And that's just the beginning of the great heap of trouble that is depicting marital arts in movies. As anyone who has ever made the mistake of looking in the mirror during boning can attest, it's damn difficult to make sex look appealing, and whenever movies try to break the mold and create something more ... novel, it's all too easy to stray into ludicrous horror territory.
Now, imagine a scene where there are more than two participants, and listen carefully as the world's cinematographers burst into tears of impotent fury.
"Hey, hold on," I hear you protest. "That's not fair: some movies get the whole boning thing right. Take The Wolf of Wall Street, for instance. There were scenes in that movie where pretty much everyone was fuckin', and it looked awesome." Yes, this is correct. That's because they employed a sex choreographer.
Zena Holloway/Stone/Getty Images
The first guy to hold the job was the production's animal wrangler,
but he kept getting confused by scenes that involve hooters.
The man with this enviable title is Michael Arnold, a Broadway veteran and dance choreographer. One day, a producer offered him an interview for a gig choreographing an orgy scene. Instead of calling the cops and/or running the hell away, Arnold shrugged and went for it. This turned out to be a good move, because the movie was, yes, The Wolf of Wall Street. Not many people can claim their first major movie credit was helping Martin Scorsese sort out a carnival of flesh so that nobody pokes anyone's eye out with an errant boner, but that's what Arnold did (with three separate scenes, no less; the antics at the yacht, the office with the baton twirlers, and the flight to Vegas were all his handiwork). The word spread, and the next thing you know, Arnold had carved himself a name as a bona fide bonin' choreographer.
jojo pensica/Moment/Getty Images
Following strange people who ask you to come check out their orgy: a surprisingly viable career path.
Apparently a specialist when it comes to depicting complex, multi-person shenanigans, Arnold is described as Hollywood's go-to guy in these matters. But it's not like he can handle all of that ass-placement traffic alone. Perhaps we're witnessing the birth of a brand-new professional class on par with cameramen, special effects people, and gaffers, whatever the hell it is that they do. Who knows, all those hours you spent arranging Barbies and action figures in compromising poses as a kid might finally come in handy one of these days.