Press Release

DIRECTORS UK LAUNCHES DIRECTING NUDITY & SIMULATED SEX GUIDELINES

21 November 2019

·         The guidelines offer best practice for creating a safe environment when filming scenes with nudity or simulated sex

·         Supported by leading industry groups
 
Directors UK, the professional association for screen directors, has today launched its Directing Nudity & Simulated Sexguidelines, the first of their kind in the UK.
 
Everyone deserves the right to feel safe at work – this is just as true when working on a Hollywood blockbuster as it is on a prime-time drama or a debut short film. When stories of unprofessional conduct in film and TV are brought to light, it is always a concern for the industry at large. The new Directors UK guidelines are born of the need to set clear and shared professional expectations that apply to everyone involved in making sensitive content, with the aim that they will become standard working practice within the industry.
 
The Directing Nudity & Simulated Sex guidance provides best practice for directors working with producers, writers, performers, casting directors, wardrobe and makeup, agents and intimacy coordinators. It covers rehearsal techniques, directing scenes of sexual violence, planning shots so they adhere to individual contract clauses, and finding creative solutions to challenges that occur on set.
 
Susanna White, Directors UK Film Committee Chair and a BAFTA-winning director whose work includes Generation Kill, Parade’s End and Bleak House, said: “The director, as the creative lead on a production, should set the tone for a professional and respectful on-set environment. We are all here because we want to tell compelling and impactful stories, and no member of a cast or crew should ever be put in a position where they feel unsafe, exploited or mismanaged — especially when making sensitive material. Throughout my career, I have seen how vitally important it is to know how to approach sensitive content with professionalism. The guidelines created by Directors UK set the standard for directing intimate scenes, and will help to foster a safe working environment for everyone on a film or television set.
 
The guidelines were produced in consultation with Directors UK member directors, industry bodies and with professionals from across the disciplines to ensure standardised best practice throughout the industry. The guidance is supported by BAFTA, BFI, the Casting Directors' Guild, Equity and the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain as well as industry advocacy groups ERA 5050 and TIME’S UP UK.
 
Directors UK Campaigns and Engagement Manager Natasha Moore added: “We created these guidelines to encourage directors to think twice about the environment they create in auditions and on set. Directors can use their influence to nurture a safe working environment for all, and this is keenly felt when rehearsing and filming vulnerable and sensitive scenes. The guidelines equip everyone with everything they need to do their job without concern, and it is in this spirit of collaboration that we can all make our best work.
 
The Directing Nudity & Simulated Sex guidelinesare available for download on the Directors UK website. 
 
More information can be found at directors.uk.com/campaigns/directing-nudity-and-simulated-sex

    Industry support for Directors UK Directing Nudity and Simulated Sex guidelines
     
    BAFTA
    “Directors UK were hugely instrumental in shaping the cross-industry bullying and harassment guidance which we published in 2018. They've really embraced the agenda and have created a suite of additional resources which build on the guidance and help their members not only to tackle poor behaviour when they witness it, but also to recognise their role in creating an environment where bullying, harassment and all kinds of coercive behaviour are not tolerated.”
     
    BFI 
    “The BFI work closely together with Directors UK in promoting the industry-wide work led by the BFI and BAFTA to prevent Bullying and Harassment and improve workplace culture for people in the screen industries. This really practical guide, put together with wide ranging input, is another useful tool to support and give practical guidance to ensure that the industry continually improves our working practices, particularly in respect of such important issues, such as intimacy on set.”
     
    The Casting Directors’ Guild
    “The safety and well-being of actors is paramount in our work. We are constantly striving for best practice and were pleased to be consulted in the creation of these new guidelines.”

    ERA 5050
    “ERA 5050 exists to campaign for great equality for women in TV, film and theatre. One of the biggest barriers to equality is the lack of guidance, consider and agency for all performers in sexually intimate and explicit scenes. These guidelines are brilliant.”

    Equity
    Equity’s Equality and Diversity Organiser Ian Manborde said: “The new guidelines are a model of best practice and reflect Equity's priorities in safeguarding the interests of those in front of, and behind the camera. As well as being a great tool for directors to plan for success they help foster an environment where performers and directors can work collaboratively and creatively to create safer sets.”
     
    TIME’S UP UK
    Dame Heather Rabbatts, TIME’S UP UK Chair said: “TIME’S UP UK works to secure fundamental change in ensuring safer workplaces for those in the creative industries and beyond. The Directors UK Directing Nudity and Simulated Sex Guidelines launched today are an important and essential response to the challenge to create a safe and respectful environment on set, and build on the pioneering BFI and BAFTA bullying and harassment guidelines launched at the beginning of last year. We urge all production companies to adopt these new guidelines.”
     
    Writers’ Guild of Great Britain
    WGGB General Secretary Ellie Peers said: “We applaud this new guidance from Directors UK and welcome their important work in this area. It recognises the central role of the storyteller in navigating nudity and simulated sex, and we hope that our input will prove valuable for all those in the creative team who work with writers.”
     
    About Directors UK
    Directors UK is the professional association of UK screen directors. It is a membership organisation representing the creative, economic and contractual interests of over 7,000 members – the majority of working TV and film directors in the UK. Directors UK collects and distributes royalty payments and provides a range of services to members including campaigning, commercial negotiations, legal advice, events, training and career development. Directors UK works closely with fellow organisations around the world to represent directors’ rights and concerns, promotes excellence in the craft of direction and champions change to the current landscape to create an equal opportunity industry for all.
     
    About Directors UK Campaigns
    The Directors UK campaigns team harnesses the issues facing working directors and strives to create a fairer industry for all. Directors UK campaigns are recognised across the industry as field-leading, and our recommendations are considered to be best practice across the industry.
     
    The Directing Nudity & Simulated Sex guidelines were published in November 2019. More information on the guidelines can be found at: directors.uk.com/campaigns/directing-nudity-and-simulated-sex. The guidelines are available for reproduction.
     
    The new guidance follows Directors UK’s Bullying & Harassment Handbook, published in August 2018. More information on the handbook can be found at: directors.uk.com/campaigns/bullying-and-harassment
     
    Directors UK have recently published updates to reports exploring the diversity of the directing workforce:
     
    Who's Calling the Shots? (August 2018) reports on gender inequality among screen directors working in UK television. More information on the campaign can be found at: directors.uk.com/campaigns/gender-equality-in-uk-tv

    Adjusting the Colour Balance(September 2018) reports on Black, Asian and minority ethnic representation among screen directors working in UK television. More information on the campaign can be found at: directors.uk.com/campaigns/bame-directors
Author

Charlie Coombes

Public Relations Manager

ccoombes@directors.uk.com

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