An aspiring litterateur, intending to carve a niche for himself in the world of Hindi novels. Ventured into the world of popular pulp fiction and sex stories. The books with sleazy cover designs sell like hotcakes at railway stations and small roadside bookstalls were authored by the anonymous author… Mastram. Web series aptly titled Mastram is a biopic of sorts of the writer who is considered the doyen of erotica in Hindi.The mood at the office was euphoric when Prabhleen Kaur Sandhu, the debutante producer announced to the team about bagging the contract to produce Mastram for MX Player. “I wanted to produce a visually appealing show that was miles away from vulgarity. The language used by Mastram was not cheap and sleazy yet it hit the bullseye with the masses” chirps Prabhleen Kaur when quizzed about the vision statement as far as the show is concerned.
There were too many shows doing rounds that were hinged on dollops of sex. What would set Mastram apart from them? The aesthetics of the erotic segments was the answer. It is for this reason that Almighty Motion Picture zeroed in on an Intimacy Co-Ordinator for the job. Intimacy Co-ordinators have been in theatre for long but are relatively new in films and television space even in the west. For sure first time ever in India and Indian erotica an Intimacy Coordinator had been hired by Almighty Motion Picture.In the good old days when it was an intimate sequence, the actors were pretty much left on their own to map how the scene would flow with the director and the cinematographer chipping in few instructions here and there. But now there is a new breed of professionals who choreograph the entire scene and enhance its overall impacts they are Intimacy Co-Ordinator or IC as they are called. Almighty Motion Picture hired one of the best Intimacy Co-ordinators in business… Amanda Cutting.
Game of Thrones (Prequel), The Magicians, The Good Doctor are few projects that Amanda has worked for. “When there is a Child onset, we have a chaperone, animal on the set requires handler, stunt needs action director similarly intimacy co-ordinators are also the need of the hour” quips Canadian Intimacy Coordinator Amanda Cutting.The language was the biggest barrier, word by word translation of the script was provided to Amanda. Numerous discussions were held with the writers with regards to text and subtext of the scene. Director and Cinematographer chipped in with their inputs in the pre-prod meetings. Since this was the first time an intimacy co-ordinator was working in India the biggest aspect was preparing the actors for the sequence. It is a daunting task to separate the sexuality between the characters and what the actors are actually doing for the camera.
“They make passionate love by the beach reads the script, but what does that mean and entail” questions Amanda. It is a huge task to sort what are the limits of the word passionate. How far the artistes are ready to go? Are they ready to push personal boundaries? Amanda conducted a workshop with the actors to mentally prepare them for it. It helped to have a woman producer, Prabhleen Kaur ensured that all-female actors and male actors were made to feel happy and comfortable. Proper oral and body hygiene was stressed upon. Prabhleen Kaur and Amanda broke the ice with the actors and soon they were good to go. Amanda relied heavily on her kit that had knee/elbow pads and modesty garments. Patches of varied skin tones to cover genitalia to give the psychological edge to the actors in making them feel that they are covered and not in their birthday suits. All efforts were made by Almighty Motion Picture to make the actors very very comfortable before principal photography. All eyes down policy were strictly implemented before and after the intimate scenes were photographed.