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In-universe, who authorized and signed the contract for the document crew to come film the Scranton branch of Dunder-Mifflin, Inc.? Did Corporate authorize it? Or was this one of Michael's blunders and Corporate had no choice but to just let it slide and try to utilize it as free PR?

Was this ever alluded to in-universe? Out-of-universe, did the directors ever allude to this?

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    Never even hinted at, not even once. – Charles Nov 14 at 4:03
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It's never explained

The only thing we know is why Dunder Mifflin was picked:

During The Office Convention in 2007, some of the show's writers took part in a Writer's Block Q&A session. The panel, which can be found on the season 4 DVD, shed light on why Dunder Mifflin was filmed for a documentary. The writers claimed that after one of the Scranton employees committed suicide, the film crew picked Dunder Mifflin to document how the office handled the situation. Those in charge of the documentary then changed their focus when they realized the day-to-day lives of Michael Scott and his employees was much more interesting.

Source

In my opinion, Michael authorized it because it's Michael, he loves the spotlight, and Corporate authorized it because it could serve as one big advertisement for Dunder Mifflin.

  • Michael wouldn't have the authority to approve something like this alone, and I think the documentary crew would know that. It seems most likely that they'd approach corporate directly, who might ask Michael's thoughts or may just tell him it's happening, depending on how much they actually wanted it and whether they thought he'd object. – Anthony Grist Nov 15 at 14:39
  • I can't recall but was a suicide, or even some dark/depressing event, even mentioned in season one? – BruceWayne Nov 16 at 2:13
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    @BruceWayne Yes, it was mentioned in season 2, episode 8 – Gustavo Gabriel Nov 16 at 14:44
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Did Corporate authorize it?

I believe it was in-fact a Corporate decision to do this in collaboration with each and every Dunder mufflin Branches not just Scarton. Cause the AD crew tell Micheal and others how did they do it in the other branches, and wanted to do the same here as well but micheal develops creative difference and finally tries to show the AD crew a much better version with a on the spot composed song and all which still gets rejected.

Or was this one of Michael's blunders and Corporate had no choice but to just let it slide and try to utilize it as free PR

No Definetly Not, if it had been one of Micheal's plot he would have been better prepared to Make it more colorful and inject himself in any primary roles, instead of just the song the crew had created. But instead ended up waving like in the final product.

Also Micheal lacked the vision to look at the entire company progressing, he was someone who was excellent as a Branch manager and was really never bothered about Dunder mifflin as a whole company instead of just relating it to a single branch, He was extremely good as a branch manager as when the company was getting sold to sabre scranton was the only branch which survives.

In-universe, who authorized and signed the contract for the document crew to come film

so I do strongly believe this decision came from above Miceal, maybe Jan, David or any other higher ups.

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    "how did they do it in the other branches" You're wildly mistaken. That was about a commercial. – BCdotWEB Nov 14 at 10:28
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    This answer seems to be confusing several different things. The documentary crew and the ad crew are completely separate events. The documentary crew is the premise for the show The Office. The entire thing is filmed as a documentary. The ad crew was just there to film the office for a small part in an ad. This answer seems to completely focus on the ad; which is not what the question wanted to know about. The question was specifically about the premise of the documentary being filmed. – JMac Nov 14 at 18:16

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