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Intimacy Guidelines a Win-Win

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UK based Intimacy Coordinator Ita O’Brien spent three days in Auckland last December sharing her highly acclaimed approach to intimacy on set.

The events gave actors, directors, producers, writers and crew from the stage and screen industries an opportunity to learn Ita’s best practice approaches to intimacy, simulated sex scenes, and nudity, implementing her Intimacy On Set Guidelines.

I attended the introductory seminar and two workshops: the first, for actors and directors interested in exploring clear guidelines when working with intimacy, and scenes with sexual content; the second, for potential intimacy coordinators.

I came away from the workshops with a clear framework for directing intimate scenes. Using the Intimacy on Set Guidelines helped remove any awkwardness and kept the work in a clearly professional space. I feel that I now have more tools in my director’s toolkit and greater confidence in working with intimate content.

Ita O’Brien recommends that Intimacy on Set Guidelines are used as standard practice for all intimate scenes. When a production calls for nudity, simulated sex and/or any sexual violence, Ita recommends productions engage an Intimacy Coordinator.

In many ways, an intimacy coordinator can be likened to a fight coordinator. Far from stepping on the creative toes of the director, the role of an intimacy coordinator, like a good fight coordinator, is to work with the director to help them realise their vision. By helping the director to choreograph, rehearse and stage a scene, intimacy coordinators keep performers safe and able to give their best. Action is broken down into achievable, repeatable beats over which directors and actors lay the emotional journey of the scene. In my opinion, it’s a win-win for directors, actors and the production as a whole.

Equity NZ are currently updating NZ’s Guidelines for Nudity and Intimacy on Stage and Screen. The intention is that these Guidelines become standard practice throughout our industry. At DEGNZ we have been working closely with Equity on updating the Guidelines and will keep our members informed of progress.

The Equity Foundation, who hosted Ita O’Brien’s visit to Australia and NZ, put together a short video of the Australasian events, which you can view here.

Louise Leitch
Director | DEGNZ Vice-President

Intimacy on Set & Stage with Ita O’Brien

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Ita Obrien

As some of you will be aware, Equity New Zealand is involved in bringing Intimacy Coordinator Ita O’Brien from England to run a series of seminars and workshops in Australia and New Zealand (10-12 December).

The DEGNZ board feels the best option for directors in regard to how best to handle scenes involving intimacy, simulated sex and nudity is education. We also feel that directors should upskill so that they have the capability to deal with such scenes professionally.

We therefore encourage you to attend one or more of Ita’s sessions, in particular session #3 so that you can incorporate the work of intimacy coordinator into your own practice as a director.

Please review the material below and make an application through Equity Foundation should you wish to take advantage of this opportunity.

 

Intimacy on Set and Stage with Ita O’Brien

 

This event series is brought to you by Equity Foundation and the support of their partners.

equityfoundation

Call for Directors: The Casting Hothouse

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DEGNZ invites our member directors to take part in Equity New Zealand’s Casting Hothouse in an observational capacity. The Casting Hothouse is an opportunity for actors to work with some of the world’s leading casting directors on audition, accent and acting techniques.

The relationship between directors and casting directors is key for accessing and securing the talent you want, and the Casting Hothouse offers an invaluable opportunity to network with and learn from the best.

Details
November 25 – 27
The University of Auckland
34 Princes St, Auckland

Featuring:

Matt Skrobalak, US casting director (The Good Wife, NCIS, Jane the Virgin)
Marisa Ross, US casting director (How I Met Your Mother, The Chicago Project)
Kerry Barden, US casting director (Still Alice, Dallas Buyers Club, The Help )
Tom McSweeney, Australian casting director (Terra Nova, The Family Law)
Nikki Barrett, Australian casting director (Pirates of the Caribbean 5, Hacksaw Ridge)
Stuart Turner, New Zealand casting director ( The Weight of Elephant, Nightshift)

Equity New Zealand and DEGNZ are offering the opportunity for our member directors to attend these workshops and observe the actors and casting directors at work.

Please register your interest by emailing samantha@degnz.co.nz and provide details on your availability from November 25-27.