Evening Standard - May 2020
And yet now, as the windows steam up, things in the background are changing. Movement and intimacy director Ita O’Brien has been developing best practice when working on TV sex scenes, founding Intimacy on Set to provide trained professional intimacy co-ordinators to the industry. She has since noticed a tonal shift in sex scenes, with moments of intimacy captured on camera now more commonly being used to propel the narrative rather than simply to titillate.
She believes that the aftermath of the Harvey Weinstein scandal and the upheaval it caused across the industry also led to questions about how actors can perform intimate content in a safe and a responsible way. “Intimacy guidelines are about taking away that mismatch of power on set,” O’Brien says. “The structure allows everyone to work to the best of their skill in order to create intimate content that serves the writing. After Weinstein, the industry said they had to do better and work with respect, and within that environment, they had to observe how to perform intimate content well.