How many times have you been in a scene and you just know it's over, but no one is editing it? Or maybe you're in a scene, and you can feel that your partner is having trouble saying or doing anything. What do you do? As Graham Nash would say, "Make sure that the things you do keep us alive." And one of the best ways to do that is to go back to the top of the scene. Revisit what brought you to the place you've ended up. More often than not, that will get you back on track. For those in the wings, it's also a good clue that the performers are looking for an edit or help in the scene.
We see people struggle with scene progress a lot of the time. The performers get frustrated and immediately start adding elements that are unnecessary. Admit it, we've all done it. This is where, though, another strategy for keeping a scene alive comes in: Focus on the emotion. It's much easier to concentrate on one emotion than juggle 17 elements that you've just pulled out of the air.
So, there you go, two ways to keep a scene alive: Start at the beginning again and focus on emotion.
What are some other ways to keep scenes alive? Please let us know in the comments.
(Photo via Flickr: Lamerie / Creative Commons)