An Intimacy Coordinator As defined by SAG-AFTRA:
An intimacy coordinator is “an advocate, a liaison between actors and production … in regard to nudity and simulated sex.” Most of their work is done during the shoot, choreographing intimate action, monitoring closed sets and working with costume on modesty garments and prosthetics. But coordinators are also involved in preproduction with filmmakers, planning the types of touching and exposure that will be permitted and managing nudity riders and actor concerns.
We are liaisons between actors and productions.
We are choreographers and movement specialists.
We are consent culture and actor advocates.
We are supporters of the safety and legality of
intimate scenes for productions.
We are the storytellers and builders of writers’ and
directors’ dreams while upholding actor
We are Intimacy Coordinators.
What is the Role of an Intimacy Coordinator?
The professional responsibility can extend to helping guide the actor’s experience in becoming more in tune with the sexual limitations of their reality in comparison to their character’s reality. It is also the responsibility of the coordinator to be a presence and voice to advocate for the wellbeing of the actors to the production. It is vital that scenes of intimacy have constant reinforcement that they are a consensual place of work. We are all there in the moment to tell a fictional story with the highest standards artistry for simulated intimacy, sell the reality and magic that is film, with respect.
“In the wake of the #MeToo movement in addition to the tensely evolving sexual climate, having someone in a production who can safely navigate intimate spaces for actors and production puts everyone at ease.“
Responsibilities of an Intimacy Coordinator:
- Facilitating dialogue between the actors and director about their comfort level with the intimate content of a scene
- Preparing actors emotionally for intense intimacy scenes, such as simulated sexual assault, and providing them with support throughout the process, as well as emotional aftercare if needed
- We make sure that during filming, we uphold actors’ boundaries and that they are physically and emotionally safe
- Providing a safe environment in which actors can do their work
- We ensure that production follows closed set and SAG nudity guidelines and protocols
- Serving as an on-set advocate and ally for LGBTQAI+ cast members
- Choreographing simulated sex scenes to enhance believability
- Coordinating with departments such as costumes and makeup to make sure that the actors are provided with appropriate nudity garments and prosthetics
- Interviewing potential cast members to make sure they are comfortable with the nudity and/or simulated sex required of the role they are auditioning for before they are hired
- Negotiating nudity riders between the show and the actors and their representatives
No one wants to feel unsafe, threatened, or disempowered at work. Inherent in the actor-director relationship is a power dynamic in which actors often feel like they have to do whatever the director asks of them, even if they aren’t comfortable with it. As an actor, saying no to the director is hard, which is where having an intimacy coordinator comes in.https://www.intimacycoordinator.com/
-Amanda Blumenthal, LA Based Intimacy Coordinator
Where Mental Health Professionals and Intimacy Coordinators Coincide
Empathetically, my biggest concern is the well-being and safety of the actors before, during, and after intense and vulnerable scenes. Scenes involving various types of intimacy can be immensely vulnerable and difficult for actors whether it directly involves their personal trauma, life experiences, or not.
- I participate in the transition from being in character to resetting to reality.
- I provide a unique perspective in this space as a trained clinical sex therapist.
- I have extensive training and experience in sexuality support, trauma, recovery, communication navigation, and general mental health support.
- I want to take this clinical experience from office individual, couple, family, and group therapy to television and film.
Lastly, scenes involving various types of intimacy can be immensely vulnerable and difficult for actors whether it directly involves their personal trauma, life experiences, or not.
Zuri’s Specialties as an Intimacy Coordinator
- Choreographing Scenes of Intimacy & Simulated Sex
- Collaboratively Working with Cast, Director, Hair, Make-Up, Wardrobe, Camera, and any Other Departments around Scenes of Intimacy
- Script Review & Consultation
- Casting Support – Speaking to Potential Hires about Intimate Ask, Write Casting Descriptions
- Mental Health Associated with Intimacy On-Set
- General Nudity Comfort and Confidence
- Pregnancy & Nursing On-Screen
- Penile, Breast, Gender Affirming Units, Buttocks, etc Prosthetics
- Authentic Curation of LGBTQA Intimate Experiences
- Intimacy with Minors
- Sexual Violence – Including Preparation and Aftercare for Cast and Crew
- Kink, Fetish, & Toy Involved Experiences
- Authentic Sex Work Portrayal
- Sexual Cultural Competency Support
Personal Experience: Past and Present Projects
I am Registered and Certified by SAG-AFTRA and IDC Intimacy Coordinators. These are the most recognized and prestigious communities of professionals in this line of work committed to providing the appropriate training and support for this field. Currently, I am training Intimacy Professionals in the Atlanta area and internationally to safely do this work.
Moreover, I am grateful to work with Starz, HBO, FX, AMC, MTV, UrbanFlix, BET, AMC, FubuTV, Lifetime, AppleTV, Netflix, and Independent Projects. I am available for local hire in Atlanta, New York, Virginia, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida, and Los Angeles. I am available to work anywhere else in the world with accommodations.