An intimacy consultant ensures the comfort and safety of actors on the set while shooting intimate scenes requiring nudity or simulated sex.
• At the stage of script work, the IC supports the director in developing concepts for intimate scenes by, for example, providing visual references or alternate ideas for choreography.
• The IC initiates a dialogue between actresses, actors and director on the concept, character of intimate scenes, and those individuals’ comfort with them.
• Making extensive use of non-violent communication, the IC identifies hotspots, calls risk. The IC is a mediator between all involved in the shooting of an intimate scene.
• When shooting a scene, the IC ensures that the boundaries previously established in concert with the actors are not exceeded. The team has to feel safe, both physically and emotionally.
• The IC creates the safe space on the set necessary for the professional performance of the actors.
• The IC develops the choreography of simulated sex scenes that will look credible in the final cut.
• The IC is responsible for coordinating work with other departments (costumes, makeup) to ensure the maximum comfort of the team.
• The IC shares her knowledge of the diversity of intimate relationships. The IC also provides visual codes that are recognisable by the LGBTQIA+ community.
• The IC prepares documents which aim to define the ground rules for actors’ safety as well as rules for the subsequent use of recorded materials (e.g. for promotional purposes).
Actresses and actors working on a role or during a shoot.
Directors looking for a concept for an intimate scene.
Agencies negotiating contracts for their actresses and actors.
Producers who care about safety on set.
Kasia Szustow – certified intimacy coordinator (affiliation: Netflix, Sefe Sets), member of the European Intimacy Practitioners’ Guild, facilitator of safe creative processes. An Initiator and co-author of the “Polish Guidelines for Intimate Scenes”. She is a member of the Berufsverband Intimitätskoordination und Kampfchoreografie e. v. (German association for intimate scene coordination and fight choreography in the DACH Region: Germany, Austria, Switzerland). Graduate of the Theatre Academy in Warsaw (MA Theatre Studies) and the Warsaw School of Economics (post-MA: Project Management, post-MA: Coaching), she is a Guest Lecturer at the Filmwissenschaft Institut Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz. Since 2011, she has been hosting her own program “Better late than never” on Radio TOK FM focused on sexuality and queer culture.
EXPERIENCE & EDUCATION AS AN IC
As an intimacy coordinator she worked on film productions:
Szustow has worked for Schauspielhaus Zürich on two productions as an Intimacy Coach for “Kurze Interviews mit fiesen Männern – 22 Arten der Einsamkeit” based on David F. Wallace, directed by Yana Ross (2021), and as Consent Coach for the production “Wilhelm Tell” by Switzerland’s most important director Milo Rau (2022).
She finished one-year Safe Sets–Netflix Apprentices developing Intimacy Coordination talents for Netflix across the EMEA region. The course was a part of Grow Creative global fund created by Netflix to support Inclusion & Diversity initiatives in the industry. (Certificate 2021)
In addition to Netflix&Safe Sets training Kasia took part in series of seminars and courses organized by Intimacy Directors and Coordinators (US), Intimacy on Set (UK), Intimacy For Stage And Screen (UK), Theatrical Intimacy Education (US) listed below.
Besides of 180+ hours intimacy coordination training Kasia passed certificated courses:
Intimacy Coordination additional training:
– Consent in Academia – 6 weeks course with Judi Lewis Ockler (Certified Intimacy Director), Renee Redding-Jones and Guest Teaching Artists with Intimacy Directors & Coordinators (Los Angeles)
– Stage Managing Intimacy – 3 weeks course with Alexis Black (Certified Intimacy Director) and Tina Newhauser (AEA Stage Manager) with Intimacy Directors & Coordinators (Los Angeles)
– Modesty Garments, Barriers, and Masking with Chelsea Pace (Theatrical Intimacy Education)
– Best Practices with Chelsea Pace (Theatrical Intimacy Education)
– An introduction to Intimacy for Producers working in Film and TV with Ita O’Brien
– Introduction to the world of Intimacy Coordination for the screen with Intimacy Coordinator for shows on HBO and Netflix Lizzy Talbot
– Webinar “Let’s Talk About Sex, Maybe” with Amanda Blumenthal, Olivia Troy, and Michael Mohan at Sundance Festival
– Facilitating Group Closure with Mitchell McCoy, Certified Intimacy Director
– Content Warnings for Theatre for Intimacy Directors and Coordinators with Gaby Labotka, Certified Intimacy Director
– Staging Intimacy with Young Actors for Educators with Intimacy for Stage and Screen
– Intimacy in Opera with Tonia Sina, Doug Scholz-Carlson (Certified Intimacy Coordinators)
– Intimacy Across Borders with Lizzy Talbot nad Claire Warden
– Birth and Other High-Exposure Scenes with Carly Zien (Actor, Intimacy Coordinator) Elan Mcallister (Maternity Care Policy Expert), NYC Women Filmmakers (NYCWF)
– Digging Deeper into Boundaries with Samantha Kaufman, Certified Intimacy Director
– Mental Health Check-In & Wellness Workshop by NYC Women Filmmakers
– Intimacy from page to screen with Mia Schachter a Certified Intimacy Coordinator of “Insecure” & “Perry Mason”