A qualified IC works mainly with the actors, director, producer and other department heads to ensure that intimacy scenes are produced and shot in a safe, secure and respectful manner. An IC is a dialogue partner for the director to tell the story they want to tell safely, through scenery, camera angles and choreography. This process includes pre-production, rehearsal and presence during filming, for example:
Script break downs
Conducting risk assessments
Planning with the director
Talking with actors and other crew members involved
Coordinating between departments
Providing on-set support
Feedback to producer
There are several ways of becoming an IC. You can choose to study with an experienced organisation, another qualified IC or start by yourself by "ticking the boxes" of what an IC should have in terms of experience and qualifications, which include:
Consent, Boundaries, and Power Dynamics
Protocols and other Administration around intimacy scenes
Communication and Conflict Negotiation Skills
Choreography and Movement Coaching
Intersectional perspectives on Race and Ethnicity
Mental Health First Aid and Trauma Awareness
Sexuality and Gender Literacy
Sexual Harassment and Bullying
Intimacy Garments, Prosthetics and Masking Techniques
Whether a scene should be defined as an intimacy scene is based on an objective assessment of its content, context, and what it aims to convey. The assessment also includes the actors' experiences and interpretations. There are different types of intimacy scenes. Some examples are given here.
Sexually charged scenes
This could involve simulated sex, making out, kissing, masturbation, strip teases, dancing, sexual assault, nudity, etc.
Scenes that are not sexually charged
Scenes that are not sexually charged may still involve intimate touching that we do not usually engage in with just anyone, for example of the stomach, inner thighs, etc. This could include massage, washing someone, dancing closely, scenes with scantily clad people, nudity, gynaecological exams, childbirth, etc.
No - but it is recommended by unions around the world.
Hire your IC at an early stage, preferably before the casting process starts. While it's never too late to ask, many ICs will turn down a job if there's not enough time to prep. It is in fact during prep that the majority of an ICs work is done.
It varies across the globe, but if there's no IC or agency to ask directly I would recommend you to budget the way you would budget for a Stunt Coordinator. Bectu has also come up with a good Rate Card that could guide you too.