Entertainment

South Africa sets out to protect cast and crew involved in nudity and sex scenes

A new set of guidelines for handling intimate scenes in film and television shoots was recently released in South Africa. As with those adopted in other countries, the protocol was edited in consultation with the country’s major agencies for industrial workers and producers. It provides guidance on how to secure the cast and crew, especially from sexual harassment and assault. Performer and academic Fiona Ramsey asked Kate Rush, co-creator of the new protocol, why they are important.

Why do you need a protocol?

Historically, actors and student actors have been groomed to believe that if the director or instructor doesn’t say “yes” no matter what they ask for, someone else will. This was an aspect of the industry that they had to accept. Actors were rarely asked to cross-examine their personal boundaries and levels of comfort. As a result, sexual harassment, bullying and coercion were widespread in all areas of the entertainment industry and throughout academic institutions.

When talking to people about what my role as an intimate coordinator really involves, the first question is usually “what did people do before?” It seems surprising to think that an intimate scene is not accompanied by a clear methodology. Directors often didn’t know how to talk about or direct these scenes. The actor was repeatedly told to solve it himself or to improvise. Often they were designed to rehearse and perform kissing, simulated sex and nudity in front of the cast and the entire crew. Needless to say, this often created scenes that didn’t help the story and made the actor feel embarrassed, embarrassed, or violated.

Therefore, various production companies and unions around the world have adopted similar guidelines. This was stimulated by the exposure of sexual abuse by Hollywood producers that led to the #MeToo movement.

What does the protocol suggest?

Since the beginning of 2020, the South African film industry has been working with intimate South African practitioners to develop a protocol that outlines what best practices look like. (Intimacy Practitioners SA follows similar organizations in the United States and the United Kingdom. It was founded to defend and support intimate coordinators and casts and crews working on intimate scenes on the South African set.)

Following the protocol encourages producers and directors to view intimate content in a professional way. The protocol outlines what considerations need to be set, from pre-production to in-production to post-production. They talk about the agreements and agreements that must be implemented. A good environment for hosting auditions and the safest way to navigate the scene with intimacy, kissing, nudity and simulated sex.

It also includes a sexual harassment prevention spirit that should be incorporated into each set of cultures and links to good practices.

For example, actors should always work with third parties to discuss stories and character arcs as a way to maintain a personal and professional perspective. Actors are encouraged to be autonomous in their bodies. Similarly, they provide guidelines that encourage creativity and wisdom. They invite discussion and collaboration.

The protocol also emphasizes scenes that pose a significant risk to the cast and encourages the use of intimate coordinators. This person works with directors, showrunners, producers and writers to promote vision while communicating the level of comfort and personal boundaries of the actor.

Is #MeToo part of the historical impetus?

The #MeToo movement was launched in 2006 by sexual harassment survivors and activists Tarana Burke. It was the same year that movement director Tonia Sena, co-founder of Intimacy Directors International (now Intimacy Directors and Coordinators), wrote a master’s degree in art in the theater pedagogy treatise Intimate Encounters. Staging intimacy and sensuality. It responded to the work she was doing while helping the students choreograph the intimate content of their dance productions.

But until 2017 #MeToo, producers began to realize that they needed to do something aggressive to keep the actors safe and reduce the risk of proceedings and bad press.

Intimate coordinators Alicia Rodis (USA) and Ita O’Brien (UK) were invited to the HBO show The Deuce and Netflix show Sex Education and were hired as intimate coordinators.

Here in South Africa, also in 2017, a sister organization working in film and television conducted and published a survey on sexism, sexual harassment, sexual assault and violence in the South African film and television industry. Next, I created the #ThatsNotOK campaign.

However, is it possible to monitor the protocol?

By working with the industry as a whole, we hope that their use will be organic. There is no single voice instructing their use, there are many voices encouraging their use.

Some may insist on the creative work of this muzzle

We must assume that everyone always wants to do the best job. You also have to assume that producers want a set of environments where they can work productively and with respect. Protocols bring professionalism and clarity to historically muddy processes, especially when working with intimate coordinators.

The guidelines are not intended to censor the work of production, but to ask the director and actor about the story they are trying to tell in their intimate moments. They can support the quest for a story and offer creative solutions. We need to tell a rewarding story, but when pushing the limits of what is or seems to be accepted, filmmakers need to take responsibility for their work and the people who work on it.

* Fiona Ramsey is a performance and audio performing arts instructor at the University of the Witwatersland and holds a PhD.

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the IOL.



South Africa sets out to protect cast and crew involved in nudity and sex scenes Source link South Africa sets out to protect cast and crew involved in nudity and sex scenes

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