadside gas station, everything was actually a set — and a very expensive one at that!
In a new episode of the Office Ladies podcast, stars Angela Kinsey and Jenna Fischer revealed exactly what went down behind-the-scenes while filming the iconic episode.
“We did not actually fly to this location. This is the insane part. They built this in the parking lot of a Best Buy that I have been to many times, actually,” Jenna explained.
The show’s crew built the set based on Google Street View images of a gas station along the Merritt Parkway, which reportedly took nine days and cost $250,000 to construct.
And it turns out that the massive parking lot where everything took place had been built on top of a toxic waste site!
She continued, “Apparently years, and years, and years ago, there was an old ceramics plant or something that had buried lead paint waste into the ground, so they had to seal it and cover it.”
In addition to building the gas station front, the crew also had to create a raceway surrounding the set in order to create the illusion of highway traffic.
“They set up cameras on the other side of this raceway and they had cars drive around it at 55 miles an hour. Then they added rain pouring down on us [with] these giant rain machines,” Jenna explained.
She added, “Our production manager, Randy Cordray, said they had about 35 precision drivers. They were driving not just cars, but like semi trucks. When we were standing there on that set you could feel the wind like of these cars speeding past you. It was so, so bonkers.”
All in all, the 52 second scene became the most expensive moment in Office history…which makes me wonder why they didn’t just fly to Pennsylvania to shoot it!
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