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LAST DAY! ?THE TCM Programming Challenge: Take 5? with PRIZES

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Hi, everyone! Today is the start of the newest Challenge, the fifth one, appropriately entitled ?The TCM Programming Challenge: Take 5?. It will run from today, February 1st, until midnight PST on March 7th, 2007. I want to make this one of the best ever, so to encourage participatiion I will be awarding prizes to the schedules that receive the most votes.


In doing the Challenge, you imagine yourself to be the Turner Classic Movies' programmer and come up with one week of TCM programming (following criteria listed further down in these instructions).


The TCM Programming Challenge is a fun-only contest for fans of TCM that was started here by fellow Message Board poster, path40a, in early 2006 as a great exercise for fans of TCM on the Message Board and is not sponsored by TCM. However, the TCM programmer looks in on each contest and if he finds ideas he likes he will borrow them to use as part of his schedule. Many of us who have taken part in past Challenges have been fortunate enough to have our themes used on TCM.





As the name of this new Challenge is ?Take 5,? I am going to relax up a few rules, while also giving you more film scheduling options:


RULE #1: Your week will contain films generally regarded as the ?TCM Library?:


Warner Bros - pre 1950

MGM - all

RKO - all


PLUS since TCM has been expanding the number of studios they are presenting, you will be able to add films from these FIVE other studios:


Monogram Pictures ? all

Columbia Pictures ? all

J. Arthur Rank ? all

United Artists ? after 1950 only

Walt Disney - live action films only


You may also include films not included above if the films have previously scheduled on TCM. Please mark those as ?p/s? next to their title in your schedule.



RULE #2: Though dates vary, the story goes that it was on February 1st, 1887 (120 years ago today) that Hollywoodland got its name. Since the title of this current Challenge is ?Take 5?, which is also a filmmaking expression, dedicate one evening of your schedule (5 films) to Hollywood.


(If you don?t care for the Hollywood idea, then program instead one evening dedicated to the number ?Five?. For example, your theme could be ?Taking the Fifth? where you schedule five courtroom movies, or ?Downing a Fifth? where you program five movies about alcoholism or drinkers, or ?Fifth Columnists? where you will program about spies in America, or possibly ?Take Five? which could be 5 movies about vacationing. Or come up with one of your own using ?Five? or ?Fifth.?)


RULE #3: A special new rule to give you a chance to be really creative: As we have seen, TCM will help promote a new DVD boxset by having one evening where TCM showcases two or three titles from the set. And we have also seen on these boards that one of the most popular threads is the one about movies that aren?t on DVD but should be.

Your assignment:


a) Create an imaginary new DVD boxset containing 5 actual movies from the WB-pre 1950, MGM-all, and RKO-all library only (not the other five studios). All titles must be new to DVD. This imaginary boxset can be a continuation of a previous series, such as the Humphrey Bogart Signature Collection, Controversial Classics, etc., or you can create a brand new theme.


B) One of your week?s scheduled evenings will showcase two or three of the titles, but not all five so people will still be tempted to buy it.


c) List your boxset idea and the five titles after the end of the week?s schedule. You may add cartoons and short titles to the set, if you like.



Okay, now here is where I will loosen up on some requirements from previous Challenges.


1. You have your choice of five ?Premieres? (films that haven?t been aired on TCM before). You have free reign to choose from Universal, Paramount, etc. In other words, films which are not covered in Rule #1.


Now, here are the standard items in each TCM schedule you must include:


1. Choose a Star of the Month - their films can consume one evening (usually 3-4 movies)


2. Have themes for each of the seven days (e.g., link at least two, or preferably four or five films). Check this link for an example:



(please note: it is not necessary to include shorts or cartoons in your schedule - except for Cartoon Alley).


3. Program in The Essentials at 8PM ET Saturday night (you do not have to do another one for Sunday), Cartoon Alley on Saturday at 11:30 AM ET, TCM Underground (two films starting at 2 AM ET on Friday night/Saturday AM), Silent Sunday Night at approximately midnight, and TCM Imports immediately following Silent Sunday Night.


4. The first day of your schedule will be Sunday morning, starting at 6AM ET, and the last day of your schedule will be Saturday night/Sunday AM ending at 5:59:59. Each day starts at 6AM ET, with each evening?s program begins at 8 PM ET.


5. Use tcmdb.com or imdb.com to get running times so that you don't exceed 24 hours per day of programming. You can fill in the "blanks" with Private Screenings and/or other short features, which you don't have to list if you don't want to, but try not to exceed 10-20 minutes between films (lest you lose your audience)


6. Recognize actor's birthdays and/or do other unannounced tributes and film linkages during some of the days


7. Include some well-known classics like Oscar winners (or nominees) and/or movies that have been added to the National Film Registry (e.g. to draw new viewers to the channel)


Also, it is very interesting for the rest of us to know why you made certain theme choices. So, please include some notes after you have posted your complete schedule.


Here are links to previous Challenges. This will give you the idea of how to format your Week?s schedule. Also, in viewing this, you will see ideas that previous Challenge takers have chosen. Look at them to make sure your ideas have not been done in the past.


1st Challenge:



2nd Challenge:



3rd Challenge:



4th Challenge:




Here are several links to help you select films from the following companies:


RKO: http://www.imdb.com/company/co0041421/


Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer: http://www.imdb.com/company/co0020206/


Warner Bros./First National: http://www.imdb.com/company/co0026840/


Rank: http://www.imdb.com/company/co0027356/


United Artists (after 1950): http://www.imdb.com/company/co0026841/


Columbia: http://www.imdb.com/company/co0071509/


Walt Disney (live-action only): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Disney_live_action_films


Monogram Pictures: http://www.imdb.com/company/co0025996/




There will be prizes for those receiving the most votes (voting is done by you, the members of this board).


1. Turner Classic Movies is generously donating TCM t-shirts, hats, etc. (Thank you, TCM Programmer!)

2. I am also going to provide DVDs (some are full-length movie serials) and other movie-related merchandise.


Specific details of prizes will be provided at the conclusion of the contest.


In addition, the winner of this Challenge will be the moderator of the next one on the Message Boards.




On March 8th, 2007, a special thread for voting will be listed after the contest ends at midnight PST, March 7, 2007. You will be eligible to vote at that time if you are a message board member registered before February 1st, 2007 (in other words, January 31, 2007 or earlier). If you register after January 31, 2007 and enter a full week?s schedule before the contest closes on March 7th, you will be entitled to vote.


Have fun, everyone!


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It may seem overwhelming but it really isn't. If you have any questions or any concerns, please post them.


It's hard to believe almost a year ago many of us were in your shoes and we would be happy to help you understand anything that doesn't make sense to you.


The Challenge is a great deal of fun and as filmlover pointed out, TCM Programmr does follow this thread and does use some of our ideas for really programming what TCM airs.


So, it's a great opportunity to shine some light on films and themes you would like to see on TCM. It also gives everyone a real appreciation for the just how hard the actual Programming job can be.


So, ask away, we'd be glad to help!


lzcutter, player emeritus

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The idea of the challenge is to program a week of TCM programming following the ground rules that the programmers actually do.


You can choose films from any of the following film libraries:


All the RKO films, all the pre-1986 MGM films, all the pre-1950 Warner Bros films. You can also include films from Monogram, Columbia, J Arthur Rank, Disney (live action only) and post-1950 United Artists.


You can schedule 5 films to premiere on TCM during your week. These can be films from any library and any year that have not been on TCM previously.


Maybe you would like to premiere the cut of Blade Runner that you have been posting about as one of your premieres.


You can use the TCM Database or imdb.com to find out what year a film was released and which company released the film.


Programming Challenges begin on a Sunday morning and end on the following Saturday night.


You get to choose a Star of the Month (every Tuesday evening was Jean Arthur evening last month as an example) and program one evening featuring films of your selected star.


You choose two Essential Films (for your starting day of encore Sunday (this would be a repeat) and one for the following Saturday first run Essential.


Each day and evening can have themes: ideas that tie your block of films together.


Instead of programming a Guest Programmer, you get to create your idea of a boxed set (Remember in December when TCM ran the three Forbidden Hollywood films and promoted the box set of said films.) and run three of the five films on one of your evenings.


The TCM database and imdb.com also list running times, cast and crew.


Hope this helps!


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No, I don't think any thing of the sort. It would probably be helpful for you to click on one of the links (in Filmlovers original post) to see how the schedules are laid out.


I'm about to run out the door and run some errands. But when I get back I will check back in. So please don't take me not responding as a reflection on anything else.


Also, if you would like to PM with questions, that would work too!


See you when I get back!!!!!

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Only within the studio's time frame that filmlover mentioned. This is because you are a kind of a substitute programmer for TCM and work pretty much with the same restrictions that they would have to work within. THis would be done over the course of a week.

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Hi, Kubrick,


Sorry, I haven't been able to post much because I am only able to sneak a look in here during working hours (can you imagine, just because they pay me they expect me to give them my undivided attention?).


If you are still confused towards this evening (Pacific Time), I will try to work out a step-by-step kind of thing. I know it does look like quite a lot. With your questions, I put myself back to the first time I did and I am surprised that I wa able to. But, basically, the first step is to print out one of the schedules, then know you have to fit about ten to twelve or so movies during one day. And as far as themes go, you will notice while watching TCM, they will have an evening's salute to, say, boxing films, or Valentine's Day or some such. That is basically what you will be doing, too. Finding a common theme for movies you would like to see on TCM.


Hope this helps.



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All I now is that, The Diary of Anne Frank has to be on my schedule but I don't know what other movies to put it with and what genre to put it with because I have never been good at naming genres.


Well, let's see, for The Diary of Anne Frank, one could create a theme of:


Ordinary people affected by war, and other films could include Mrs. Miniver and Since You Went Away, just naming two.


It is also a film with music composed by Alfred Newman. You could do a search under his name and come up other films by him, and call it A Tribute To Alfred Newman.


Those are just two possibilities. There are many more ways to look at it.

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