Need to get creative with screen intimacy due to virus: Amanda Cutting

Amanda Cutting, who has worked as an intimacy coordinator on shows such as Game of Thrones, believes COVID-19 will impact the ways intimate scenes are portrayed in movies and shows

screen intimacy, Amanda Cutting, Game of Thrones, coronavirus, COVID-19, kissing scenes
YouTube screengrab of a scene from Game of Thrones

Amanda Cutting, who has worked as an intimacy coordinator on shows such as Game of Thrones and The Magicians, believes filming kissing and intimate scenes may become a concern amid coronavirus scare even after lockdown restrictions are lifted.

Cutting has been roped in by producer Prabhleen Kaur and the OTT platform MX player for their web-series Mastram. She believes COVID-19 will impact the ways intimate scenes are portrayed in movies and shows.

“I do feel that we will need to ramp up sanitation procedures and safe distancing to support filming. Potentially limit crew and persons involved in the scene to protect the community as a whole. It will also mean we will need to get creative on how we show intimacy, can it be done without kissing – it is my opinion – yes, absolutely,” Amanda, who is locked down at her home in Canada, told PTI in an email interview.

“I think the probability that this virus will be with us for a while will impact many ways of life, not just the film industry, she said.

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Mastram, produced by Sandhu under her banner Almighty Motion Pictures, is a web-series on the writer of Hindi erotica. Amanda was roped in by the producer.

“Prahbleen, due to the content of the show, wanted to take both a uniquely creative and artistically supportive style to filming this web series. The makers had contacted Intimacy Director’s International founders to contract an intimacy coordinator for the project, and that is how I was booked,” Amanda said.

Amanda said her job is to create a safe environment while filming intimate scenes and be authentic with its portrayal onscreen.

“We coordinate with production on the needs of the intimate scenes in a movement design aspect and ensure that the performers riders and personal boundaries are respected. As an IC, I can assist in storytelling from a movement perspective. I also speak with different departments, affected in the scene, to ensure we have all the resources we need for the shoot day, to create a safe workspace and efficient filming,” she said.

She said on a regular basis when she is working on a project there are always a lot of queries regarding how the intimate scenes will be filmed.

“Like how can we make it different than whats out there?, How do we help performers feel safe and confident, avoid the pressure of feeling that they have to agree to everything, or their job is at risk?, how do we tell this story more authentically or artistically?, Can choreographed movements read authentic?, Is this comedic or seductive? These are all questions I address on every show,” she explained.

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Amanda believes all markets are looking for a genuine way to tell a story, in context of intimacy.

“What I am seeing is a trend of delving deeper into the context of intimacy. How does it support the story of the moment as well as the trajectory of the character for future scenes, she added.

Mastram is an adapted biopic based on the life of erotica writer Mastram. Set in the scenic locales of Manali in Himachal Pradesh, actor Anshuman Jha plays the role of Mastram in the MX Player web series.

Amanda said she had heard of Mastram before but had no idea how much of a following and impact the writer had. For the series, she said she did a lot of research.

Mastram, which is out on April 30, also stars Tara Alisha Berry.

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