behind the scenes, book signing, Books, Events, exhibit, picture book

Charmed by Audrey: Life on the Set of Sabrina

0 Comments 29 April 2009

As you may have read, the gallery exhibit opening/book signing for the new picture book Charmed by Audrey: Life on the Set of Sabrina was last night. It was held in a pretty little Swedish furniture shop in Los Angeles near Hollywood, and there was quite a crowd packed in between the end tables and sleek armchairs! The photographer’s son, David Shaw, was onhand to sign copies of the book and he was kind enough to field my questions for a few minutes about discovering what were thought to be long-lost negatives of his dad Mark Shaw’s work with Audrey for Life Magazine.

Here’s the story: Mark Shaw was assigned to photograph a new starlet, Audrey Hepburn, on set and around the Paramount Studios lot for a spread in Life Magazine. We all know the pictures now, including the shots of Audrey wearing a large man’s dress shirt and little else, which thoroughly scandalized her mum. David said that while Life’s records showed that the original film negatives had been returned to his father Mark, Life was notoriously bad at recordkeeping and it was supposed that the negatives had just been lost forever. David had begun to scan prints of his father’s pictures when Mark’s first wife died, and as the estate were going through her things, they stumbled across a box in her basement with all these wonderful film negatives in it. They scanned the negatives for beautiful, crisp pictures for the book, and printed a select few to be available as prints to purchase at the exhibit. While it was quite crowded and there was a lot going on, I do believe I overheard quite a few orders for prints, which made me very happy. And David said that he was under the impression that Audrey was still as popular as ever and would always be that way, which made me happy. In fact, he said that after going through all these photos: “It was impossible to take a bad picture of her. Even first thing in the morning, no makeup, hair a mess, she was great!”

Here’s some pictures from around the shop:

Many, many thanks to the lovely Beth for letting me know about this fun event, for letting me show up, and for letting me take all the pictures I wanted. You’re the best! Thanks as well go to David Shaw for putting this book together and listening to me ramble; Caroline Bloxsom, the director of licensing for Audrey’s estate, for also listening to me ramble and answering my questions; and George Takei for being so lovely and talking to me. He and his husband are the sweetest people. 🙂

Okay then! If you can’t wait, you just neeeeed this book, then your local retailer should have some copies. If they don’t, then there’s always good ol’ Amazon to do the trick. Their price is really good, too! If you’re feeling a bit broke and pinched right now but really wish you could have an Audrey fix to take your mean reds away, well then… I’ll just have to give a copy or two away in a contest once I’m back from traveling, won’t I? It’s been so long since I’ve given something away, it seems only fair. In celebration of Audrey’s upcoming 80th birthday and a beautiful new book, it only seems right. Stay tuned.

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