I have been advocating for actors in hyper exposed work, acting as a point person on set, and trying to establish guidelines for doing nude simulated sex scenes since 1999. We are now in the post #METOO period in Hollywood and it is more critical now than ever to ensure actors feel safe and can do their best work.
I have over 25 years of on-set experience as an actress, producer, and director. I have appeared in nude and simulated sex scenes in over 40 films and television shows myself which has given me a unique background for understanding the vulnerabilities of screen actors, consent, boundaries, communication, and safe work environments. After interviewing dozens of working actors, training in trauma, bystander intervention, sexual harassment prevention, guild guidelines and training from other wonderful working intimacy coordinators, I have officially branched out and joined the ranks of working intimacy coordinators. (I also now train, certify and staff other ICs)
Filming scenes of depicted intimacy has in the past been an unregulated, largely improvised awkward experience. Simulated sex scenes are so much better and more believable when the actors have choreographed and created a way of expressing the emotions of the characters that are specific and not just thrown together to improvise. I act as a liaison between the director and actors to help the director achieve their vision. I am also here for the sake of the production, story, keeping a shooting schedule and protecting the studio against legal liability.
I help create the best possible scene while protecting actors against a myriad of potential issues that can and do present themselves while shooting nudity and simulated sex, to guard their safety and make sure they are comfortable and free to let their walls down and focus on the performance.
I adapt my services to fit the needs of each project. There are many services an intimacy coordinator can provide including but not limited to:
• Reading the script and flagging scenes that need coordination.
• Discussing boundaries with actors before or after they are cast and negotiating nudity riders.
• Guiding exercises for creating chemistry between co-stars.
• Choreographing the actions of a scene to best fulfill the director's vision while respecting the boundaries of the talent.
• Talking to each actor privately to listen to their concerns and making sure their needs are met, and their boundaries are clear.
• Coordinating with the actors, director, and wardrobe department and providing the ideal modesty and barriers for actors to prevent or obscure arousal non-concordance.
• Commissioning merkins or prosthetics from FX artists.
• Making sure the set is closed, being present during filming for support, breath mints, to watch the monitors and/or make sure they are turned off and of course to fly in robes at "CUT!".
• Being in post-production to sign off on contractual obligations or MPAA specs if needed.