In conjunction with its exhibition ÒFelliniÕs Book of Dreams,Ó the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will present a special screening of Federico FelliniÕs Ò8?,Ó on Friday, April 17, at 7:30 p.m. at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. Robert Rosen, dean of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, will host the evening. Pictured here: Barbara Steele in a scene from FEDERICO FELLINI’S 8 1/2, 1963.

Paying the Price for Experience: A Rollercoaster Shoot Tale What appeared to be a straightforward process turned out to be a rollercoaster of unexpected challenges. The plan was simple: secure a colleague’s lighting setup, collaborate with a stylist for a top-tier wardrobe, pick up the celebrity from the hotel, conduct the shoot, and then wrap up at a rented studio. Little did I know, this seemingly uncomplicated journey was far from smooth – a stark contrast to the cliché of “paying your dues.”

Scheduled for 7:00 pm, the shoot day took an abrupt twist when I received a call from the stylist at 3:00 pm, confessing that the wardrobe he promised just days ago was nowhere in sight. His last-minute scramble to gather outfits raised suspicions, and despite financial hints that all was not well, he clung to the hope of finding attire. Hindsight showed me his efforts were in vain, but then, I believed a stylist was essential. To ensure his transportation was no issue, I even arranged for his pickup. My instincts buzzed with uncertainty. Sensing potential trouble, I decided to hedge my bets and swung by Nordstrom to procure a couple of high-fashion ensembles as a backup plan. The credit card swiped, I prepared for whatever lay ahead. Quality threads come at a price.

Upon arriving at the location with my guest, an eerie emptiness greeted us. Doubtless, my associate hadn’t overlooked our appointment. We bided our time until my associate’s eventual arrival, post-dinner. Oddly off-kilter, his attempts at lighting were mismatched with my camera’s pace or directed askew. Nevertheless, I persisted. The clock ticked away, and with the studio location far off, I chose to utilize my associate’s studio nearby. In retrospect, this was a misstep. Tight quarters housed too many people. The so-called “stylist” dampened my client’s hair, combing and spraying it – tasks I could’ve managed. From a shabby travel case, he produced lackluster accessories, all of which I declined. Lighting faltered, umbrellas acted out of sync, and I found myself in the center of this chaos. It was then that I decided to claim the space exclusively for my client and me.

Why didn’t I relocate to the rented studio then? Facing a similar situation in the future, I would undoubtedly make that choice. Back then, a sense of dues loomed, compelling me to endure this debacle to its conclusion. Alone with my client, I regained my poise and artistic vision. The remainder of the session was a genuine delight, and, armed with Photoshop’s magic, I managed to salvage some remarkable shots.

To my dear readers, let my experience be a cautionary tale. Do not place blind trust in others’ recommendations. Scrutinize a stylist’s portfolio – ensure its authenticity, not just online images cribbed from the internet. Borrowing equipment from others comes with the risk of unforeseen glitches – be prepared for potential disappointments. And most importantly, when your gut urges you to flee a situation, heed its counsel.

May this account serve as your guide.