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The Truth About The Bouncing DVD Logo From The Office

While The Office excels at making its otherwise ordinary work setting hilarious, few moments encapsulate that better than in one of the best cold opens of the show: The conference room's riveting, bouncing DVD logo.

The season 4 episode "Launch Party," opens with the cast in the conference room — Michael (Steve Carell) is suggesting dumb ideas for making quarterly reports more interesting, but the employees seem uncharacteristically interested in what he has to say. They're hanging onto his every word and he's eating it up. However, when the scene cuts to Jim's (John Krasinski) confessional, he reveals that they're actually watching the DVD logo bouncing around the TV screen behind Michael, waiting for it to neatly line up in one of the corners of the screen frame. Jim doesn't believe it's possible, insisting it always bounces off the side at the last second, while Pam (Jenna Fischer) swears she's seen it happen before.

The tension builds with Andy's (Ed Helms) emotional outburst at a near miss and Kevin's (Brian Baumgartner) sincere belief that the little square will get there, so when the DVD logo finally slots into the corner, it feels like a wild success. The excitement is tangible as the employees cheer and clap, yet short lived as they immediately stand up and leave the room. Michael, oblivious, closes the scene with a grin, thinking they all really liked his idea.

Now, anyone who has sat around staring at those DVD screensavers — like, say, in school on movie day — waiting for that very same golden moment, knows that it could take hours for the corners to line up — if they ever do at all. So that begs the question: How did they get the perfect shot? The Office's Fischer and Angela Kinsey revealed on their podcast Office Ladies just how they captured the moment.

The DVD logo never did bounce into the corner because it was never there at all

On their podcast, Fischer and Kinsey (who plays Angela) talk behind-the-scenes details for each Office episode, revealing fun tidbits that only insiders, and now superfans, could know. When it came to "Launch Party," neither could remember just how the cast and crew made this scene work, so they called up the episode's writer, Jen Celotta, for answers. As it turns out, this was a simple case of movie magic: In order to time the scene just right, the DVD logo was put in after filming, with editing. The actors were all staring at a blank blue screen, while the director made hand signals to indicate the timing of their reactions.

Fischer remarked that while normally their conference room scenes had a lot of room for improv, the writers carefully scripted Michael's dialogue for this scene so the employees' reactions would line up perfectly with what he said. Celotta added that she and the director had the cast do several different reactions, like Andy's shout of frustration, so they could play around with the scene in editing.

Despite all the careful crafting that went into such a simple premise, and compared to some of the other wild antics of Dunder Mifflin employees, this joke is as real as it gets. Celotta based the cold open on personal life experience from The Office's very own writers room. She'd seen the moment happen when no one else did, just like Pam. However, for those who never got the chance to witness the little box glide up into the corner of the frame — and probably never will now that DVDs are fading from relevancy — this cold open invites you to live vicariously in their simple moment of joy from a bygone era.