Those scenes make romantic movies what they are. But with a global pandemic keeping most people from making any direct physical contact, those potentially iconic moments might not even make it into future movie and TV scripts, which is a total shame. Filmmakers, showrunners, writers, and the whole crew will have to make major changes. Basically, it's complicated. We talked to some experts about what it could look like.
“It's not about writing out the romantic journeys of their characters, but it is about considering that intimate arc,” says Ita O’Brien, a professional intimacy coordinator. Basically, they're going to have to think twice about everything. O'Brien has choreographed scenes for HBO’s new series I May Destroy You, and hit shows Sex Education, and Normal People. If you’ve seen Normal People, it’s pretty hard to believe the very intense and very realistic sex scenes aren't real. To some extent, they make the entire show. So yeah, Ita, and the people who work in show business alongside her, would know a thing or two about the importance of those scenes.
O’Brien says one of the possible tactics productions could use is to write scenes in a way that characters could maintain that romantic and sexual tension, while also keeping a safe social distance.
O’Brien says one way that could work is by stopping the scene right before things get ~saucy~, like they used to do in the 1950s. Back then—with actors like James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, and Audrey Hepburn—sex scenes were still such a scandalous thing in Hollywood. So the actors would get as close as they possibly could to each other, maybe share a kiss, and then right before they got it on, the camera would pan over to a fireplace (to symbolize the seriously hot sex they’re having, duh), or the screen would just fade to black.
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