For this editorial interiors job the Waitrose Weekend brief asked that Timberyard be shot with people. Sounds simple enough but the problem is that as soon as you start putting people into a room you begin to stop seeing the room itself. Catch 22. So you have to get the balance right. Too few people and the space looks empty. Too many and you can't see it.
So, only moving one element at a time, you must experiment with numbers and positions. We started without the chef in the center distance and it was only when he walked through by accident that we realized he helped the scene. The blurring of the waiter/server on the right helps give a sense of action in contrast to the static figures of the customers.
To help give a feeling of the scale of the room it was essential that we could see into the distance. So a small light was placed behind the furthest pillar to illuminate the back wall.
Time taken was about one hour.