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Fiona Ramsay does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment. A new set of guidelines for handling intimate scenes in south african nudes and television shoots was recently released in South Africa. They provide guidance on how to make cast and crew safe, especially from sexual harassment and assault.
Performer and academic Fiona Ramsay asked Kate Lusha co-creator of the new protocols, why they matter. Actors were rarely asked to interrogate their personal boundaries or comfort levels. As a result sexual harassment, bullying and coercion were rife in all areas of the entertainment industry and throughout academic institutions. It seems astonishing to think that there was no clear methodology attached to scenes that had intimate content. Actors were repeatedly told to just work it out for themselves or improvise.
Often they were made to rehearse and perform kisses, simulated sex and nudity in front of entire casts and crews. : Sexual misconduct in film and TV: how intimacy coordination can help to address the historic issue.
So, around the world, various production companies and unions have adopted similar guidelines. This was spurred by the revelations of sexual abuse by Hollywood producers that led to the MeToo movement. Since the beginning ofthe South African film industry has been in conversation with Intimacy Practitioners South Africa to create protocols that outline what best practice looks like.
It was set up to advocate for and support intimacy coordinators and cast and crew working on intimate scenes on sets in South Africa. By following the protocols, producers and directors are encouraged to look at intimate content in a professional way. The protocols outline what considerations need to be put in place from pre-production, during production and into post-production.
They talk about consent and agreements that must be put in place. About the right environment to hold auditions and what is the safest way to navigate scenes with intimacy, kissing, nudity and simulated sex. Actors, for example, are required always to work with a third person, to discuss the story and character arcs as a way of keeping the personal and professional in perspective.
Actors are encouraged to have autonomy over their bodies. Equally they provide guidelines that encourage creativity and resourcefulness; they invite discussion and collaboration. South african nudes protocols also highlight the scenes that present ificant risk to the cast and encourage the use of an intimacy coordinator.
This person would work with the directors, showrunners, producers and writers to facilitate their vision, while communicating the comfort levels and personal boundaries of the actors. The MeToo movement was initiated in by the sexual harassment survivor and activist Tarana Burke. It was in response to the work she was undertaking while assisting on the choreography of intimate content in student dance productions.
Here, in South Africa, also inthe organisation Sisters Working in Film and Television conducted and published a survey on sexual discrimination, south african nudes harassment and sexual assault and violence in the South African film and TV industry. They followed this by creating the ThatsNotOK campaign.
There is not a single voice instructing their use, there are many voices encouraging their use. We have to assume that everyone always wants to do their best work.
We have to also assume that producers want sets that are productive and respectful environments in which to work. Using the protocols, especially when in conjunction with an intimacy coordinator, brings professionalism and clarity to a process that has been historically muddy.
They support story explorations and can offer creative solutions. Challenging stories do need to be told, but when pushing the envelope of what has been, or is deemed, to be acceptable, film makers need to take responsibility for their productions and the people working on them.
Be Curious — Leeds, Leeds. Edition: Available editions United Kingdom. Fiona RamsayUniversity of the Witwatersrand. Why are the protocols needed?South african nudes
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