Film and TV union, Bectu, has published guidance for shooting intimate scenes for the UK film and TV industry.
Authored by its Intimacy Coordinators Branch, practicing intimacy coordinators and film and TV professionals, the in-depth guidance seeks to provide the first comprehensive guidance for intimacy coordination in the UK, and to establish a set of industry standards for the practice.
The guidance outlines vital preliminary information to employers, departments and other practitioners that may be involved in managing, casting, directing or producing scenes with intimate content, and brings together the current foundations of on-screen intimacy coordination practice in the UK into one document.
The document includes guidance on when an intimacy coordinator should be hired; a glossary of terms and definitions to be used in contracts, audition notices and riders/waivers; and advice for how productions can best prepare for and shoot scenes with intimate action, including mental health support, providing clear reporting pathways and ensuring diversity and inclusion in intimate scenes.
It also contains checklists for a wide variety of roles involved in shooting intimate content to help implement and maintain good practice.
Bectu’s Intimacy Coordinators Branch was formed in August 2020 to help develop baseline industry rate cards, agreements and standards of work. The new guidance will be updated as intimacy coordination evolves in the UK and around the world.
Head of Bectu Philippa Childs said: “Intimacy coordination provides vital support for artists during the preparation, rehearsal and shooting of intimate action and its increasing use is a welcome move to further establish an environment of safety for actors on set.
“We hope this new guidance will provide a solid framework for intimacy coordinators, producers, and actors to refer to and implement when shooting intimate scenes, to help ensure UK productions are safe and respectful workplaces for everyone involved.”
Bectu Intimacy Coordinators Branch Chair Yarit Dor said: “Shooting intimacy scenes is a collaborative process bringing together intimacy coordinators, performers, directors, assistant directors, camera crew, costume standbys, sound department, hair and make-up artists, midwife advisors, gender consultants, wellbeing practitioners and more.
“Our aim was to create a guidance that shows the full scope of what it takes to shoot intimate action and the web of safety that includes all departments in the process. We will continue to update it as the practice evolves.”
Trans Casting Consultant and Intimacy Coordinator Tigger Blaize said: “When industry professionals ask me about the work of intimacy coordinators, I can only impart a fraction of the wealth of information contained within this resource, in a brief conversation. It’s hugely comforting to know that the information exists all in one place, and it will reach so many people.”
Intimacy Coordinator and Committee Representative Robbie Taylor Hunt said: “This guidance document will give the industry a greater understanding of intimacy coordinators’ processes, allowing us to fully engage in our best practices. This will ultimately help us to provide the best working environment possible for navigating intimate scenes in a dynamic, supported way.”
Intimacy Coordinator Tommy Ross-Williams said: “To have guidance that has gone through consultation by a recognised union is a game-changer as it has collated such a huge amount of shared knowledge and experience. This paves the way not only for productions to have access to approved resources, it also allows intimacy coordinators to have a clearer sense of the practice as seen by the intimacy coordination community in the UK.”
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