From production and costume to action, you must have heard about coordinators for almost everything in a movie.
However, there’s also an intimacy coordinator who ensures actors’ safety and comfort while they participate in sex or intimate scenes on-screen.
It all started in 2018 when Emily Meade, the lead actor on the show The Deuce, asked for an intimacy coordinator. Since then, the number of intimacy coordinators has gone up.
Well, there’s a crucial step between ideation and the creation of intimate scenes: making a storyboard.
Each and every intimate scene we see on our screens are actually sketched and rehearsed beforehand to understand where exactly the lens and cameras are going to be. And that's where an intimacy coordinator comes in.
Here's how a day in the life of an intimacy coordinator is:
Creating a storyboard beforehand.
You may think it's all-natural but actually, there is an entire storyboard dedicated to figuring out where an actor's hands, legs and fingers will be placed. Who knew even chemistry could be scripted?
Helping simulate sex in a healthy and hygienic manner.
Working with the costume team to make garments and prosthetics for genitalia.
Yes, you heard that right. From erections to pubic hair, there are prosthetics for almost everything. The coordinator makes sure that the correct safety gear, prosthetics and costumes are given to the actors. From crotch pouches to strapless C-thong and push-up tapes, there are several garments and barriers that respect actors' boundaries. The coordinator even hires prosthetics artists who make erect penises and pubic wigs for vaginas.
Developing an in-depth understanding of the story, especially with respect to the intimate scenes to ensure authenticity and actors' comfort.
From preparing the script and rereading it to redefining it and re-agreeing on consent part, the coordinator makes sure they have all their bases covered.
Setting aside time for rehearsals.
Making sure that actors know each other's safe words.
The coordinator makes sure that the actors support and take care of one another. They also let actors pick their safe words so they can call a timeout at any point.
According to a report by Radio Times, a typical prep day for an intimacy coordinator starts at 9am and goes on till 3pm. The day usually includes explaining the scenes to the director, establishing nudity boundaries with actors, finalising their clothes, coordinating with make-up artists and writing nudity riders.
The Radio Times report also revealed that a typical shoot day for an intimacy coordinator includes choreographing sex scenes in a private rehearsal with a closed set that only includes essential cast and crew using flagged monitors.
Clearly, the job of an intimacy coordinator sounds fun but is no piece of cake!