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The Office - Personas

Just for kicks I wrote a script for The Office. You can read the whole thing at http://www.defectiveyeti.com/theoffice/TheOffice-Personas.pdf.

I was inspired by two events, both of which took place in March. The first was an eight-hour Project Management seminar that I attended for work. At the end of the day I was reviewing my notes and realized I'd been handed an Office storyline.

The second was the series finale of Battlestar Galactica. As followers of The Office know, Dwight is a huge Battlestar fan, mentioning the program often.

I half-expected a subsequent episode of The Office to note the end of Battlestar, but it hasn't happened yet. Thus, I decided to write my own.

"Personas" is set around the time in season five of The Office when BSG ended. Specifically, it falls between "Golden Ticket" (S05E17) and "New Boss" (S05E18). In other words:

  • Andy is on staff.
  • Toby is back.
  • Ryan is missing (supposedly in Thailand).
  • No one in the office is in a relationship, except Jim / Pam (engaged) and Andy / Dwight (mortal enemies).
  • The Charles Miner / "Michael Scott Paper Company" storyline has not yet begun.

One last thing. Forty pages struck me as pretty long for a 30 minute show, but "E-Mail Surveillance" and "The Carpet"--the two scripts of The Office I could find online (at http://www.dailyscript.com/tv.html)--clock in at 44 and 43 pages respectively, so I used those as a guide. Having never before written a script for an existing show, I figured I'd stick to precedent.

Anyway, here's the teaser. I don't really plan to do anything with this (it was more of an exercise than anything else), but if you have any feedback I'd love to hear it. You can email me at matthewbaldwin@gmail.com.

Update: Someone asked if this contains BSG finale spoilers. Actually, it contains no BSG spoilers whatsoever, so go nuts.

The Office

              COLD OPEN


      Michael is at the front of the room and the rest of the staff
      is paired up. Each group has a flipchart, on which they have
      jotted down descriptions of fictional people: names, ages,
      sexes, occupations, etc.

      PHYLLIS, paired with MEREDITH, is standing, addressing the
      room, wrapping up her presentation.

                Gerald's primary paper needs are
                eight by eleven white bond for the
                printer and number 10 security

                Excellent. Good work Phyllis.

                     MICHAEL (V.O.) (CONT'D)
                Personas are a top-level project
                management tool used by business
                experts around the world. 


                What you do is you make up
                characters and pretend that they
                are your customers. And then you
                ask them for advice on how to
                improve. And that way you don't
                have to talk to real customers.


      Dwight is completing his presentation. The flipchart looks
      like a Dungeon and Dragons character sheet, complete with
      stats on the left-hand side and a sketch of a barbarian.

      STANLEY, his partner, sits nearby, engrossed in his puzzle

                ... when in a beserker rage,
                Rivenheart can attack twice per
                round but is unable to defend.

                Dwight, you -- Missing the point.
                Why does your persona need paper? 

                He doesn't need paper. His history
                is written in the lamentation of
                his enemies.

                Okay sit down. Just-- Sit down.

      Dwight does so as Michael wrestles with his irritation.

                     MICHAEL (CONT'D)
                Who's next? Jim and Kevin.

      KEVIN looks at JIM with a giddy smile; Jim nods confidently.

      Kevin stands and gestures at his flipchart, on which he has
      written a series of bulletpoints describing his persona.

                Our persona is "Mark L."

      His pronunciation of "Mark L." is almost identical to
      "Michael", and he pauses expectantly. When there's no
      reaction, he continues, struggling to maintain a straight

                     KEVIN (CONT'D)
                Mark L. is in his mid-40's. Single,
                no family, no girlfriend. Dead-end
                job as regional manager in a dying
                industry. This guy is going

      Titters around the room as people recognize the gag. They are
      laughing with Michael, assuming he'll catch on at any moment. 

                     KEVIN (CONT'D)
                He tells a lot of bad jokes. His
                favorite is short, but he knows how
                to use it. 

      Jim hears his prearranged cue. 

                That's what she said!

      Michael laughs.

                Good one, Jim! Nicely done. Okay
                Kevin, let's keep this moving.

      Kevin looks uncertain. 

                He's always walking around the
                office interrupting people's work
                with pointless stories. Or
                insensitive remarks. About their
                weight. And baldness ...

                Ugch. Why would you even invent
                this guy?

      Kevin at a loss. Desperately trying to clue Michael in, he
      deviates from the flipchart.

                Owns a "World's Best Boss" mug?
                Drives a Sebring? His birthday is
                March 15th? No, nothing?

      In a burst of inspiration, Jim leaps to his feet.

                I think Mark L.'s worst trait is
                his utter lack of self-awareness.
                He wouldn't even recognize a
                description of himself.
                    (beat; then slowly)
                Wouldn't even recognize a
                description ... of himself.

      Michael looks pensive for a moment, on the verge of
      realization. But then he shudders at his mental image of Mark
      and says:

                And what are his paper needs?

                    (to Jim; accusatory)
                You said this would be funny.

                      END COLD OPEN

You can read the whole thing as either a PDF (best) or as HTML (with some lost of formatting). An .fdr files is also available upon request. Enjoy.

Posted on May 08, 2009 to Misc


From this teaser,I would say that you have nailed the Office characters. I guess I'm going to have to put off doing anything constructive this morning, and read the whole script. I also thought that Micheal's "What are his paper needs" at the end called for an aside from Toby ("a pallet of toilet paper"); he deserves a punch line every now and then.

Posted by: Ol' Philosophizer on May 8, 2009 3:37 AM

I really liked that cold open. I'm gonna read the rest of the script now. Awesome work.

Posted by: Jack on May 8, 2009 3:57 AM

That script is one of the funniest things ... no wait ... THE funniest thing I have read in a very long time. It helps that I'm a fan of the Office, but now I'm also a fan of the Yeti. I hope the producers of the Office pick this up because I can hardly wait to see the Nuclear beet costume. Well done!

Posted by: Ol' Philosophizer on May 8, 2009 4:27 AM

Completely awesome. You have them nailed! Off to read the whole thing...

Posted by: aimee on May 8, 2009 5:36 AM

I have a long standing fear of fan fiction, which you have now broken. Thanks!

Posted by: Jessie on May 8, 2009 6:40 AM

A really really excellent script. I'd say you captured the characters and the spirit of the show perfectly, though I was a little thrown by the scenes with Pam and "Carl" and Jim and Carl. I can see Kelly talking to a standee, and possibly Andy, but not Jim or Pam. Also Pam's flare up at Jim seemed out of character. It's possible I'm overthinking this. It's 4am.

Anyway, it was great. I love how you tied everything up at the end!

Posted by: kari on May 8, 2009 7:18 AM

Hysterical. Well done.

Posted by: mos on May 8, 2009 8:29 AM

This is like...worlds colliding! My favorite TV show paired up with one of my favorite bloggers! The script is brilliant! Dead on Matthew, dead on.

Posted by: Bertha on May 8, 2009 9:19 AM

That is an incredible spot on, fresh and heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelarious script! I really want to see the characters say everything of the lines you wrote for them. In my mind, you need to pitch your script to the producers. It's that good (actually, it's better).

Posted by: Thomas on May 8, 2009 9:20 AM

That made me laugh so hard I cried! BRILLIANT.

Posted by: kelly on May 8, 2009 9:25 AM

I came over here for the layer tennis and stayed for the office script. Well done.

Good luck today in your match.

Posted by: studiofluid_ben on May 8, 2009 10:00 AM

I really, really enjoyed this -- some moments in there that I'd love to see on screen. Excellent work!

Posted by: lara on May 8, 2009 10:04 AM

I've only read the cold open so far, and am afraid to read much more since I'm currently only up to Season 4 in my netflix viewing, but I can't wait to read the rest when I'm at the appropriate point in Season 5. What I've read so far is so spot-on that I will consider this a "bonus" episode! Send it to the producers--who knows?

Posted by: Katie Winder on May 8, 2009 10:12 AM

the office is one of my favorite shows of all time. you're one of my favorite bloggers of all time. so, this is pretty much, oh, i don't know, THE BEST THING EVER.

Posted by: Darcy on May 8, 2009 11:09 AM

you nailed it...everyone was really in character, and the end was the BEST.

one thing though: in a deleted scene, from the episode where Dwight gives a speech (i don't remember what it's called, sorry) he pretty much says that he's in love with girl!Starbuck.


Posted by: Darcy on May 8, 2009 11:21 AM

Nice timing, especially "and what are his paper needs?" Send it in to the network already!

Posted by: Kathleen on May 8, 2009 11:30 AM

Absolutely made my day. The whole episode played in my head as I was reading. Spot on.

Posted by: Pumpkin on May 8, 2009 11:51 AM

I was literally laughing out loud through the entire thing and stood up at the end and clapped. For serious, PLEASE submit this to NBC.

Posted by: giddy girlie on May 8, 2009 11:56 AM

I feel like The Office has been hit and miss lately. That said, I definitely think you've got a hit here. Great concept!

Posted by: jonb on May 8, 2009 12:06 PM

This was pretty good, and by that I mean, like pretty good to be made by the office crew. I think the superhero thing is great and the BSG tie in. There were a few places where characters were saying things that were more your humor that indicative of them. And I'm not sure, but have the "documenters" ever spoken or come in front of the camera? The Pam and Jim stuff was right on, I love the Beaseley! exchange.

I think the length was good, it took me about 22 minutes to read it so that's right in there. Good work, I wish I could sit down and do that.

"beet down" OMGOMGYG. Cracked me up.

Posted by: TBW on May 8, 2009 12:30 PM

This is hilarious. Your characters are spot on. I especially love Michael's Toby smack-downs. Very true to the show. Bravo Mr. Baldwin.

Posted by: ScottieC on May 8, 2009 12:37 PM

"She was a midwife." I just about crapped a baby.


Posted by: Jasph on May 8, 2009 12:40 PM

long time lurker here.... i'm a big fan of the blog, but this script still surpassed my expectations. i demand another script!

Posted by: david on May 8, 2009 12:57 PM

First time here, referred by another blogger. Holy Moses, that was funny. I'd love to see it produced.

Posted by: Tvini on May 8, 2009 1:13 PM

This was amazing. I could see it all happening in my mind. I'd love to see it for real on my TV! You nailed the characters perfectly.

I love the part with the camera-man getting upset with Carl.

Posted by: evier on May 8, 2009 1:50 PM


Posted by: Erin on May 8, 2009 2:47 PM


Posted by: lu on May 8, 2009 4:30 PM

Can you submit this to NBC? Because it's completely freaking hilarious—I ended up reading it out loud to friends and we are cracking up the entire time.

Posted by: Allie on May 8, 2009 7:33 PM


Posted by: Anonymous on May 9, 2009 2:15 AM

Fantastic! Brilliant! Hilarious!

Posted by: Erica on May 9, 2009 8:10 AM

Very good job! I laughed heartily throughout! Damn, you're a talented man, Baldwin.

Posted by: Yoshi on May 9, 2009 3:26 PM

*heart* for the opening alone

Posted by: Kathryn on May 9, 2009 6:42 PM

You should submit this to the Austin Film Festival TV writing competition. I submitted my own 'The Office' spec script two years ago and made the semi-finals. You could win some money and possibly a free trip to the AFF.


Posted by: Ryan on May 9, 2009 7:39 PM


Posted by: Mark Dodge Medlin on May 9, 2009 9:22 PM

Great episode. You nailed the characters and the timing. Well done sir.

Posted by: Jason on May 10, 2009 11:31 AM

Quite fabulous! If this sort of writing keeps you from posting, it's a great tradeoff!

Would Beet Boy carry his crime-fighting tools in a Beet Box?

Posted by: JT on May 10, 2009 11:41 AM

Hilarious! Your posts are always worth the long wait.

Posted by: Thorsten on May 10, 2009 1:05 PM

Oh, you've got to redo the Conan quote. Dwight wouldn't miss that! Perhaps "Written in the lamentations of his enemy's women."

Posted by: Wolfe on May 10, 2009 11:41 PM

Perfect! U hope you try to get it in the air.

Posted by: carla on May 11, 2009 7:39 AM

Perfect! I hope you try to get it in the air.

Posted by: carla on May 11, 2009 7:40 AM

So awesomely hilarious. They need to make this a real episode!

Posted by: geeky on May 11, 2009 7:41 AM

Wow! It was like watching the show...Only funnier. I'm not even a huge fan of the (American) Office, but I would love to watch this episode. Reading the script I can HEAR the characters' voices. Nice work!

Posted by: Greig on May 11, 2009 8:21 AM

"Marriage is going to be fun."

That rocked. You are awesome.

Posted by: Yatima on May 11, 2009 1:21 PM

Brilliant work Matthew ;-)

Posted by: Judd Madden on May 11, 2009 9:03 PM

OK. That was weird. I don't even like that show and I couldn't stop reading your script. I just meant to look at it and see what it looked like...and then I couldn't stop reading it.

Don't you think they would make this script? Will you get tons of money?

Posted by: ozma on May 12, 2009 1:36 AM

Just read the cold open and I was CRACKING UP. Well done! It's obvious that you know the characters and their unique relationships with each other very well. Can't wait to read the whole thing. Can't print it out yet. Must be mindful of paper and ink costs. Oh recession woes...

Posted by: kangbekho on May 12, 2009 8:43 AM

I had a dream last night that this was a real episode, and it was amazing.

Posted by: jen on May 12, 2009 8:45 AM

Really good Matthew. Tip 'o the hat.

Posted by: tyler on May 12, 2009 3:17 PM

I like that you minimized the Michael Scott antics and focused on the funny characters instead

Posted by: Rob on May 13, 2009 7:51 AM

Three words:

hilarious, genius, hardworking, and jackhammer

Posted by: Dave on May 13, 2009 5:39 PM

I thought the script was outstanding. It's unfortunate that the nature of network TV means it won't become an actual part of the series (the timing for when it would have to air has passed and the networks are so reluctant to accept non-commissioned scripts, understandably.) But it was a real treat for fans of you and the Office.
My two minor quibbles are: 1) For some reason, Dwight's comment about "indie rock" didn't feel right. 2) I agree with the previous commenter who said the documentary crew shouldn't be heard from. But I think it's even funnier if the talking head is just five seconds of silence with no comment.
Thanks Matthew, great job.

Posted by: Simon on May 17, 2009 1:13 PM

I really enjoyed that-- coincidentally I had fallen behind on the show (stopped watching as Michael was travelling to the other D-M branches to give his motivational talk), and so this had no spoilers for me.

Spot on, I really enjoyed it. What you shouldn't do is send it to NBC-- their lawyers will make sure they round-file it unread, because they don't want to get tied up with "you stole my idea" lawsuit.

If you could get it in the hands of an Office writer, though, with a personal recommendation, that would be great, evne to share writing credit with some of the heads. Great job!

Posted by: LAN3 on May 21, 2009 1:54 AM

Really nice spec script.

Pam's voice was a bit off, and even Jim's voice was off sometimes.

And there were a couple things that seemed to serve only as bridges from one joke/scene to the next without any real purpose or motivation.

Overall, though, this is a superb Office spec script.

Definitely the best I've found online.

Posted by: SpectralAmnesia on May 28, 2009 8:53 PM

Really nice spec script.

Pam's voice was a bit off, and even Jim's voice was off sometimes.

And there were a couple things that seemed to serve only as bridges from one joke/scene to the next without any real purpose or motivation.

Overall, though, this is a superb Office spec script.

Definitely the best I've found online.

Posted by: SpectralAmnesia on May 28, 2009 8:54 PM