The problem was to give instructions to a scenery shop to “build” a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The challenge was to convey information with the proper detail in order to achieve a product that looks similar to the research and design documents provided to the team. Giving instructions isn’t always as easy as it seems, being detailed and using precise directions is necessary. Using materials within a budget is also important as when deciding whether to focus on quality or price.

Communication was the main issue at stake. Not just within the TD team, but to the “scene shop” the instructions and materials were sent to in order to insure the closest representation of the sandwich wanted by the director.

The wording and particularity of each step of the instructions was vital to the success of the project. Using proper grammar and spelling is necessary to delivering a quality final product.

Having materials within a budget was the first step of solving the problem. The instructions of how to build the sandwich won’t change because of the price of the materials. Developing the directions to assembling the sandwich was difficult as it would require many sessions of proofreading and editing in order to create an easy to read and follow step-by-step guide. Making a peanut butter sandwich and writing down the steps taken is the best place to start. Making a prototype of the final product was extremely important in developing the directions.

This was a challenging project as writing precise instructions to build a sandwich is much harder than anticipated as being particular with each step as well as being accessible to those who have never made a sandwich required care and revision.

Starting the project was easy but the difficulty ramped up once our team reached the build method part of the process. Gathering affordable materials as well as providing a foolproof method of making the desired product was simple enough.


A real-world situation that would resemble this problem is when building scenery, you must be precise as to your instructions to build scene elements. Giving a half finished set of directions can prove troublesome and can confuse carpenters.

This problem was a very small scale endeavor and had room for error as this was for a class project. Being the first project, mistakes are bound to be made and lessons to be found.

The problem was missing the sense of urgency and pressure to get things done right the first time in the professional setting. Having a sandwich that is made wrong could ruin the whole show, such as putting too much peanut butter causing the actor to choke on stage or not accounting for food allergies of the talent.

This project taught me that being thorough in how things are made can be beneficial to not only the TD team but to contracted scenery shops that would be building the scenic elements.

Having constant communication with the TD team about updates with the project is something I learned to use in the real world. Researching affordable materials and cross checking prices with other team members helped keep our material cost low.

The next real world experience I expect to have that might be related with this project is coordinating with a video production team to purchase necessary props to keep costs down and providing a shot list or instructions of what footage to capture.