MX: switch display multiple MCs using a hittest?

I want to display a crowd of people… I have a tiny MC that looks like 3 people standing together- the thing is, I don’t want to duplicate them because then they’d be ontop of everything else and they’re not supposed to be.

I have a predefined area on which those people will appear and I was thinking to just do the following:

[]prepare the area with instances of the 3-people-MC for the “maximum amount of people” case (covering the whole area).
]have a shape in their midst, filled with a transparent fill (or have it be invisible, if that would still work with a hittest).
[]resize the shape mentioned in “2.” according to how many people I really want displayed (change width and height).
]have a function nested in each 3-people-MC that checks whether or not that MC is hit by the shape from “2.”.
[*]make the 3-people-MC visible or invisible according to “4.”.
[/list]Is that doable? how would you write that? Before, I was just working with a mask- but I am having trouble checking if the mask hits the people MCs or not :frowning:

How would you trigger this test just once when the whole fla is started (and not on every “enterFrame” or such)?

Thanks in advance for your time and effort :smiley: