Film Sets Are Getting New Safety Guidelines For Sex Scenes, And They Include CGI

Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan in Fifty Shades of Grey
(Image credit: (Universal))

Hollywood is in for a major dry spell. Following close to three months of production shutdowns in response to the global spread of COVID-19 California is finally gearing up to open sets again to filmmakers, but it won’t be without some necessary adjustments to material. Sex scenes are of particular concern with new guidelines in affect as Hollywood has been given the go-ahead to get back to work later this week.

The guidelines for productions to resume is a 22-page file from the film editors’ trade association that includes a clause on "close contact moments." The document asks sets filming under these circumstances should be "rewritten, abandoned or CGI fixes them," per The Sun. Welp. That sounds like that could get awkward.

California’s Governor Gavin Newsom just announced last week that Hollywood can start up again, as the state also plans to soon reopen gyms and movie theaters. However, filmmakers may not be able to resume their work as planned and sex scenes pose the most glaring problem. Which filmmaker will be the first to attempt a hot-and-heavy CGI moment?

Hollywood has taken to CGI before for nude scenes including for Lena Headey in Game of Thrones (with the help of a body double) and for Jessica Alba in Machete. But, an actual simulated sex scene through CGI? Now that would take from ingenuity – especially for it to fool audiences the way movie magic so famously does.

These are guidelines that have been outlined for safety – it doesn’t explicitly mean there are going to be CGI sex scenes. For now, that’s the only way Hollywood can film an intimate scene. Some filmmakers may opt to wait a bit longer before going back to work, depending on the needs of a production.

In addition to details about sex scenes, backstage crews will be required to wear masks on set and actors will be given formal lessons on hand-washing. The document also details that auditions may take place behind plexiglass and “coronavirus compliance officers” may be asked to attend Hollywood business.

As these guidelines go into effect, it will be interesting to see how material is shifted around to adhere to them. Will we see more desolate, lonely films with smaller productions? Less rom-coms? Many of us already find ourselves alienated by handshakes and hugs on movies and television and film – upcoming releases may reflect this attention to human interaction.

Another Fifty Shades-esque film isn’t entering production anytime soon, that’s for sure. Big-budget productions such as The Batman, Fantastic Beasts 3, Avatar 2 and Mission: Impossible 7 are already eyeing filming dates in the near future. Stick with us here on CinemaBlend for more updates on movie productions and check out our 2020 release calendar.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.