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.
Katarzyna Szustow – graduate of the The Zelwerowicz National Academy of Dramatic Art and Warsaw School of Economics, coach for creatives, facilitator of safe creative processes, specialist in the communication of culture enterprises and artists’ personal brands, owner of the consulting company SZUSTOW. KULTURA I KOMUNIKACJA. Since 2011, she has been hosting her own program “Better late than never” on Radio TOK FM focused on sexuality and queer culture. She is a Crisis Coach at the Lodz Film School.
Artistic director of Le Madame (2003-2006) – a safe cultural space combining sexuality and politics under one roof. Head of the communications department (2007-2012) at the Dramatic Theatre of Warsaw. She co-created the POMADA festival, presenting Queer Eastern European art and culture (2010-2016). For over 20 years she has been practicing yoga, recently she has been experiencing the power of the ocean through surfing.
EXPERIENCE & EDUCATION AS AN IC
Katarzyna Szustow has worked as an intimacy coordinator on second season of “The Mire’97” for Netflix and on a play based on David Foster’s Wallace directed by Yana Ross at Schauspielhaus Zürich (premiere: 11th of September 2021). Her Mentor is Amanda Blumenthal (IPA).
She is currently taking part in series of seminars and courses organized by Intimacy Directors and Coordinators (US), Intimacy on Set (UK), Intimacy For Stage And Screen (UK), Intimacy Directors and Coordinators (US), Safe Sets (South Africa, UK):
– Netflix Apprentices – 8 Weeks Training organized by Safe Sets (in training, path to certificate)
– Online Mental Health First Aid course with UK Mental Health Ltd, MHFA England (certificate)
– 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”