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The pandemic is changing the way we do things, and this includes how we shoot celebrity sex scenes. Here's how.

Dolls in your new favorite hot scene: Celebrity sex scenes and COVID-19

The pandemic is changing the way we do things, and this includes how we shoot intimate scenes in movies. Let the truth be told: shooting emotionally-charged sex scenes as a job is a rather awkward & unemotional activity. The passionate intimacy we see on-screen is often not as effortless with a huge crew around. 

If you see a sex scene in a movie or a television series, chances are that the passion between the actors & the erotic environment took a lot of preparation & choreography to create. Now that COVID-19 has changed the expression of physical intimacy in a very irreversible way, it’s time for the directors & showrunners to pull newer trickers & hacks to recreate that passion for the scene. 

Tricks & tones may break the bones, figuratively

Even before the pandemic & social distancing became regular words in our vocabulary, the stories were being told in innovative ways. Some directors give a moment-by-moment instruction about what the sex scene should look like, as was the case with the scenes in Fight Club, Gone Girl, among others. 

In fact, Neil Patrick Harris shared how clinical & robotic it becomes when you look at these scenes from the camera’s perspective, “We had to rehearse the sex scene with David, like every inch of it — ‘Then you put your mouth on his d— here, and then this number of thrusts, and then you ejaculate.”

He added, “It was weird because we’re technically breaking down the sex scene. He wanted it to be almost robotic, that we know exactly where we are, position-wise, where everything goes,” indicating how there’s nothing sexy about work, even it involves a sex scene.

How does the pandemic change this?

The pandemic has changed how the cast & crew report to work in entirety. Film editors trade association stated that “daily COVID tests and medical coronavirus compliance officers should be present, while all staff will be required to wear protective masks and visors and live audiences will still not be allowed.”

The Bold and The Beautiful producer Bradley Bell shared that they’re testing the actors & the production team at least once a week. Physical distancing is being followed on the set, which means that the production team is always six feet apart while filming. 

Mobility is restricted too; there are limits on the maximum number of people allowed on a set at a time. At the same time, intimate scenes can become dangerous territory with the virus around. It has been proposed that the sex scenes can include the actor’s real-life partner instead of body doubles. 

“So if you see hands touching faces in close proximity from a wide shot, instead of a stunt double we’ll have a love-scene double, where it will be the husband or the wife doing the actual touching,” he shared.

Sex dolls as substitutes for scene partners

Another creative alternative for a sex scene partner is presented in the form of blow-up dolls in wigs & makeup. Bell is using “one sex doll with interchangeable hair and makeup looks” for his show. He further states that since the idea seems to be working out, they “may be investing in more dolls and male dolls.”

He added, “We’re searching websites and combing Hollywood to see what’s available – so we may be employing a lot of dolls in future love scenes.” Apart from this, a lot of CGI is also being used. The BBC is reportedly using Perspex, a thin plastic sheet that can be later removed from the scenes in post-production. 

The last few months have seen quite a few shooting schedules come to a halt due to one of the cast or crew members catching the virus. Tom Cruise, on the other hand, is taking no risks: he’s allegedly bought yachts for quarantining in order to film the seventh movie in the Mission: Impossible franchise.

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