Guidelines to performing nudity and simulated sex on stage and screen
- No simulated sex scene in any audition or screen test.
- No nudity or semi-nudity in the first audition or screen test. (You may be asked to audition in swimwear if the audition is for a swimwear commercial but you will be informed in advance).
- Nudity and semi-nudity is allowed in recalls but the producer must provide you with the script 72 hours in advance so that you can consult Equity. Equity must also be advised at the time of the booking.
- If you are nude or semi-nude in a recall, you may bring a support person to be with you throughout the shoot.
- The only other people allowed to be present in the audition room will be the Casting Director and/or Director/Producer, and the Reader.
- You will sign a written agreement with the Casting Director that any recording of a nude or semi-nude audition will be confidential. All material recorded must be protected, non-downloadable, only for the purpose of showing decision makers and should be destroyed once the role has been cast.
- The standard Equity contract for screen productions allows you to agree, or disagree, to performing nude and to performing simulated sex and choose the type of nudity you are willing to do (e.g. buttocks only, or full frontal).
- Actors sometimes accept a role in which their character will be semi-nude, only to find later that additional scenes have been written into the script which include sim full frontal nudity and simulated sex. Therefore, do not sign up a contract for full frontal nudity and simulated sex if you are only prepared to go semi-nude.
- After agreeing to nudity and/or simulated sex, please inform your agent that once on stage or set, you want a discussion with the director about every nude scene and a summary of agreed scenes in writing.
- Don’t do low budget, no budget or independent films without a contract – especially if they have nude or simulated sex scenes. If the production is not professional enough to give performers a contract, it won’t be professional enough to allow you to control how much nudity and simulated sex scenes you do.
- If you agree in a contract to do full frontal nudity and simulated sex some directors may ask for nude scenes that you were not expecting. Even if you have signed an agreement to do a nude scene, a good director will never force you to do it.
- Set up a practice where you discuss every nude scene with the director before you perform it.
- Ideally, directors should describe the detail of every nude shot to the performer before getting the performer’s written consent.
- You should be covered up in robes until the moment the shoot starts and then again once the camera stops rolling. There is no standing around naked. Non-actors need to stay out of the way of the actors in nude scenes. They should not position themselves so that nude actors have to brush past them. Crew may not enter the room during a nude shoot.
- No nudity under pressure – for example, if you are asked to do nude scenes that you are uncomfortable just before you need to complete your film, just say no.
- Don’t give blanket consent to a body double to perform whatever nudity and simulated sex the producers want. Everyone will think the body double is you, so you must approve each and every doubles scene in writing.
MODESTY CLOTHING OR PATCHES
- Never do a nude or simulated sex scene without modesty clothing or patches: strapless skin-coloured bras and underpants or a modesty patch to cover both male and female genitalia.
- Before doing a nude scene, get the wardrobe department to show you how modesty clothing works and try it on. Don’t wait till the day of the shoot.
- Actresses can place band aids in an X across their nipples so that if the strapless bra slips, the footage of your nipples is not useable.
GENITALIA and KISSING
- No nudity with genitals touching. There must always be a barrier such as a nudity patch or a g-string. Extra underwear can be digitally removed during editing (if you agree). So there is no reason for two performers to shoot simulated sex completely nude with your genitals touching.
- Never use your tongue in kissing scenes on stage. When rehearsing a steamy stage kiss, start off by giving each other a peck. There is no need to do the whole kiss on the first rehearsal.
- On screen, you don’t need to use tongue in a kiss unless both actors and the director want it. If only the director wants it, but not the performers, say no.
Issued by Equity New Zealand, October 2015