How will celebrity sex scenes look on TV after COVID-19?
Intimate scenes in Hollywood are at risk due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Sex scenes require plenty of close contact and kissing, which many are uncomfortable with at the moment. With masks & social-distancing procedures, it’s going to be difficult to portray romantic scenes with performers who can’t get near each other.
Of course, modern problems require modern solutions. Hollywood is trying to figure out possible ways to portray sex scenes without risking the safety of their crew and providing a good portrayal for viewers. Even after society returns to some sense of normalcy, actors may still feel uncomfortable with intimacy on set.
Here are some examples of what sex scenes could look like after a viral pandemic.
The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers submitted a twenty-two-page document to California Gov. Gavin Newsom proposing safety procedures for production once it resumes. The proposal stated that intimate scenes would be “either rewritten, abandoned or CGI fixes them.”
CGI has become popular in Hollywood’s output, and has become much more realistic over the years. However, portraying human beings is the most difficult task and has certainly not yet been perfected, leading to some rather hilarious & awkward scenes containing terrible CGI. A sex scene that looks more like a PS4 cutscene would kill any sense of intimacy.
Leaving it up to the imagination
Sex scenes in film & TV were once a very controversial topic; filmmakers were not allowed to show too much steamy action. This situation left it up to audiences to fill in the blanks about what they think happened.
With COVID-19, entertainment production may just have to go back to this old-school method in an abundance of health precaution. On the bright side, a return to earlier prudeness would make watching sex scenes on the sofa next to your parents less awkward.
Directors & cinematographers are artists who can create the impression of action by manipulating how cameras are arranged. There are ways to show characters close to one another – while still keeping them six feet apart. Films & TV already do so with fight scenes, by making it seem like actors are hitting one another, when they’re actually intentionally missing.
Executive producer for The Bold and the Beautiful Bradley Bell revealed his show is planning on shooting intimate scenes with actors “eight feet apart” – or maybe not even in the same room at all. Utilizing camera angles creatively, filmmakers can make characters appear to be “nose to nose”.
Disease testing will be crucial for any production, since anyone who tests positive could spread it on set. The safety of the cast & crew is most important, which means a positive test could pause a production, or even cancel out some shoots entirely.
Recently, Robert Pattinson tested positive for coronavirus and production on The Batman had to pause. Intimate scenes especially require all actors involved to have received negative test results, for both legal and practical reasons.
Hollywood is still trying to figure out the best way to carry on with film & television productions while adhering to coronavirus safety protocols. Sex scenes are especially tricky, but maybe Hollywood can use some movie magic to make them work.