What is an Intimacy Coordinator?
In essence, an Intimacy Coordinator collaborates with members of the cast and crew during scenes of intimacy to achieve the director’s vision while maintaining the safety of actors. I meet with the director and other necessary personnel during pre-production to discuss the details of a scene. Then I meet with the actors to facilitate consent and practice, ensuring that everyone is on the same page and prepared for production, negotiating any changes necessary between actors, directors, and producers. On the day of filming, I review modesty garments and scene content with performers and directors, monitor the emotional health of actors before, during, and after filming, guide choreography, and ensure the implementation of closed-set protocols and SAG-AFTRA Guidelines all while maintaining a productive flow.
What I specialize in:
I specialize in choreographing extended scenes of intimacy such as full (simulated) sexual intercourse, interpretive/devised movement, dream sequences, BDSM, and public displays of sensuality which convey to-be-looked-at-ness. With my background in the performing arts including burlesque, ballroom, theater, jazz, and ballet, I bring tools to create unique dynamic choreography which leaves the audience craving more. This is accomplished by balancing overall body shape and movement with seamless transitions between positions and a detailed focus on small moments of physical intimacy. My education in film theory and experience in the film industry as a director, camera assistant, sound mixer, and production designer gives me the insight to understand the camera as a third player and include it in the scene and narrative as such. Because of this, my work stands out for how I incorporate the actors’ movements with the movement and stylings of the camera to create intimacy which tells a cohesive narrative with the rest of the production. I can do this during physically close/revealing scenes through strategically positioning barriers – even during “nude” scenes. Because I prioritize realism when choreographing and incorporate natural transitions in combination with strategic staging, my scenes can be captured in one-shots – leaving nothing to the imagination except “how could it possibly be faked?”
Beyond choreography, my theoretical education in women and queer studies and film theory as well as my lived experience as a queer nonbinary sex worker aids me in telling authentic stories of intimacy. It is my particular passion to represent diverse non-heteronormative intimacy because there is so much which has not had its time on-screen such as polyamorous relationships, trans sex, kink, disabled sex, and BDSM. Through a combination of research, consultations with community members, devised movement and sound, character work, and personal experience I work to bring accurate portrayals of intersectional identities to every project.
I work in a variety of genres including period, fantasy, art film, sci-fi, thriller, action, comedy, music video, noir, musicals, and drama. I love world-building and crafting original movement which incorporates other aspects of the environment including costume, props, and set design. My training in devised theater helps me craft not only intimacy but all movement from a place of creative discovery using the script, reference materials, character development, and sound, movement, and acting exercises. I am also passionate about portraying historical intimacy on-screen, using reference materials and research to recreate intimacy from that time period by combining costuming and movement realistically.
Who can benefit from an Intimacy Coordinator?
On and off set I keep you safe and advocate for you and your needs.
I make sure you are informed – understanding everything that is going to happen so that you aren’t put in situations that put pressure on you to say yes to something you are uncomfortable with.
I ensure there is a closed set so you don’t feel unsafe around anyone present during production.
I provide appropriate intimacy garments so that no matter what we are doing you have the protection you need.
I support you emotionally and check in with you as well as monitoring your stress indicators.
I work with you and your scene partners during pre-production to get you emotionally ready for scenes of intimacy. During this process, we not only talk but do exercises designed to practice active consent so that you are heard throughout the process.
I realize your vision safely and creatively by listening to your concepts during pre-production.
I guide awkward conversations about sexually explicit material so that we can identify exactly what you want in a scene.
I choreograph each moment creatively so that your scene stands out visually and emotionally while looking and feeling natural.
I help the production company avoid misconduct lawsuits by leaving a papertrail of safety protocols that the actors and others have participated in.
I conserve valuable time and money by planning out exactly what is going to happen during filming and rehearsals.
I keep actors in a safe mental space to prevent time-consuming and costly delays if they break down.
I ensure everyone is following SAG-AFTRA guidelines.
I take care of intimacy garments, pasties, robes, and other protective barriers and garments which actors need for filming.
I collaborate with you to ensure costume changes (particularly on camera) go smoothly.
My job as Intimacy Coordinator ideally begins before casting and continues through post-production. All projects require an initial script consultation, pre-production meetings and check-ins with cast and crew, and rehearsal time on top of production days. I offer a sliding scale for student films, web series, and other low budget projects because financial ability should not determine the safety of cast and crew. Email me for more info about dates and pricing at firstname.lastname@example.org
What People have said about me:
Acacia brought to the table a language in which myself and the other actors could use on set to make sure that we were okay with everything. One of the tools they provided was a “tap in” and “tap out” handshake. It was a way to energetically sync up with our scene partners prior to an intimate moment and also disconnect and let it go after. Because even though we are actors and what we do is “make-believe”, it’s still our physical body, the body we live in everyday and it was nice to make the clear distinction between real and fake.Bailey Noble – Apophenia
Acacia did an incredible job at choreographing our love scenes. It can be quite awkward, as an actor, when you have to get into bed with someone who you’ve most likely just met. Acacia took the reins in those situations by suggesting different moves and ways for us to approach it. With Acacia guiding us it felt less like “having sex” with another actor and more like a beautiful dance. As someone with a dance history, I really enjoyed that and it made it fun.
I really appreciate that they took the time to get to know each actor and privately understand what we individually felt comfortable with. They gave us the tools to communicate with our scene partners where it was okay to be touched and where it was not okay to be touched. That’s a conversation that more often than not, does not happen on sets.
I think the entertainment industry is long over due for people like Acacia! It was so nice to have someone on set that was there to support us. Acacia had an innate understanding of when to step in and assert themselves on set, when to check in on the actors and how to make us feel comfortable. I would love to work with them again in the future and can’t wait to see where their career goes from here!
I didn’t think an intimacy coordinator would be so needed on set until I had this experience. Having Acacia as an intimacy coordinator was a reassurence that everything was going to go well and smoothly. From the get-go, we started with active exercises to get us acquainted with the actors and crew. The fact that we had choreography for the whole scene really put me at ease, and made me feel that I had control of the situation. The difference from the first time that me and my fellow actor practiced the scene, to the actual scene, was immense! I felt so comfortable, and I knew we were on the same page, because Acacia gave us the space to express the things that we were and were not comfortable with. The communication and the detail was impeccable. I would always request an intimacy coordinator for any intimate scenes I may have to do in the future. Acacia also helped me discover things about my character that wouldn’t have come up without this process. I was lucky to have a knowledgable third party involved in the scene. Thanks, Acacia!Mimi Perez – As The Winter Turns to Fall
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