Jenna Fischer Explains Why Jim's Gas Station Proposal to Pam on 'The Office' Cost $250,000 to Make

Jim and Pam got engaged at a gas station during The Office's season 5 premiere

Jim Halpert's sweet gas station proposal to then-girlfriend Pam Beesly on The Office may have only lasted about 50 seconds on-screen, but the scene cost a whopping $250,000 to make.

During the latest episode of The Office Ladies podcast, Jenna Fischer (Pam) spoke with co-host Angela Kinsey (Angela Martin) about the makings of the long-awaited engagement between Jim (John Krasinski) and Pam.

"So first of all, I just want you guys to know that [showrunner] Greg [Daniels] spoke with us about this. He said that he really wanted Jim's proposal to Pam to be in the season premiere," Fischer, 47, said. "He thought, No. 1, that would be unexpected. You usually end seasons with proposals. So he thought this would be a real shock."

Kinsey, 49, said that she "didn't see it coming" since there were other storylines occurring throughout the episode.

Fischer then explained how Daniels, 57, had also "wanted to throw people off by having it in a very ordinary location." The Blades of Glory actress added, "He wanted it to feel special, but he also wanted it to feel like Jim made the decision without a whole lot of planning."

But the seemingly simple scene ended up being costly since the location was based on an actual gas station that Daniels often visited. It took about nine days to create the set, Fischer said.

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"They built this in the parking lot of a Best Buy that I have been to many times, actually. What they did was they used Google Street View to capture images of a real gas station along the Merritt Parkway, and then using those images, they built it to match this parking lot," Fischer said.

"To create the illusion of highway traffic, they built a four-lane circular racetrack around the gas station set. They set up cameras on the other side of this raceway and they had cars drive around it at 55 miles an hour. Then they added rain pouring down on us [with] these giant rain machines," she continued. "Our production manager, Randy Cordray, said they had about 35 precision drivers. They were driving not just cars, but like, semi-trucks. When we were standing there on that set, you could feel the wind like, of these cars speeding past you. It was so, so bonkers."

The Office
John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer. hris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty

Fischer said that after the scene was shot, a special effects team was hired to "paint out the background," trading out California mountains for east coast trees.

"In the end, this was the single-most expensive scene shot in the entire run of the show," she added. "It last 52 seconds and it cost $250,000."

Kinsey also revealed, per Cordray, that the reason why the set was so "massive" is because it was previously "a paved over toxic waste site."

Following their unexpected gas station proposal, Jim and Pam tied the knot the following season. They became parents to daughter Cecelia in season 6 and son Phillip in season 8.

Based on a British series of the same name created by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, The Office ran for nine seasons on NBC from 2005 to 2013. The sitcom, which was led by Steve Carrell (Michael Scott) until he left in season 7, followed the daily lives of the people who worked at Dunder Mifflin Paper Company's branch in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

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