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How the unseen camera crew on ‘The Office’ played a bigger role than you think

How the unseen camera crew on ‘The Office’ played a bigger role than you think
[Source Photo: diego_cervo/iStock]

What: Filming the Office, a closer look at one of the most important, least recognized characters in The Office

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Who: Video essayist Jesse Tribble

Why we care: It is highly unlikely that many people have thought as much as Jesse Tribble has about the camera crew on The Office. His latest video thoroughly examines that foundational element of the dearly departed NBC sitcom and makes a case for it as central to the show’s appeal.

Although at times it certainly seemed as if the documentarians ostensibly filming the antics at Dunder Mifflin only existed so Jim could give double takes directly to the camera, there was way more going on than that. Filming the Office reveals how the largely unseen camera crew “shapes the narrative and participates in the story,” how the camera movements match the characters’ emotional states, and how the whole mockumentary framework forced a set of limitations on the show’s creators that inspired creativity (no sound effects, laugh track, flashbacks, and fantasy or dream sequences).

Casual viewers can be forgiven for taking for granted that there is a documentary-in-progress in this world and not appreciating all the times the show coaxes jokes out of strangers reacting to the camera, or main characters struggling to find privacy.

But after watching this essay, there’s no excuse.

[via Laughing Squid]

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