U.K. Gets First Nudity and Simulated-Sex Guidelines for Directors

Helen Sloan/HBO
Emila Clarke has admitted to finding her early nude scenes in 'Game of Thrones' uncomfortable to shoot.

The launch of the "Directing Nudity & Simulated Sex" guidelines comes just a day after Emilia Clarke admitted she felt uncomfortable shooting nude scenes in early seasons of 'Game of Thrones.'

The U.K. has got its first set of guidelines for directing nudity and simulated sex.

Launched by Directors U.K., the professional association for screen directors, the guidelines were, according to the organization, "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 news comes just a day after Emilia Clarke admitted that she found her frequent nude scenes in the early seasons of Game of Thrones (which filmed heavily in Northern Ireland) very "hard," telling a podcast that she would often "cry in the bathroom" before shooting (although she added this would probably have happened whether there was nudity or not).

The "Directing Nudity & Simulated Sex" guidelines aim to provide best practices for directors working with producers, writers, performers, casting directors, wardrobe and makeup, agents and intimacy coordinators. They cover 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.

"The director, as the creative lead on a production, should set the tone for a professional and respectful on-set environment," said Susanna White, Directors U.K. film committee chair and a BAFTA-winning director whose work includes Generation Kill, Parade's End and Bleak House. "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."

Added White: "The guidelines created by Directors U.K. 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 U.K. member directors, industry bodies and with professionals from across the disciplines to ensure standardized best practices throughout the industry. It 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 U.K.

"Directors U.K. were hugely instrumental in shaping the cross-industry bullying and harassment guidance which we published in 2018," said BAFTA in a statement. "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 tackle poor behavior when they witness it, but also recognize their role in creating an environment where bullying, harassment and all kinds of coercive behavior are not tolerated."

"We created these guidelines to encourage directors to think twice about the environment they create in auditions and on set," said Directors U.K. campaigns and engagement manager Natasha Moore. "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 jobs without concern, and it is in this spirit of collaboration that we can all make our best work."