Screen directors’ professional association, Directors UK, has published Intimacy in the Time of COVID-19, an update to the previously published Directing Nudity and Simulated Sex best practice guidelines for directing intimate scenes.

The guidance deals with directing intimate scenes during the COVID-19 pandemic. The suggestions offered in the new guidance lay out a plan of action for directors that begins with working with the script, right through to preparation, rehearsals and shooting.

Compiled in consultation with Directors UK Board Members Bill Anderson and Susanna White, alongside intimacy coordinator Vanessa Coffey, the new guidelines offer creative ways to overcome some of the obstacles presented by filming in a COVID-safe environment, and form best practice for preparation and shooting as the industry returns to work.

Speaking today, Bill Anderson said: “During the COVID-19 lockdown, audiences consumed content like never before. We need to restart filming to continue to deliver the vivid and wide-ranging content that audiences value. Directors have a pivotal role to play in ensuring the film and TV industry restarts as safely as possible. Now more than ever we need to delight audiences hungry for the intimacy of connection, and contribute to a creative culture that has proven so valuable to us all during this pandemic.”

Susanna White said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced a new set of challenges for us to navigate. Directors are inherent problem solvers, and we can’t wait to get back to work. One of the effects of social distancing has been to appreciate and re-evaluate physical contact as never before. The simple act of hugging has taken on a value no one ever dreamt of. It has made us really mindful of the power – both positive and negative – of touch and we need to carry over that mindfulness into the workplace. We’ve always used our craft to convey intimate stories and relationships on screen, and now, we must do that more creatively than ever.”

Intimacy in the Time of COVID-19 is available to download from the Directors UK website. More information can be found at directors.uk.com/campaigns/directing-nudity-and-simulated-sex.

Jon Creamer