I recently went to a workshop put on by a friend from the local community. It was on designing a scene. She’s known for putting on well thought-out and sometimes elaborate scenes. While I’m normally not very involved in the planning or setup of a scene, she’s a fun presenter and I figured it’d give me some food for thought. And it did.
One of the big points she brought up was that most of the work is in the planning stage, at least for scenes that aren’t spur-of-the-moment. Orchestrating something a little larger, or something that involves multiple people, or a scene requiring special equipment, can take a fair amount of planning. Most of the work is in the logistics. How do you get the equipment in this building and set up? How do you get all these people in the same location at the same time? How do you keep the sub from knowing about your dastardly plans until the last minute? Once the planning is out of the way, then you can relax a little, put things in motion, and enjoy them.
This was especially relevant to me since T has been talking about doing a few different scenes involving multiple people (and all those scene ideas give me a major sinking feeling in my stomach. Eep.) A couple of those scenes we were discussing involve a rather large number of people. The “doing” stage for these scenes wouldn’t involve much work, but the planning part might take some effort. These aren’t the kinds of scenes that can happen spontaneously, so good planning is necessary. (Though one of the scene ideas only involved one or two other people, so that one could be more spontaneous.)
The more elaborate the scene, the more prep work that goes into it. There seems to be a lot more prep work with equipment than with large numbers of people though. Equipment requires transport and assembly, as well as bulky people to carry it. With scenes involving multiple people, often all that’s involved is telling them, “show up at this time at this place.” Other scenes may involve obtaining the blood of a Bolivian mountain yak, a tuba, and a bearded yodeling man in lederhosen. But the common element is that setup is usually the difficult aspect, and once that’s over, you can breathe easy and enjoy implementing the pervocity that was planned. It’s almost like setting an ambush.