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Mentorship vs Guidance


A mentor provides recommendations, reflection and education to a mentee. They may give feedback based on a mentee’s work. This is often a part of an IC's training journey. 

  • There will be an arranged structure of what this looks like, agreed timeframe, and pre-determined boundaries of this support. 

  • A mentor/mentee does not necessarily include bespoke training sessions, shadowing, or sharing documentation: mentors and mentees should agree on expectations of the relationship ahead of its beginning. 

  • A mentee is not a mentor's assistant.

  • Mentorship should be remunerated. 

    • Our advice is that there is an agreed fee for a certain level of engagement over a certain period, with regular check-ins.

    • Alternatively, an hourly fee could be decided, but then the mentor and mentee must be very clear on what does and doesn't fall within paid mentorship. For example, what do both parties agree about: proofreading an email, answering a question on WhatsApp, a 15-minute call debriefing after a rehearsal, an impromptu Zoom sharing ideas about closure practices.

    • Mentors cannot retroactively claim something was mentorship that needs payment if a mentee hadn't been informed beforehand. 

  • A mentor may offer cover work to the mentee. However, the mentee performing the role of a Cover IC is working as the IC on the day and so should be paid properly for their time on the job. Please see the section on Cover ICs [“above” or link if a different page] for further information. 


Guidance is support given between ICs, which does not include training. Within a thriving IC community, there should be a free-flowing sharing of ideas and advice, where ICs can lean on each other.
This can happen between ICs at any level of experience.

  • Guidance does not need to be paid. 

  • Structure and timeframe:

  • Guidance often does not have a structured relationship or timeline, for example: having a WhatsApp group with fellow trainees and asking advice on how to deal with a difficult 2nd AD, or using the Bectu IC branch Discord server to reflect on a surprising reaction from an actor and field fellow ICs’ thoughts. 

  • The exception is Bectu’s Professional Intimacy Guidance Scheme (PIGS), where mid-career ICs have a process with more experienced ICs to level up their practice, which occurs over a series of months and then ends. Here, Guides steer a course of self-development for Participant ICs.

  • Reflect on the amount of guidance you are asking from other ICs, and what you are asking. Some ICs may be reluctant to provide guidance that veers into a mentorship relationship or that is filling in gaps of knowledge that should have been covered in training. If in doubt, communicate openly before requesting support.  


An Intimacy Coordinator currently in a training programme, or an IC who has finished one stage of training but is yet to complete their training journey.
* This is not an aspiring IC who is yet to enrol in any training programme.


Trainee Intimacy Coordinators may shadow established Intimacy Coordinators to enhance their knowledge of the role and acquire in-person insights. A shadowing relationship will be different for every IC and shadowing IC. Below are some elements to bear in mind: 

  • A shadowing IC should not do any work for the production or IC, even if they are happy to do so. 

  • A shadowing IC is not paid, but should also not pay to be present.

  • However, shadowing may be one part of wider mentoring or learning that may include the trainee paying a fee.

  • ICs should do all the relevant checks with Production and artists before involving a shadowing IC. 

  • A shadowing IC may need to sign appropriate paperwork (e.g. NDAs) before being privy to documentation or arriving on set. 

  • Shadowing may include the following.. All parties involved should be made aware that there will be a shadowing IC present beforehand:

  • Being cc'd on relevant correspondence before shooting day. 

  • Sitting in on Zooms or calls with directors, actors, costume or other departments. 

  • Observing actor check-ins in trailers before shooting. 

  • Observing the IC on set. 

  • Closed Sets will likely not include a shadowing IC, but they may be allowed access to a monitor (again, with relevant permission and transparency), and given updates from the IC between takes. 

  • Shadowing ICs should be fully debriefed about the content and given space to step out where needed. Early experiences of being on set for intimate content may be overwhelming. Keep this in mind when choosing scenes that are appropriate to shadow. 

  • Have open discussions prior to shadowing taking place, about what is expected from the IC and the shadowing IC, to avoid miscommunication or difficulties arising on the day. 

    For more information please read Bectu’s Guidance for Shooting Intimacy

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