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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
+358 (0) 40 717 2486