Ita O’Brien, intimacy coordinator of the stars (and recent Jezebel source) has facilitated the “world’s first degree in intimacy practice,” a two-year course that’s the product of a collaboration between O’Brien’s Intimacy on Set endeavor and the Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in South London. The course promises extensive training in the growing facet of television and film production, in which a third party is hired to help actors navigate sex scenes and/or nudity, as well as advocate for them. My colleague, Kylie Cheung, who has reported on intimacy coordinators, described the work like this: “They essentially work to bridge the vision of the director with the boundaries of the actors.”
According to Deadline, which reported the establishment of the course, O’Brien had this to say:
Intimacy practice is a young profession, and whilst awareness of its existence has grown considerably in the last few years, deep understanding of good practice is missing.
To ensure we develop a profession which can proudly grow with excellence we need to be able to train talented individuals who can navigate the both physical and emotional journey that each actor will go on, and can responsibly and safely deliver the intimate content as envisioned by the director, the storytelling and each character.
The course will be offered in the fall through Mountview’s partnership with the University of East Anglia.
O’Brien is considered a pioneer in the field of intimacy coordination and has been doing this work since 2014. Describing intimacy coordination’s importance to Jezebel earlier this year, O’Brien said: “When we’re inviting agreement and consent in all these areas, it means we can all work openly, creatively, feeling empowered. That place of feeling safe and thus free creates really beautiful, intimate content.”