The Office Cupboard

One of the more interesting choices that the writers of The Office season nine made was to finally acknowledge the presence of the documentary crew.

It began in the first episode of the season New Guys, when Pam and Jim begin taking off their radio microphones and talking to the camera crew about how they must have enough footage now after nine years.

Later, in the eigth episode The Target, Dwight says the following:

… this documentary crew has been following our every move for the past nine years but I don’t see them so I think we’re good …

Dwight Schrute

Spoilers ahead if you want to avoid them.

Perhaps the most obvious example of this comes in episode twelve, when Pam looks directly to her boom operator Brian for advice and comfort, and we hear the crew react to this, and then frame themselves in shot for the first time in nine years.

This demonstrates that at least two crews are following each main character around, and that they have been interracting off camera throughout.

But this isn’t quite what I bought you here to discuss.

I bought you here to discuss a strange door in the office itself.

Namely this one.

As you can see, it doesn’t really make much sense. There could be just enough room for it to be a storage closet I suppose.

Here’s the door on-screen.

Here’s a clue to the puzzle.

That’s Brian setting up for the day, in universe, accidentally filmed by a camera that has been left on.

The following episode, we see this shot.

At which point I thought ‘ah that’s nice, in universe the camera crews have a storage space down in the warehouse’. That makes a lot of sense.

And then the shot re-framed.

Look at that.

The weird storage cupboard that is never opened or referred to, or seen on camera before (unlike most of the whole other office), is the camera crew’s storeroom.

What’s nice is that it is also probably where the real crew stores the equipment on set too.

Edited to add …

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