What is Intimacy Set Coordination?
Mental Health professionals are essential for protecting actors on set during sensitive or intense content, i.e. sexual assault or harassment. Our team is trained specifically in addressing trauma and protecting the mental well being of cast and crew.
An intimacy coordinator is expected to ensure that:
all staff and actors are aware of the context of the intimacy as part of the story,
communication about the intimacy takes place among participants and avenues for reporting harassment are available,
actors continually consent to all scenes of intimacy,
all scenes of intimacy are performed according to a previously agreed-to choreography, and
actors are encouraged to mark the end of each intimate scene with a moment to signal the return to real-life interaction.
In an effort to protect actors from exploitation during sex scenes, television and film sets are encouraged to hire “intimacy coordinators” to ensure intimate scenes are appropriately choreographed and the mental well being of the actors are protected.
The Entertainment industry has seen a spike in calls for intimacy coordinators in light of the MeToo movement, with the increase in actors calling attention to the common occurrence of sexual harassment and outright assault during nude and intimate scenes.
Intimacy coordinators talk actors through intimate or intense scenes, check in to assess their comfort levels, and ensure that any “nos” (or “maybes”) are respected.
HBO and Netflix now require them onset, and SAG-AFTRA has released standard procedures for intimacy coordinators to use across platforms.
The role of an intimacy coordinator is not to be confused with that of an "intimacy choreographer", who specializes in the techniques of staging intimate scenes.