We all remember when Jim Halpert (John Krasinski) finally proposed to Pam Beesly (Jenna Fischer) on The Office. After years of plucking at our heartstrings, Jim finally got the guts to do it, and they lived happily ever after (even if Chrissy Teigen doesn’t think so).
Though it was definitely a memorable moment for fans, it turns out that the showrunners remember that scene for a vastly different reason. The Washington Post reports that executive producer Greg Daniels revealed in an interview that the 52-second shot cost the show about $250,000. He explained:
“The idea was that after Jim's first romantic plans had been interrupted, he would end up proposing to Pam at a gas station rest stop because he couldn't wait any longer… The writers, Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, had written the scene to take place in the rain, with lots of traffic going by to obstruct the view. On our show, the feeling of not being able to see the whole thing helps make it less Hollywood and more realistic… We decided to fly the cast and director Paul Feig to shoot at the actual Merritt Parkway. But it turned out to be $100,000, and we couldn't use fake rain there.”
In an effort to save money, Daniels divulged that the crew built a replica of a rest stop behind a Best Buy in Los Angeles. Though the replica was impressive, it didn’t do much to help their budget. He continued, “It ended up costing twice as much, it was, like, a $250,000 shot or something. It's the most expensive and elaborate shot we've ever done, but it's also sort of the highlight of five years of storytelling.”
There are definitely moments to try and cut costs, but Jim and Pam’s proposal wasn’t one of them!