Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Who I Met, Who I Saw and My Thoughts on the 2015 TCM Classic Film Festival

This year's festival theme was History According to Hollywood but it might as well been something else. My nomination? Stars on the Red Carpet. TCM pulled out the big guns with their line-up of special guests this year. Not only that I got to see even more of my online friends at the festival than the past two years. And to me those friends are stars themselves. 

Here's who I saw at TCMFF 2015.

Friends, bloggers and social media gurus:

Alan of TCM Party
Angela of Hollywood Revue
Ariel of Sinamatic Salve-ation
Aurora of Once Upon a Screen...
Carley of 
The Black Maria
Casey of Noir Girl

Chris of Blog of the Darned
Christina Rice, author and AnnDvorak.com
Danny of PreCode.Com
Diane of Classic Movie Blog

Elise of The LA Rambler
Emily of The Vintage Cameo
Eric of Classic Era Movies
Jeff of 
TCM Party
Jessica of Comet Over Hollywood and her parents!
Jill of 
The Black Maria
Joel of Joel's Classic Film Passion
K.C. of A Classic Movie Blog

Kaci of Hollywood Time Machine
Karen from The Dark Pages and Shadows and Satin
Kellee of Outspoken & Freckled and her husband!

Kendra of Viv and Larry
Kim of I See a Dark TheaterKristen of Journeys in Classic Film and ClassicFlix
Kristina of Speakeasy
Lara Gabrielle of Backlots
Laura of Laura's Miscellaneous Musings and her husband Doug!
Lindsay of Lindsay's Movie Musings
Marya of #AYearWithWomen
Matt from Warner Archive
Nora of The Nitrate Diva and her mother Colleen
Paula of TCM Party and Cinema Detroit
Robby of Dear Old Hollywood

Stephen of Classic Movie Man
Trevor of TCM Party

Vincent of Carole & Co 
Wade of The Black Maria
Will of Cinematically Insane
and more...

If I forgot you, I apologize! I'm happy to add anyone I missed. 

I also met plenty of people in line before events and I ended up having really in-depth and quite lovely conversations with them all. Where else but TCMFF could you strike up a conversation with any stranger in line and immediately bond over shared interests? Everyone I talked to was an absolute pleasure.

Special guests:
Alex Trebek - Jeopardy! (okay not really but TCMFF but still...) and the Plummer Imprint Ceremony
Ann-Margret - Club TCM and The Cincinnati Kid (1965) screening
Anne V. Coates - Red Carpet
Christopher Plummer - Red Carpet and Plummer Imprint Ceremony
Diane Baker - Red Carpet and The Diary of Anne Frank (1959) screening
George Lazenby - On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) screening
Keith Carradine - Red Carpet
Millie Perkins - The Diary of Anne Frank (1959) screening
Norman Lloyd - Red Carpet, The Reign of Terror (1949) screening, A Conversation with Norman Lloyd filming at the Montalban Theatre. 
Peter Fonda - Red Carpet and Club TCM
Robert Morse - Red Carpet
Rory Flynn - Red Carpet and Club TCM
Scott Eyman - Club TCM
Shirley Jones - Club TCM
Shirley MacLaine - Roosevelt Hotel, Club TCM and the Plummer Imprint Ceremony
Sophia Loren - Marriage Italian Style screening
William Shatner - Plummer Imprint Ceremony
Part of the cast of Grease - Red Carpet

TCM staff/rock stars:
Noralil Flores, Ben Mankiewicz, Charlie Tabesh, Genevieve McGillicuddy, Scott McGee, David Byrne, Sean Cameron and more. We missed Robert Osborne!

My thoughts:

This year's festival was fantastic. But not without its problems.

In comparison to the two previous years, this TCMFF excelled in guests and special events where it might have disappointed some in the selection of films. 

TCM had the highest attendance on record this year but the festival still felt very intimate. There was more competition for events which made for a lot of shuffling around figuring out what to do next. I had never been shut out of a screening before but it happened this year. And waiting in line for 2 hours? Not my thing. I could easily do without that.

The execution was still very good. Few events started late and there weren't many projection issues from what I heard. The volunteers do a great job handling the lines and the social media producers often kept us entertained with photo ops, quizzes and other opportunities to earn buttons. The Chinese Multiplex lines are not great, especially when people got out of line after receiving their numbers. Handling lines of people is no easy task and I commend the TCMFF volunteers for doing what they can to keep order amongst the chaos.

Every single event I went to was amazing. No event was even remotely close to being mediocre; they were all spectacular. In fact I found myself overwhelmed by going from one amazing event straight to another without enough time to bask in the glow of the first one. These are wonderful problems to have.

The social experience at TCMFF is second to none. Classic film fans are one big family. When you arrive at the festival you feel like you found your people. The TCM staff are a friendly bunch and very approachable. I said good morning to Ben Mankiewicz, I thanked Charlie Tabesh, I met Scott McGee, I chatted with David Byrne and Sean Cameron and Jessica and I had a great talk with Noralil. TCM embraces their fans with open arms and you feel like your part of their family.

Thank you to everyone at TCM and all my friends both new and old ones for making the 2015 TCMFF an experience I'll never forget.

Now on to some pictures...

Social Media screen at Club TCM. It was plastered with familiar faces.

Aurora, Laura, myself, KC and Casey at Formosa Cafe

Marya's annual Formosa Cafe get-together

Jill, Jessica, Laura, KC, Doug, Matt and me

Fun fact: I have more TCMFF photos of Jessica than of anyone else.

Well-dressed Angela going old school by snapping away at her disposable camera

Trevor with Casey and Lindsay. I spy Nora in the background.

Trevor had some room for more ladies so Jessica and Marya jumped in.

My partner-in-crime, my husband Carlos.

Anne-Marie, social producer extraordinaire 

Jessica, Nora, myself and KC at the Plummer Imprint Ceremony. We were missing Daniel!

See you at TCMFF 2016!

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