Jenna Fischer Reveals Most Expensive ‘The Office’ Episode: Jim’s Gas Station Proposal Cost $250,000

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When it comes to iconic TV proposals, a few pop up in mind before others do. 

Jim’s proposal to Pam in The Office season 5 premiere is, hands down, one of television’s most heart-warming and iconic moments. Not just that, we recently found out that the proposal was the series’ most expensive moment, or so cast member Jenna Fischer, who plays Pam Beesly in the beloved series, said. Numerous long-time fans of the show tune into the podcast Office Ladies, where real-life best friends Jenna Fischer and co-star Angela Kinsey, who played Angela on the show, revisit several episodes from the show. During this week’s episode, Jenna revealed that it had cost the production $250,000 to set up and shoot the proposal scene, although it lasted just 52 seconds when the episode aired.

“So first of all, I want you guys to know that Greg Daniels (the showrunner) spoke with us about this. He said that he wanted Jim’s proposal to Pam to be in the season premiere. He thought, number one, that would be unexpected. You usually end seasons with proposals. He said he also wanted to throw people off by having it in a very ordinary location. So, he wanted it to feel special, but he also wanted it to feel like Jim decided without a whole lot of planning,” Jenna explained.

Jim Halpert, played by actor John Krasinski proposes to Pam in the parking lot of a gas station in the NBC sitcom, but it wasn’t in a real location. Fischer said that The Office production design team built a gas station from scratch in nine days in a Best Buy parking lot. The scene was shot from afar as the camera zoomed in on Jim getting down on one knee proposing to Pam from across the street of the gas station as cars zoomed by in front of the camera. Because the gas station was a set, Jenna said the crafts team had to build a four-lane, circular race track around the gas station set. They then set up cameras on the other side of this raceway, and they had cars drive around it at 55 mph. Lastly, visual effects were added to remove the California mountains and include trees that could be found on the East Coast.

“In the end, this was the single most expensive scene ever shot in the entire run of the show. It lasts 52 seconds, and it costs $250,000,” Jenna added.

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