Tuesday 17 July 2018

Irish actors and directors to be offered coaching on etiquette of sex scenes

Brendan in 'The Guard' which earned him a Golden Globe nomination.
Brendan in 'The Guard' which earned him a Golden Globe nomination.
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

Irish actors and directors are to be taught appropriate etiquette for filming sex scenes.

Screen Training Ireland has launched a new course for industry professionals outlining acceptable codes of practice, to make sure everyone feels as comfortable as possible while on-set.

The course will provide guidance for actors, producers, directors, first assistant directors and directors of photography while working "on scenes of an intimate nature".

Ita O'Brien - a movement coach and intimacy director - will hold a presentation, before highly regarded director Shimmy Marcus chairs a panel discussion on the subject of intimacy on-set.

The day-long course will take place next Monday, April 30.

The course is timely and comes after the #MeToo and #Times Up campaigns, which highlighted the mistreatment of women in the film and TV industry.

"Under-rehearsed or unsafe intimate scenes do not serve the production or keep the participants safe," said Ms O'Brien.

On her website, Ms O'Brien says there "are countless examples of poor practice, leaving actors with lasting damage and often compromising the production".

In a recent Oireachtas committee, trade union Siptu said that there were no registered complaints about harassment in the film industry.

Siptu's arts, culture, film and entertainment industrial organiser Graham Macken said: "The recent harassment allegations in Ireland, to date, only relate to the theatre sector.

"No evidence of, or allegations of, sexual harassment have arisen from the film or TV sector here in the Republic," he added.

Ms O'Brien teaches in some of Britain's premier acting schools, and also publishes research.

She is currently working to establish best practice for producers, directors and actors working with scenes of a sexual nature.

Founding member of the Screen Directors Guild of Ireland, Mr Marcus is artistic director at Bow Street Academy for Screen Acting, which he set up in 2014.

For more information, see screentrainingireland.ie.

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