Directors U.K. has updated their intimacy guidelines to fall in line with the current public health crisis. For now, the British organization, which represents over 7,500 screen directors, is recommending using "real-life" partners or possibly re-writing love scenes. When it comes down to it, the organization wants directors and writers to really think about whether a sex scene is necessary or not for future storylines. You can read part of the new intimacy guidelines below.
"The director, writer and producer should review the script together and agree which physical interactions need to occur between performers and decide whether substitutions can be made. Does a physical act need to be shown? If working within a series format, can the intimacy be delayed?"
Directors U.K. then suggests that "the buildup to an intimate scene can sometimes be more exciting than the scene itself" and "emotional intimacy can be as engaging as physical intimacy." While the new guidelines make a good point, recent years have seen sex scenes on the big and small screen get more graphic. The new guidelines indicate a movie like Fifty Shades of Grey won't be happening for quite some time, especially if the public health crisis continues. In the United States, cases keep rising and productions can't even start.
However, in the U.K., things are slowly starting to get back to some normalcy. Matt Reeves' The Batman is expected to resume production there next month, while a lot of TV shows are heading to Vancouver, Canada to either resume or start. Directors U.K. also provided some inspiration for limiting love scenes for productions that are able to start up. The organization had this to say.
"You may even find inspiration by revisiting classic films such as It Happened One Night (1934) or Casablanca (1943) - some of the greatest screen romances ever made and all filmed under the Hays Code, which prohibited the depiction of sex on screen. Consider what tools classic works offer for contemporary storytelling."
If sex scenes are unavoidable, Directors U.K. suggests that actors and actresses perform the scenes with their real-life partners. "Not all partners would be comfortable with doing this" and many "won't be a physical match for the on-screen lover," note the new guidelines. Ideally, this would be a good situation for a number of reasons, but it doesn't exactly sound feasible for all situations, which the new guidelines point out.
Some productions have been encouraged to use mannequins for scenes that aren't too detailed. With that being said, the new normal is starting to unfold and it looks like it might be a while before things get back to the way they used to be. Regardless, Directors U.K. is trying to ensure the safety of the casts and crews of various projects that take place there. You can read the new intimacy guidelines over at Directors U.K