Handwritten shot list for The Beautiful Experience by Prince, unsigned, three notebook pages, 8 x 10.5, no date but circa 1994. Headed "Shot List—(as compiled by the editors)," Prince describes 17 different shots from the film. The list reads, in part: "1. The room—various pieces in and about the room 2 establish Nona's character. 2. Insert of main ad—could u be the most beautiful girl (shoot various sizes and also show page just flipping 2 the ad). 3. The telephone (all the different angles & sizes). Vanessa should have a phone number that Nona keeps calling thruout the night. Shoot some starting on phone then panning up 2 Nona's face 4 various reactions…4. Nona dancing or reacting 2 every song. (We can never have enough footage. Please shoot different size shots and body parts etc.) Also shoot some more interesting angles—(on the floor looking up, hand-held stuff spinning around her head). 5. Nona (close-up sitting down on the couch nervously watching the television whilst Days of Wild is rolling. She feels her neck and wrist 4 her own pulse 2 make sure she hasn't died and gone 2 computer heaven, she grabs a pad 2 write a note in case someone comes and finds her body…6. the note over Nona's shoulder—'Why am I here why did I die? With no one 2 comfort me in this hour of need…7. Close-up Nona's lips reading the note she's written…8. Nona building up 2 tears in the poetry scene…9. When she runs from the chair with tears in eyes, 'Come' starts 2 hypnotize her. She tries not 2 listen. She tries 2 escape the sound she hears by going under a table and covering her head…11. Nona answering the door—the delivery boy asks 'hey, what tape is that playing' (he can see the monitor over her shoulder) She pays him and rushes him out the door…12. The computer screen—(various angles, all with keyable blue playing on screen)…13. Nona partying with 'The Jam' and drinking lots of soda (non-descript can—no endorsements). 14. 'Shhh' starts…she puts her food down and gets into the song…15. The 'letting go' scene happens in the chair, while watching the segue after 'Shhh.' Shoot much coverage. This is the centerpiece scene. 16. Nona changing clothes staring into the mirror—(the transformation scene)…17. Nona leaving the room. Shoot different ways…Pan off door as it closes and end on the blue screen. (Then we can segue this scene anywhere). Also try one where we end on the most beautiful girl ad scene this is what got this whole thing started in the first place." Also includes Prince's personal VHS copy of The Beautiful Experience, labeled "8/4/94, Paisley Park, 'The Beautiful Experience' 69:31, W/ 'Property Of' Burn In." In fine condition, with light stains to the first page. From the collection of Prince's assistant Therese Stoulil and accompanied by a letter of provenance.
The Beautiful Experience is a 70-minute film that premiered on the British Sky One television channel in April 1994. The film mixes live footage from a Paisley Park concert on February 13, 1994, with video clips of several new songs including 'Papa,' 'Come,' 'Race,' 'Pheromone,' 'Loose!,' and a ten-minute version of 'The Most Beautiful Girl In The World'—some of these tracks are referenced in Prince's handwritten list. The movie also includes a number of conceptual vignettes starring Nona Gaye in a story arc that follows her transformation from an alienated woman with a negative self-image into a fully realized human being who is aware of her self-worth and beauty. In addition to the fantastic handwritten list that showcases Prince's abilities as a visual creator, the videotape is desirable in itself—The Beautiful Experience was never broadcast in the United States, and it is therefore extremely difficult to find. This VHS tape—Prince's own copy—presents an ideal opportunity for an American viewer.
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