Intimacy Coordination

Inti­ma­cy Coor­di­na­tion is a process for craft­ing inti­ma­cy for a record­ed per­for­mance. I have pre­vi­ous­ly worked with tele­vi­sion, film and vir­tu­al real­i­ty, but inti­ma­cy coor­di­na­tion could be done for games or any mul­ti­me­dia per­for­mance that includes pre­re­cord­ed intimacy. 

To me inti­ma­cy coor­di­na­tion is about facil­i­tat­ing crew-wide com­mu­ni­ca­tion to plan every­thing before the record­ings start. I offer some spe­cial tech­niques and dis­cuss dif­fer­ent aspects for sus­tain­able inti­ma­cy with all the depart­ments and with the cast to make sure that all the aspects have been considered.

My Qualifications in Intimacy Coordination

I have much less under­stand­ing of how the sto­ry­telling with­in mov­ing images works com­pared to live performances. 

I have hun­dreds hours of train­ing specif­i­cal­ly with­in inti­ma­cy coor­di­na­tion and inti­ma­cy chore­og­ra­phy for film and tele­vi­sion. I have also worked as an inti­ma­cy coor­di­na­tor in sev­er­al pro­duc­tions, of which you can find more infor­ma­tion in my CV. I do still use my process­es in inti­ma­cy direc­tion to com­ple­ment my inti­ma­cy coor­di­na­tion process­es and am active­ly work­ing on offer­ing bet­ter process­es to the film crews, and look­ing for more expe­ri­ence with­in the film indus­try. In the future I am plan­ning on tak­ing fur­ther train­ing in inti­ma­cy coor­di­na­tion as need­ed, but cur­rent­ly I need more actu­al prac­ti­cal expe­ri­ence with­in pro­duc­tions to grow.

Before we get any Euro­pean stan­dards, I mir­ror my own expe­ri­ence with SAG-AFTRA’s (the trade union for film and tele­vi­sion in the US) stan­dards, and their rec­om­mend­ed stan­dards and qual­i­fi­ca­tions, I would have more than the nec­es­sary train­ing in fol­low­ing areas:

- Con­sent Train­ing
- Anti-harass­men­t/an­ti-sex­u­al harass­ment train­ing
- Move­ment coach­ing and mask­ing tech­niques.
- Prop­er use of mod­esty gar­ments and bar­ri­ers.
- Medi­a­tion or con­flict res­o­lu­tion train­ing.
- Gen­der iden­ti­ty & sex­u­al ori­en­ta­tion train­ing.
- Anti-Racist/E­DI train­ing.
- Bystander inter­ven­tion.
- Men­tal Health First Aid, Trau­ma Stew­ard­ship, or relat­ed training

I have been doing inti­ma­cy coor­di­na­tion work for approx­i­mate­ly 15 on-loca­tion days includ­ing chore­og­ra­phy days, film­ing days and post­pro­duc­tion work. I have been co-teach­ing chore­og­ra­phy tech­niques to the inti­ma­cy coor­di­na­tors in Hol­ly­wood, but feel like I still need more prac­ti­cal work­ing expe­ri­ence to be more secure in my own grow­ing prac­tices to every sin­gle type of production.

Look­ing for­ward to work­ing with you!

My Intimacy Coordination Process

Inti­ma­cy Coor­di­na­tion is a process used in Film, TV or oth­er record­ed media. If you are look­ing for my process in live per­for­mance, see my Inti­ma­cy Direc­tion page. This page gives a descrip­tion of how I have approached these tasks in the past, and will fol­low sim­i­lar prin­ci­ples also in the future. 

1. Research for the Production

Prepar­ing for inti­ma­cy is an intri­cate task. I will study the mate­ri­als and con­sult rel­e­vant spe­cial­ists to pre­pare for the work. This might include any spe­cif­ic kind of inti­ma­cy, rela­tion­ship style or forms. I will study any spe­cif­ic aspects of inti­ma­cy in ques­tion. I will also seek to bet­ter under­stand the con­tent and form we want to present. This helps me frame my spe­cif­ic approach­es and ways of work­ing for the project.

2. Intimacy Break-Down

I will cre­ate an inti­ma­cy break-down based on the pro­duc­tion plans (script, clothes etc). With a writ­ten ‘rough break-down’, I will then lead dis­cus­sions about any spe­cif­ic demands of inti­ma­cy and about the time and resources we need.  This break-down gives a rough sup­port mate­r­i­al for all the design­ers when they do their work. I pre­fer that every­body knows before­hands what kind of work­flow to expect when it comes to the scenes of intimacy.

While craft­ing the Break-Down, I will need to have mul­ti­ple dis­cus­sions with direc­tor, actors and key heads of depart­ments. Inti­ma­cy is a lit­tle bit tougher for everyone.

3. Concrete Plan

I will craft an inti­ma­cy plan based on per­form­ers’ expressed bound­aries and direc­tor’s vision list­ing the prac­ti­cal choic­es rel­e­vant to the all the areas of respon­si­bil­i­ty. The plan will then be dis­cussed and fleshed out into prac­ti­cal sched­ules and to-do lists as the dis­cus­sions con­tin­ue. I will often include some back-up plans and safe­ty go-to’s so that we know what to expect in case of any problems. 

I pre­fer to cre­ate a plan — and not just a ‘inti­ma­cy rid­er for a per­former’ which most inti­ma­cy pro­fes­sion­als use. I will include all the same infor­ma­tion that a rid­er would — and even with more detail. As a signed inti­ma­cy rid­er could be inter­pret­ed as a con­tract, I feel that with inti­ma­cy we have to leave room for set­ting new bound­aries even on set what­ev­er we have planned. If we write an inti­ma­cy rid­er, there has to be a com­mon under­stand­ing that those plans are always a con­tract of inten­tion and we might need to accom­mo­date them for the performer.

The Inti­ma­cy Plan should include infor­ma­tion about cam­era angles, dress­es, props, make-up, sounds etc. That is, I need to have on-going dis­cus­sions with all the key design­ers dur­ing the plan­ning process to make sure I have all the nec­es­sary infor­ma­tion to present to everyone.

4. Choreography Day(s)

Chore­o­graph­i­cal work has already start­ed in coop­er­a­tion with direc­tor. We have dis­cussed the char­ac­ters and sto­ry focus­ing on the choic­es dur­ing the scenes of inti­ma­cy. This same work will then con­tin­ue with direc­tor and per­form­ers in the same rehearsal space. After we cre­ate a com­mon sto­ry base, we can go into prac­ti­cal act­ing choic­es, “chore­og­ra­phy”.

Depend­ing of the actors, pro­duc­tion and the inten­si­ty of a spe­cif­ic moment this might take a form of very sub­tle move­ment choic­es to describe the com­plex growth of a par­tic­u­lar human rela­tion­ship through­out the whole per­for­mance — or some­thing very sim­ple to just give a tool for actors to play with. The cho­sen moves serve the sto­ry and should let the peo­ple doing them to do their best pos­si­ble work. Some­times the moves affect the sto­ry too: a moment that sim­ply ‘works’ does still need a rea­son to exist in the story.

Dur­ing chore­og­ra­phy days we delve deep­er to the chore­og­ra­phy in col­lab­o­ra­tion with all the involved artists (actors, direc­tor, hods when nec­es­sary) in a set­ting as close to the real set as pos­si­ble. We make all the chore­o­graph­i­cal choic­es and make sure that every­thing prac­ti­cal that might come up has been pre­dict­ed at this point. The chore­og­ra­phy day can be any­time before the actu­al shoot but should be treat­ed as an inten­sive day: breaks with­in the day, and before and after the day are necessary.

5. On-Location Check-Ins

Before the shoot there should be time for inti­ma­cy chore­og­ra­phy to set­tle to the space. This final chore­og­ra­phy rehearsal can be done dur­ing the pre­vi­ous day, or it can be on the same day a cou­ple of hours before peo­ple come to build the set — or after the set has been built. As the sto­ry evolves and we have the actu­al space, props and cam­era angles, some pieces of block­ing might need to be re-chore­o­graphed to bet­ter solid­i­fy the new con­text. Addi­tion­al check-ins might need to be done if some­thing has sud­den­ly changed between the per­form­ers — or in some­one’s pri­vate life — which makes it nec­es­sary to rebuild some part of the inti­ma­cy choreography.

That is, chore­og­ra­phy days will cre­ate a chore­og­ra­phy to be fol­lowed and on-loca­tion check-ins will make sure that the chore­og­ra­phy is adapt­ed to the actu­al cir­cum­stances before we start work­ing on set: both of these need their time.

6. Recording Days

These are when we film. There should be time for inti­ma­cy to do their final check-ins and a cou­ple of run-throughs (first as a reminder, then with cam­era) just for the shoot, and there are some things to con­sid­er with height­ened inti­ma­cy: extra dress­ing times, make-up, exact cam­era angles, exact use of props, more com­pli­cat­ed chore­og­ra­phy etc. that need their time. 

Dur­ing these days, I will make notes of any changes we do in the chore­og­ra­phy and cir­cum­stances we did­n’t agree on before­hands as a short record­ing report.

7. Post-production Work

I will still help with the post-pro­duc­tion com­mu­ni­ca­tion around the inti­mate scenes. This can be to check in with the edi­tors about some par­tic­u­lar moment of inti­ma­cy and which pic­tures to choose for clar­i­ty and bound­aries, or some check ins about mar­ket­ing mate­ri­als, or any oth­er fur­ther com­mu­ni­ca­tion around the piece. 

My Rate Table

I list below my stan­dard rates. Besides these I expect that all the nec­es­sary expens­es are com­pansat­ed for. This includes pos­si­ble use of my equip­ment fees, and if I must trav­el out­side Turku, trav­el expens­es by pub­lic trans­porta­tion, accom­mo­da­tion in a pri­vate room and dai­ly allowances. See below also my Pay­ing it For­ward Prin­ci­ple.

Prep and Post

500 € — 5000 € (+VAT)

This is the time meant for the prepa­ra­tion and post-pro­duc­tion work. In my process, it includes every­thing besides the On-Loca­tion Check-Ins and Film­ing Days. I can nor­mal­ly give the final esti­mate of the prep time after I have read the script and talked with direc­tor. It is clear­est to every­one if we agree to a sim­ple price for all the extra work I am doing out­side the shoots. 

Daily Rate

1000 € (+ VAT)

This rate include the nec­es­sary chore­og­ra­phy days, on-loca­tion check-ins and shoots for every day we shoot with a max­i­mum of five hours of on-loca­tion work dur­ing that day.

Consultation Tasks

200–500 € (+ VAT)

The con­sul­ta­tion tasks are such tasks where I help in a small way with a pro­duc­tion with­out being the assigned an actu­al inti­ma­cy coor­di­na­tor. This can be just hav­ing a dis­cus­sion about about all the pre­cau­tions need­ed for the inti­ma­cy. It can be a work­shop in a spe­cif­ic aspect of the inti­mate illu­sions or safe­ty for the set. If the task needs me to trav­el, dai­ly allowances and trav­el expens­es are added to the invoiced sums.

Pay­ing it For­ward Principle:

If you are an artist seek­ing to become a per­form­ing arts pro­fes­sion­al or pro­duc­tion that can­not pay my prices but wants to work in a sus­tain­able way, please be in con­tact with me any­ways through my email:
info(at)juuso-matias.fi.

I have set aside a num­ber of hours a year for in-kind process­es, which allows me to do some of the work I do free of charge. I use these hours in edu­cat­ing, shar­ing prac­tices and hav­ing dis­cus­sions in pro­fes­sion­al capacity.

This prin­ci­ple is built because so many senior pro­fes­sion­als have used so much time to help me get where I am — and most like­ly will con­tin­ue to do so in the future. I feel like pay­ing it for­ward in any way I can, and this felt like a nice per­son­al way to start build­ing a com­mu­ni­ty of support.

How else to use me in your production?

Besides the work as an inti­ma­cy coor­di­na­tor, I might be able to help you in oth­er ways. Here below are some exam­ples of what kind forms the work could take.

Support for the Audition Preparation

I can help you to com­mu­ni­cate about the demands of inti­ma­cy in the audi­tion notices and help plan for effec­tive audi­tions. You don’t want to waste any­one’s time ‘test­ing the chem­istry’ or some inti­mate mate­r­i­al when it sim­ply can­not be done in audi­tions. If you com­mu­ni­cate about the need­ed inti­ma­cy well enough before­hands, peo­ple only apply if they think that the inti­ma­cy is with­in their bound­aries. The pow­er-imbal­ance present in audi­tions makes it impos­si­ble to build work­ing con­sent around more inten­sive material.

Professional Opinions about Intimacy

If you need a pro­fes­sion­al opin­ion about the inti­ma­cy you are craft­ing, I can give rec­om­men­da­tions on what must be con­sid­ered in terms of safe­ty on set, and in terms of the sto­ries you wish to tell.

Lectures and Workshops

I am hap­py to also give open or closed lec­tures and work­shops about inti­ma­cy. My per­son­al pet project is to make the dif­fer­ent aspects of the work more inclu­sive and acces­si­ble to every­one inter­est­ed in them, and I am hap­py to train peo­ple in the skills need­ed for them. 

Fight Work or Violence Design

I am not a cer­ti­fied fight direc­tor or fight coor­di­na­tor, but have prac­ticed thou­sands of hours of dra­mat­ic com­bat tech­niques while work­ing with Dra­mat­ic Com­bat Fin­land and Nordic Stage Fight Soci­ety. This makes me con­fi­dent in my abil­i­ty to sup­port sim­ple screen vio­lence and abil­i­ty to blend my knowl­edge of both worlds to cre­ate mean­ing­ful phys­i­cal sto­ries. With a more spe­cial­ized stunts, an actu­al pro­fes­sion­al should be used.

Intimacy Direction for Live Performance

When work­ing with live per­for­mance, sim­i­lar process is called inti­ma­cy direc­tion and the per­son doing the work an inti­ma­cy direc­tor

Even if I am on this page con­cen­trat­ing in film work, I am actu­al­ly a trained inti­ma­cy direc­tor with a cer­ti­fi­ca­tion pend­ing sta­tus by Inti­ma­cy Direc­tors and Coor­di­na­tors. I am still look­ing for a pro­duc­tion to be used as a final exam to become ful­ly cer­ti­fied ID. That is what I am trained to do. 

So… with any inti­ma­cy direc­tion needs you have, I am hap­py to be flex­i­ble and make good use of my thou­sands of hours of prac­tice and work with live performances. 

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May I con­sid­er your pro­duc­tion as any of the following?

Contact Details

Phone

+358 (0) 40 717 2486

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