Help! I Want to Become an IC
Rebecca gets frequent requests from aspiring ICs wanting to know more about the process. Below are answers to FAQs about the process of getting trained, what most training programs look for in future ICs, and best practices for moving forward with your goals.
Do I need to be certified to become an ic?
SAG-AFTRA has accredited several training programs that certify ICs and it is highly recommended by the Union that people interested in becoming an IC certify with one of those programs, or fulfill the foundational training areas listed here. While this is an ongoing conversation in the IC community, because training programs are currently out of financial reach for many, it is essential that those wishing to work as ICs have a solid understanding of the training areas identified by SAG-AFTRA in order to prevent harm to both performers and to the position.
what makes a great ic?
Because of the wide-spread media attention on Intimacy Coordination, there is an exponential interest in training for the position that far outweighs the need at the moment. When interviewing candidates for training, I first try to identify why the candidate wants to do the work and if they have a clear understanding of what the job means. The most important skill an IC brings to set is Emotional Intelligence and excellent communication skills. Candidates with a strong background in mental health and/or communication skills are often the best prepared for the types of interactions ICs have on a regular basis. ICs are also department heads who have to regularly work along side (and often push back against) incredibly powerful people in the film industry. Experience in leadership positions is essential. Top ICs also come from backgrounds in movement/dance, stunts, directing, casting, costumes, and hair & make-up departments. Many have several years of experience in the film industry.
how do i reach out to an IC to be my mentor
Established ICs get constant emails asking for meetings and advice on how to get into the industry. We often do not mind answering questions and people earlier in their career do sometimes make time for calls/coffee. If you do reach out to get advice here's some best practices for how to do that:
Do research into the field first and make your questions specific.
Be aware that most ICs get these requests constantly, so make your ask an easy one to accommodate.
Have an understanding of the IC's work and training so you know a bit about them.
When reaching out to an IC you have not met, do not ask them if you can shadow (see below).
Is it possible to shadow an ic?
For a variety of reasons, shadowing is nearly impossible on set. We have closed set protocols to uphold and in order to have an additional person on set we need to get permission from all relevant departments (including performers and producers) and the shadow would legally have to be hired by production in order to be covered under the production's insurance. Because these opportunities are so rare, established ICs only allow people to shadow that they are actively mentoring and have a working relationship with (i.e. newly certified or ICs in training under their wing). Do not ask an IC if you can shadow them if you do not have a working relationship with them. Rebecca is a trainer affiliated with IPA's certification program and can only have IPA trained ICs shadow her on set.
can i train if i just graduated?
Because ICs are department heads on film sets, it is incredibly rare for recent college graduates who do not have significant on set and life experience to transition directly to train to be an IC. Most ICs have trained in the filed after previous careers as therapists, directors, casting directors, stunt coordinators, key costumers, hair & make-up department heads, and other similar positions in the industry. Rebecca highly recommends getting a few years of experience working on film sets or in the industry in general before applying to an IC training program.