Beyond that, we also worked with a wonderful woman Ita O’Brien, who’s an intimacy coordinator. She has developed a way of talking about and working on intimate scenes. A bit like a stunt coordinator might step in when you’re designing action sequences. This is entirely different in one way but it’s another person who has a way of working safely and positively around that sort of material. Ita came in. She talked to about how she worked [to the cast and crew]. It’s around consent. It’s around how you speak about these things. It’s about openness. It’s around understanding that what you’re doing is representing states of feeling and physical patterns and how that can be done in a way that feels safe and empowering for the people involved. And then myself, Ita and the actors would talk about each sequence and design it together, always having a process of consent and a way [in which] nothing would happen if [the actors] didn’t feel comfortable. And here’s a big advantage. I think, like a lot of directors, I like to be in control. And I was worried if somebody’s going to get between me and what I need this to be and to feel like as a filmmaker. But actually, it worked in a really positive way. Because the danger for me, I think, if we’d worked the traditional way. The “old way” where you just muddled through in interaction with actors. In fact, as an established director 30-years-older than the actors, I would worry that they feel pressured to do things because they thought I wanted them to. In a way, that would stop me from asking. Because I’d hate to feel like they would feel any pressure because I’d asked. However much I said, “Listen, it’s totally up to you but here’s how I see it.” I was worried that they would not want to say, “Listen, I don’t really feel good about that.” That they wouldn’t want to disappoint me. Having Ita there just meant there’s this other layer. And it means that they have a process and a context in which they can say when they don’t feel right about something or that they would like to think about it a different way. I hope people like the series. But I think one thing you’re going to have to admit if you see it is that those scenes are very natural, feel, I think, very real.
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