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The Union of Artists calls for greater coordination of privacy on the set

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Still emerging, the profession of intimacy coordinator, for the moment practiced mainly by women, consists in ensuring that intimate scenes are shot with respect for the actors and actresses.

It also aims to avoid possible slippage or inconvenience and to make these scenes more believable.

L’UDA would like the use of intimacy coordination to become mandatory on set under certain circumstances.

We want to protect our artists, because they are the ones who have to act in intimate or nudity scenes, explains Sophie Prégent, president of theUDA. We don’t all live the same way with our intimacy.

Sophie Prégent calls for the use of intimacy coordination to become mandatory for some shots.

Photo: Facebook page of the Union des artistes / Mélanie Dusseault

Compare intimacy coordinators or co-ordinators to people who supervise stunts on sets and whose presence is contractually mandatory, when needed, to avoid injury.

There can also be dangers during intimate scenes: harassment, intimidation, psychological wounds that remain in some people afterwards.

There are scenes that can be traumatizing, adds Sophie Prégent. And, twenty years later, we still think about it.

Coordination of intimacy in search of professionalization

For the moment, theUDA and theAQPMwhich therefore represents film and television producers, agree on the need to professionalize this new profession, ensuring that the people who practice it are qualified and certified.

It’s not Mr. and Mrs. Everyone who can improvise intimacy coordinators, emphasizes Sophie Prégent. You need experience in cinema and a good one background in psychology.

For example, Roxane Néron, who is one of the people coordinating intimacy in Quebec, was an assistant director and holds a degree in sexology.

We also need to equip productions that work with intimacy coordinators, because we still don’t understand the benefits of intimacy coordination and are still seen as a police force, even if it’s not that much.explains the one who says she does not consider herself nor as a trainernor as a guard dog.

The co-ordinator of intimacy Roxane Néron on a set

Photo: Hugo B. Lefort

Roxane Nérona worked in particular on the film Noémie says yeswhich is still on air in Quebec and which includes several prostitution scenes.

Coordination of intimacy is a fundamental service to offer, and mandatory for some scenes in my opinion, but on a case-by-case basis.believes Geneviève Albert, director of Noémie says yes.

It is a profession that has yet to be defined and a function that must be adapted to every project, director or director and actor or actress.

It should also be noted that actors and actresses reject coordination of intimacy because they feel it makes shooting more cumbersome.

“Noémie dit oui”, by Geneviève Albert, includes several scenes of prostitution.

Photo: K-Films America

Training under development in Quebec

There is currently no training in Quebec, but theUDA is currently working with the National Institute of Image and Sound (INIS) to create training in French, based on training currently given in the United States. This program will soon be offered byINISwhich is a vocational training center for the audiovisual sector.

If we train people, but there are no jobs for people who will have paid the training costs, I don’t know if that’s a good thing.Roxane Neron shades.

The young woman also stresses the importance of experience in the audiovisual sector. Since you’ve taken six months of training, are you equipped to find yourself on a big movie set and handle an intimate scene that will play on vulnerability, when you’ve never been on a plateau?you ask.

Disagreements between the UDA and the AQPM

If theUDA and theAQPM they agree on the need for adequate training, they do not yet agree on the type of scenes for which the mandatory use of coordination of intimacy would be foreseen in the contracts stipulated between the artists and the production.

L’UDA requires the systematic presence of an intimacy coordinator when an actor or actress playing an intimate scene is under 20 and as soon as a director, director, actor or actress requests it even if the rest of the cast involved in the intimate scene does not do not feel the need.

The film “Unété comme ça”, by Denis Côté, was produced without coordination of intimacy.

Photo: Lou Scamble

You have to protect young people from themselves, because at that age, when you step into this environment that can be so galvanizing, you can be ready for anything, wanting to please and saying yes to anything.says Roxane Neron.

An intimacy coordinator will also be able to guide young actresses and actors and help them differentiate themselves from their character if they are to play intimate things they have never experienced in their personal life.

For its part, theAQPMwhich has 160 members, would like to focus more on scenes that require coordination of intimacy. Currently, we still have vision differences with theUDAbecause the definition of an intimate scene is very broad and goes beyond nuditysays Geneviève Leduc, Director of Labor Relations and Legal Affairs.

We’re fine with intimacy or nudity scenes that incorporate simulation of physical or psychological violence, or when a nudity or intimacy scene involves several artists, she adds. But does there always have to be an intimacy coordinator when two artists kiss?

The negotiations between theUDA and theAQPM it will resume at the end of the summer and will continue in the autumn to find a compromise.

This text was written in particular byinterviews conducted by Catherine Richercultural columnist of the show 15-18. The comments may have been edited for clarity or conciseness.

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