As the unseen prompt for Michael Scott’s long “NOOOOOOOO” that has endured to become one of the Internet’s favorite reaction GIFs, Paul Lieberstein – best known for playing Toby on The Office – has often done his best work under the radar. In addition to playing Dunder Mifflin’s favorite killjoy in front of the camera, Lieberstein was a key creative force behind production of The Office as well, serving as a writer, director and showrunner throughout the series’ run.

Since the show came to a close five years ago, Lieberstein has stayed mostly in the television world, lending his talents to both HBO’s The Newsroom and Fox’s Ghosted. But he’s begun to branch out into the world of indie film with his feature writing and directing debut Song of Back and Neck, which premiered at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. Lieberstein also appears in the film as protagonist Fred Trolleycar, a middle-aged office drone who must come to terms with all the complications that stem from his chronic back and neck pain – an experience which came directly from the star’s own life.

I caught the film there back in April and reviewed it positively, writing that Lieberstein is adept at “handling some slightly morose material with equal parts sincerity and dry humor.” We were able to chat further about the film earlier this month and talked about how he made the leap from TV to movies. Our phone call was shortly after Steve Carell gathered a few former co-stars from The Office in his Saturday Night Live monologue, so naturally our conversation had to start with some discussion about a potential reunion or revival for the show. 

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Green Band Trailer

Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: What better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising?

This week we take on Netflix, have a screenplay come to life, find our soulmate, lose our way, and then explore how robots will eventually come to kill us all. Read More »

Is The Office about to lose another boss? After the jump:

  • Paul Lieberstein steps down as Office showrunner
  • Mindy Kaling’s Fox pilot casts Ed Helms, Bill Hader, and Richard Schiff
  • Dan Harmon feels optimistic-ish about Community‘s future
  • Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu are Sherlock and Watson
  • David Milch and Michael Mann open up about Luck
  • HBO releases still more Game of Thrones marketing

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With the exception of True Blood creator Alan Ball’s very serious-sounding Banshee, today’s TV Bits is all about the funny. After the jump:

  • Dwight Schrute could leave Dunder Mifflin for Schrute Farms
  • Paul Feig will direct Goldie Hawn in HBO’s The Viagra Diaries
  • CBS orders a pilot written by and starring Bridesmaids‘ Rebel Wilson
  • Alan Ball sells an Amish country-set action drama to Cinemax
  • HBO decides to turn Indie Game: The Movie into a half-hour comedy

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