New Intimacy Coordinator Guidelines Released By SAG-AFTRA
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New Intimacy Coordinator Guidelines Released By SAG-AFTRA

Actors union SAG-AFTRA has released guidelines for intimacy coordinators hired for sets where union members' work incorporates delicate scenes.

Variety reports that the guidelines, "Standards and Protocols for the Use of Intimacy Coordinators," comes six months after the union stated it would standardize the guidelines for scenes in which actors are nude or imitating sex.

According to the union, the new standards will "allow productions to run more efficiently, provide a safety net for performers and establish specialized support that empowers both cast and crew." Variety writes that according to the rules, the intimacy coordinator will meet with a project's executive producer/writer and director "at a minimum" before production "to discuss details of script breakdown and intimate scenes to determine: 1) degree of nudity, 2) specifics of simulated sex (as applicable), and 3) any other pertinent details."

Coordinators must also make sure there's "clear communication" with the actors regarding nudity, simulated sex or other scenarios. The coordinator will also meet one-on-one with actors before the rehearsal and filming of intimate scenes and confirm consent "for the descriptive language to be used in the nudity or simulated sex rider, and any other consideration for the filming of the scene" as well as confirm "continued consent during rehearsals." Continued consent throughout the filming of a scene is also part of the coordinator's duties.

The importance of intimacy coordinators is paramount for films and television shows that delve into mature themes, such as Euphoria. In a July 2019 interview, Algee Smith told Shadow And Act about what it was like working with the series' intimacy coordinator, saying that the coordinator "helped out a lot."

"There were a lot of times that me and [Sydney Sweeney] would do the best we could in preparing for it, but having the coordinator on set she would say to the director, 'I think my actors have done enough, they've done it enough times,'" he said. "And having them there, they pay more attention to the little details of the actors. Not to say that the directors don't, but without the coordinator, I don't think [the scenes] would have went the same way, because she made sure we were so good and were comfortable with each other."

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Photo credit: HBO

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