The Surprising Directors of Some Episodes of The Office

The Surprising Directors of Some Episodes of The Office

I don’t know about anyone else, but the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about assigning many different directors to a project is that too many conflict styles are going to mess with the proceedings and create a hodgepodge of episodes that don’t fit together as well as they should. But what did happen with The Office is that many people had no idea that there were different directors for the longest time, and in fact, it was a huge surprise to find out who had ended up directing various episodes over the course of the show, since a lot of people never would have guessed at some of them. But as a lot of people should recall, there have been plenty of actors trying their hand at directing for quite some time, and it’s definitely become a natural progression for many actors once they’ve reached a certain level or a certain amount of comfort within their own career. Then again, there are some folks that are more comfortable in the director’s seat than in front of the camera, and there are people that can easily take on both spots with equal skill. The overall feel of The Office didn’t change so much that it felt like a fundamentally different show from one episode to another, which indicates that those who took on the project of directing one or more episodes must have found it easy enough to add their own personal touches to the program without altering it in a way that fans would notice that easily.

But the list of people that have taken on directing duties for this show is definitely eye-opening, since Jon Favreau, Bryan Cranston, Paul Feig, J.J. Abrams, Joss Whedon, Stephan Merchant, and the late, great Harold Ramis were just a few individuals whose names were on the list of people that have directed for the show. Even a few of the actors managed to get behind the camera in order to direct an episode or two, making it clear that if the number of directors was added up there might be enough for an entirely new cast since the show was passed from hand to hand over the years. It certainly didn’t do any harm since The Office was, during its run, one of the funniest shows around and featured characters that were well-developed and yet didn’t reveal everything about themselves until later into the show. Even then it’s likely that we didn’t know everything about everyone since the show focused more on the office setting and what went on between the characters there, as this was the main point of the show. But thinking that it might have featured a great number of differences thanks to being directed by so many different people is a big misconception that a lot of people would make.

The fact is that just because a different director was working on the show at various times the story was more important than the person directing it, and whether or not the directors would have agreed, they managed to keep the story moving in the same direction as it had been left before they were given control. In other words, they kept the continuity of the story, which was important since it was a big reason why so many people enjoyed the show for so long. If one director or another had started changing things in a drastic manner it’s hard to say what would have happened, but when watching the show it’s very easy to see how seamless much of it was and how most directors were able to keep their own personal style from overwhelming the overall story. There were definitely elements here and there that spoke to each person’s own type of directing, but The Office was thankfully a pretty easy show to direct it would appear and didn’t take a huge toll on any of the directors that it was led by, as many of them had described the experience as being rather positive. But to think that this many different people worked on the same show is kind of interesting since blending all those different styles into one show and making it appear as though it might as well have been the work of a single person is amazing, to say the least.

Using multiple directors for a show is something that has been done before since things are bound to happen sometimes that will require new faces to step in and take over now and again, but in this matter, it was obvious that new directors were being brought in for a very different reason. Even better is the fact that it worked to such a degree that fans didn’t really know any better, at least not until much later.

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