You wouldn’t think a stunt like climbing up a pole would require any elaborate effects. But as revealed in the August 31 episode of “Office Ladies,” hosted by Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey, they couldn’t have Rainn Wilson climb up an actual electrical pole. There’s always the risk he could fall, not to mention the potential of a dangerous shock. But where there’s a will, there’s a way, and as the podcast hosts explain, the team behind the scenes quickly got to work to figure out how they could make it look like Dwight was up the pole where Jim was speaking to the cameraman.
As Fischer explains, “They put it up in our parking lot between the two sound stages, and they put like a green padded platform around it … And they put up a big green screen behind the whole thing. And then they brought Rainn out along with like a stunt coordinator and a safety officer, and they had Rainn climb up. It was only a few feet that he had to climb. And then in post-production, they had their visual effects team digitally add Rainn to the real pole over Jim’s shoulder.”
It’s a lot of work for a stunt that would show up on the screen for a few seconds. It’s not even like the prank impacts what happens in the rest of the episode, but it’s an excellent example of how Jim’s spirit was alive and well in those working on the show. When it comes to something that’s even moderately funny, there’s no such thing as going overboard.