The “Office Space” Tour

Of all the movies shot here on “The Third Coast”, one of my favorites is Mike Judge’s “Office Space”, a hilarious, yet scarily accurate portrayal of the 8-5 office grind. Judging from the now legendary status of this film, I am not alone. Swingline even started making a red stapler purely because of the demand generated by this movie’s iconic symbol. Sadly, this is not an exact replica of the movie’s stapler, and in fact doesn’t really resemble it. The actual stapler seems to be this model, which the props department painted themselves. I tried a reproduction myself by getting one of those in white, and painting it red, but I ended up screwing it up and could find no way to reproduce the “Swingline” logo with my limited artistic abilities.

A while back, I decided to try and find as many of the “Office Space” related locations around Austin as I could. I documented my journey here, with screen captures from the movie compared to the pictures I took myself at the locations. So, uhhh, yeaaaaaah, I’m gonna need you to go ahead and, umm, check out this tour of “Office Space” locations. Mmm’kay? That’d be greeaaaat.

The initial traffic jam in the movie’s opening was filmed on West Braker between Burnet and Mopac, heading west as seen here. You can see an old man walking in front of a brown building which is across the street from the J.J. Pickle Research Center. There is a fence behind the old man in the movie which appears to no longer to be there. In another shot, you can actually see the J.J. Pickle Research Center.

Unquestionably, one of the most important “Office Space” related locations is that evil bastion of corporate bureaucracy, Initech. The actual building is located at 4120 Friedrich Lane in South Austin. The actual Initech entrance was the one closest to here.

Later in the movie, the gang crosses a ditch while going back to work after lunch at Chotchkies after learning about the impending “consultants.” This ditch is right by the Initech location where the road curves right about here.

Peter and Lawrence’s neighboring apartments are located in the complex at 10610 Morado Circle, which used to be AMLI Great Hills. I think they’ve changed hands now, and I’m not sure what they currently are called (hopefully they’re still there).

Chotchkies, the restaurant famous for its flair, was represented from the outside by what is now the Chase Bank building (was Bank One when the picture was taken) at 9739 Great Hills Trail in the arboretum. Just make sure you have a minimum of 15 pieces of flair.

The inside of Chotchkies was portrayed by The Old Alligator Grille at 3003 S Lamar Blvd. Some areas inside seem to have changed a bit since filming.

One location I never have found was the exterior entrance to the “Morningwood” apartment complex where Peter and Lawrence lived. I’m sure there’s probably many others that I don’t know about, but looking back now, I can’t even remember how or where I found as much information as I did. So put on your flair, fill out your TPS report, grab your red Swingline, and head out for a day of “Office Space” location cruising with your co-workers. Fuckin’ A, man. Fucking A.

8 Comments so far

  1. Rusty (unregistered) on February 14th, 2006 @ 1:02 pm

    Awesome! Thanks for the photo tour. This is something I would have done had I known OS was filmed in Austin (just moved here). What fun!

  2. 2fick (unregistered) on February 14th, 2006 @ 1:51 pm

    the apartments are called Great Hills Apartments… I actually live there, but in a different building with a different design.

  3. wae (unregistered) on February 14th, 2006 @ 2:18 pm

    You’ve pegged the next pop culture benchmark for Austin’s ever-changing landscape. When I moved here in ’92, it was all about identifying Slacker locations, most of which have since morphed or moved on into oblivion. It’ll be interesting to see how Initech and co. hold up in the next decade.

  4. ttrentham (unregistered) on February 14th, 2006 @ 3:40 pm

    I’ve been wanting to do something similar to this for Slacker ever since it was released on DVD a year or so ago, but I just haven’t managed to find the time.

    The other cool thing would be to incorporate something this with the Google Maps API. Something else I’ll never find the time to do.

    Good stuff.

  5. Heath Allyn (unregistered) on February 14th, 2006 @ 4:11 pm

    Hey, good idea! Added in some links to google maps, and a few google satellite images.

  6. M1EK (unregistered) on February 14th, 2006 @ 4:33 pm

    Driving scenes appear to be up/down Metric Blvd.

  7. Rusty (unregistered) on February 14th, 2006 @ 7:41 pm

    Scroll down a little…

  8. Karen (unregistered) on February 19th, 2006 @ 8:39 pm

    The apartments are at 10610 Morado Circle, in the arboretum area near great hills and jollyville.

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