The Naked Truth About Shooting Nude Scenes

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The Naked Truth About Shooting Nude Scenes

Nothing sells like sex! So if you want to boost your movie’s chances of getting picked up by a distributor or turbo-charge its sales, you’re going to want to include some sex, or at the very least some skin. What follows is our advice for casting and shooting nude and topless scenes.




Probably the biggest mistake filmmakers make when casting a nude or topless scene is that they cast an actor or actress who has never done nude or topless work.They then have to spend every waking minute prior to the scene convincing the actor that the nudity is OK – only to have the actor back out at the last minute. The result is a lot of lost time and lost money, not to mention hard feelings. Forget that approach. If a role calls for nudity, only cast an actor in the part who has previously done nude work on film.There are plenty of men and women all over the world who will not only do nude work, but who enjoy doing it – and they are easy to find! 

So where do you look? There are at least two approaches that I have used and that I know work.

The first is to use an online modeling site. My two favorites and I have been using both for seven years and have never had a problem. 

Both sites allow refined searches that allow you to search for models/actors who will do topless, implied nude, nude, or explicit work. You can then look at each model/actor’s portfolio of photos and see exactly what kind of work they have done in the past. When you find someone who looks the part you can contact them via the site or email to set up an audition.

The second approach I have used with success is to find an actor in a movie that I like for a part and locate them using IMDBPro ( In almost every case IMDBPro will have contact info for them and/or their representation. We used this approach when casting the topless scene in Killer School Girls from Outer Space (

If you are a SAG shoot and casting a SAG actor in a nude or topless scene SAG will require the producer(s) to have a Nudity Waiver with the actor. The details of the waiver are very specific such as what body parts will be shown, if there will be nipples or pubic hair shown, if there will be kissing or caressing and of what body parts, etc. If the shoot is not SAG, then such a waiver is not needed. 

Though it is still best to be up front with you actor/actress and let them know exactly what will be involved in the scene.


When it comes to the actual shoot here are a few tips that might make things run more smoothly and save you a few bucks.
When it comes to scheduling the shoot I think it is a good idea to schedule the nude and topless scenes first. Even if your actor(s) are completely comfortable with the nudity, some crew members might be a bit uncomfortable, so this just gets the scene done and out of the way. In the rare case an actor does flake, you can replace them and move on with your shoot. 

With respect to your actors, it often makes sense to schedule the scene as one of the first scenes of the day. Many actors will be conscious of making their body look as good as possible so they may not eat before hand in order to avoid any bloating. You don’t want anyone starving, so at the very least check with your actor and if they are going to skip a meal, do your best to schedule their scene at the start of the day.

If there is also going to be making out or simulated sex in your scene you will want to get the two (or more?!!) actors together as soon as possible so that they can begin to get comfortable with each other.

It is also a good idea to rehearse these scenes before hand. There will be a lot of things that people instinctively do that may have to be modified. For instance, you probably won’t want an actor’s hand blocking the other actor’s face. So you will likely have to choreograph the sex a great deal so that it still looks hot without blocking the camera. 

Another important factor to keep in mind is the actress’/actor’s comfort. Nude or Sex scenes can be stressful for some actors, even if they’ve done them numerous times. So take the time to make them feel comfortable and relaxed, it will go a long way I assure you. 

Finally, when you are shooting your nude scene make sure the set is CLOSED – this means you only have the necessary crew members on set. This is a standard rule and will make you actors feel way more comfortable while performing their scene.

One last thing – make sure you have ice available on the set. Many of the models I have shot, both still and film, like to use ice to keep their nipples perky. So make sure it is available should they want it.

As always, I don’t claim to have a monopoly on good ideas. So if you have some ideas on the subject hit us with some comments.

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