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The sad, slow death of TCM.


ootsy
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I'm with KIKIKI here, sadly.  Way back in the late 90's, my wife and I would visit my parents; and part of the excitement -- along with being with family! -- was that my parents had TCM aspart of their cable lineup.  We would be able to watch all kinds of older movies for a couple of days.  Then later on we moved to a town that had TCM  on the cable package.  Well, for many years the only channels we had on during almost any time of the day were either TCM or sports.  Months would go by when TCM was our primetime channel alone.  

Now in our house, TCM is lucky if we watch two or three movies a month after the 6:00 time slot.  Just don't find that many compelling choices anymore.  Surely something has changed, and folks on these boards can cite all the stats about how many films from each decade are being shown when.  Still, the fact remains that what was once the staple movie channel in our house now has shifted over to TVMovies and Grit for the most part.  Sorry, but I can't really give more of an explanation for it.

Hat's off, KIKIKI (a fellow TOM compatriot)!

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1 hour ago, brianNH said:

Now in our house, TCM is lucky if we watch two or three movies a month after the 6:00 time slot.  Just don't find that many compelling choices anymore.  Surely something has changed,

Maybe it IS you-you're saturated by the same old movies.

I used to be able to have TCM on all day while working, but seeing the same movies over & over is a bore. I never went to the movies in the 70's-80's, so catching up on those is fun for me, there are good movies made in all decades. 

When I look over next month's schedule to see what I'd like to record, it's pretty easy to skim through the plethora of titles I've seen multiple times. But then, there's always a few that pique my interest-typically 3-6 per month to set for late night recording. This month was the Fleischer documentary and a couple of Lucy films I haven't seen that aren't available elsewhere.

 

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I concur. Ever since the new TCM I’ve noticed a pattern developing. Older movies are being shown during the day and the New Color so called classics are being shown in prime time.  This is weird because I thought the newer generations didn’t watch live TV. Why are TCM programmers catering to the streamer generations?

I new the end was coming when the criterion bunch came over to influence TCM. Oh well, I’m glad I have my own library of 1000 true classics to watch when TCM is having a garbage day. 

On another note, doesn’t Alicia Malone get sick of hosting corney love stories and romantic comedies EVERY weekend?  I’d like to see a little more variety on Sundays sometimes.

 

 

 

 

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Yes, TikiSoo, without a doubt this is a "me" problem.  I don't deny that; but I get by with a pretty high saturation level, all things considered.   Now, this "me" problem also coincides with a "TCM" problem in that, as TCM is a business,  it is losing me as a steady customer in hopes of replacing me with somebody fresh, exciting, and new -- not that I don't have my moments, mind you.  This is altogether natural as a business needs to keep growing through innovation as well as customer loyalty.  

They can do that smart and successful, or they can get it wrong and end up with customers walking away for other products.  TCM is trying one way to maintain its position as a dependable classic movie station.  We'll just have to see if this becomes a successful attempt or not.  Contrary to what some might think, I'm not against changing things around  in the face of some competitive adversity.  I've worked in places where the owners have guessed right and places where the owners guessed wrong.  A couple of times where the owners guessed wrong, the really successful ones find the mistake quickly and move away from that approach.  Right now I've got my front row seat and some popcorn to see where TCM falls on that spectrum.

 

 

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14 hours ago, mr6666 said:

is it just THIS month..........or are they no longer doing monthly hi-light videos???

:unsure:

I've noticed this too.  It's a little disappointing from the aspect that many times, these promos for the upcoming month paired some excellent music choices I wouldn't otherwise be exposed to.  I've added some of these songs to my music library, and I can still visualize some of the scenes in the montages from years gone by.  Oh well, I guess I'll have to rely on catchy commercial jingles to discover newer music.

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Just returned from a great weekend at the DC Noir Fest in Silver Spring.  Eddie was there and, as always, he was gracious and thoughtful in his introductions.  I always learn much more about certain movies when I go to this event.  And it made me a bit nostalgic and sad, at the same time, for the vanishing TCM.  Eddie is a like a latter day Robert Osborne;  he knows his material inside and out and he LOVES it.  He is not afraid to say a film is "odd" or that some actor is weak.  He is a breath of fresh air in this increasingly PC world.  I simply don't get that feeling from any of the other TCM hosts.  They're just punching the time clock.  So, bravo to Eddie.  People will always remember him, long after the others have moved on to other jobs.

TCM has been altered.  I even see it on the homepage of the website.  Have you noticed how they almost always now feature color films?

I realize that TCM must have paid a lot of money to do research.  Large companies do NOTHING without doing research to cover themselves, but you can also get research to prove just about any premise you float out there.  Those of you who were/are "insiders" probably got probed over the last year with various, seemingly impartial surveys.  And I'm quite sure they did call-out styles surveys as well...

It's all too sad.

 

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As long as there will be message boards, we are always going to have people coming on and complaining about more recent films being shown on this cable channel.

And some of these folks are always going to say that the demise of TCM is just around the corner and many will say that all they see are newer films.

If one looks at the schedule, that is further from the truth.

I agree that many of the films TCM shows are repeats. Often times the same film is shown multiple times per month. But as Tiki has written there are "newer" older films that have not been repeated as much or films which have never been shown on the channel.

People just have to understand that when TCM purchases the rights for certain films,most of the films come in packages that can include newer films and many older more "B" films from earlier decades. For every time they show a film like The Best Years of Our Lives, they will show other possibly older films multiple times so they can show the best film of a package. At least that is the way VP Charlie Tabesh explained it to me (if I can remember).

 

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I admit that I prefer the films from the '30s-'50s over the '70s-'90s but at the same time we need to remember those movies are 25-50 years old. That's not really "newer" is it?  And generally these "newer" films they're airing are some of that era's better quality works.  We're getting things like TootsieArthur, Crossing Delancey, and Chilly Scenes of Winter, not Cherry 2000Lone Wolf McQuade, or Showgirls.

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2 hours ago, Citizen Ed said:

I admit that I prefer the films from the '30s-'50s over the '70s-'90s but at the same time we need to remember those movies are 25-50 years old. That's not really "newer" is it?  And generally these "newer" films they're airing are some of that era's better quality works.  We're getting things like TootsieArthur, Crossing Delancey, and Chilly Scenes of Winter, not Cherry 2000Lone Wolf McQuade, or Showgirls.

Just don't try to convince Civil War or WWI/WWII enthusiasts that the Gulf War, Afghanistan or Iraq are anything of interest.  😁

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5 hours ago, fxreyman said:

As long as there will be message boards, we are always going to have people coming on and complaining about more recent films being shown on this cable channel.

And some of these folks are always going to say that the demise of TCM is just around the corner and many will say that all they see are newer films.

If one looks at the schedule, that is further from the truth.

I agree that many of the films TCM shows are repeats. Often times the same film is shown multiple times per month. But as Tiki has written there are "newer" older films that have not been repeated as much or films which have never been shown on the channel.

People just have to understand that when TCM purchases the rights for certain films,most of the films come in packages that can include newer films and many older more "B" films from earlier decades. For every time they show a film like The Best Years of Our Lives, they will show other possibly older films multiple times so they can show the best film of a package. At least that is the way VP Charlie Tabesh explained it to me (if I can remember).

 

My statistics ignore the time of day that movies are shown (I don't even keep track).  Just months and years that they are aired.  So it is possible for TCM to make major changes to their programming without it showing up as a change here.  There are more titles overall, but the repetition of older titles seems to center around an increasingly more narrow group of movies (Bette Davis and Joan Crawford movies for instance).  In addition there are a bunch of older movies that get absolutely no airplay recently.  Last I have seen them was 5-10 years ago.  Yes they are stinkers, but in general it seems they are showing more newer stinkers instead of older stinkers, and this is probably what some have been noticing.

https://www.moviecollectoroh.com/reports/1)movies-only.htm

In addition certain types of reports of mine, such as this one, stop tracking movies and other content made after 2017.  This is due to IMDB changing their entire dataset at that time - to a newer but lesser format.  I perhaps incorrectly presumed this wouldn't be an issue going into the future, being that it is a "classic movie channel".  ;)
 

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With me it's the "little things" that drive me nuts about TCM.  Like tonight, when their online schedule shows Payday playing at 9:45, when it's not, and when our TV program guide says it'll be playing at midnight.  I've lost count of the number of times things like this have happened, and whoever posts the online schedule never seems to change it until it's too late.  This mainly seems to affect the late night and overnight movies, but then those are usually the best movies TCM shows.

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1 hour ago, AndyM108 said:

With me it's the "little things" that drive me nuts about TCM.  Like tonight, when their online schedule shows Payday playing at 9:45, when it's not, and when our TV program guide says it'll be playing at midnight.  I've lost count of the number of times things like this have happened, and whoever posts the online schedule never seems to change it until it's too late.  This mainly seems to affect the late night and overnight movies, but then those are usually the best movies TCM shows.

This doesn't surprise me.  There was a window of time when we had access to both sets of schedules.  The original  - which presumably came straight off the programmer's computers and showed exactly the same data as the old schedule.  And then this new schedule - designed specifically for the new website.  One thing I noticed was that the new schedule lagged behind the old schedule.  It seemed to be updated afterwards, on a regular basis.  If it is missing things at night, then that could mean the programmers made changes in the evening before they left, then the website schedule doesn't reflect those changes until it updates first thing in the morning.  It is definitely two different systems though, one that they actually work on, and then the other playing "catch up" about half the time, which I never saw a reason for.  Not as tight as it used to be.  It could probably be refreshed more often.

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I'm a big process person (even better if it is automated).

They just need a process so that whoever is updating the cable guide / third party schedule services will inform their own online schedule department of the changes, and then have someone follow through to make sure it is incorporated.

I can't believe it is a question of lead time, since in the latest cases the online schedule services and cable guides are showing the changes before air time and the TCM web schedule is not.  (By way of indirect evidence, the TCM e-mail At-A-Glance pdf that was sent out on October 1 has the correct order for tonight's films.)

Why this is so inconsistent is beyond me.

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1 hour ago, cmovieviewer said:

I'm a big process person (even better if it is automated).

They just need a process so that whoever is updating the cable guide / third party schedule services will inform their own online schedule department of the changes, and then have someone follow through to make sure it is incorporated.

I can't believe it is a question of lead time, since in the latest cases the online schedule services and cable guides are showing the changes before air time and the TCM web schedule is not.  (By way of indirect evidence, the TCM e-mail At-A-Glance pdf that was sent out on October 1 has the correct order for tonight's films.)

Why this is so inconsistent is beyond me.

That just means they did it right for the on-screen/DVR guide, that is by far the most important part to get right. 

That the online schedule is off is only possible because it isn't a unified system, it is at least two separate systems (i.e. two separate databases or data files - one a master the other a slave).  From your account, it could be very possible they have interns updating that by hand too.  They just need to give the online schedule a little better attention to updates.  I'd keep it simple but consistent.  Overwrite the whole thing each time, don't attempt to piecemeal it.

P.S. For shards and giggles, on my own schedule I may consider substituting Schedules Direct data for the latest 10 days (usually 13 available) which is a hobbyist copy of the actual on-screen schedule, which would resolve this for the short term.  It would just be a matter of connecting some hi-de-hi's and ho-de-ho's.  It is my mission should I choose to accept it, just thinking if I want to be a glutton for the punishment or not.  🙃

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29 minutes ago, cmovieviewer said:

I'm a big process person (even better if it is automated).

They just need a process so that whoever is updating the cable guide / third party schedule services will inform their own online schedule department of the changes, and then have someone follow through to make sure it is incorporated.

I can't believe it is a question of lead time, since in the latest cases the online schedule services and cable guides are showing the changes before air time and the TCM web schedule is not.  (By way of indirect evidence, the TCM e-mail At-A-Glance pdf that was sent out on October 1 has the correct order for tonight's films.)

Why this is so inconsistent is beyond me.

"To err is human, to really foul things up requires a computer."

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19 hours ago, unwatchable said:

"I don't know this industry jargon..." :D

Wow was that John C Reilly? I've never seen him so young.

19 hours ago, overeasy said:

Eddie is a like a latter day Robert Osborne;  he knows his material inside and out and he LOVES it.

Eh, moreso than Osborne - Eddie is immersed in noir, historically & emotionally. 

And to add what FXreyman said about "packages"....realize the distributor also dictates how often a movie must be shown. Some packages state in the 3 month rental, movie must be broadcast 4 times, for example. Or in the some cases, only one broadcast per rental. 

Let's compare TCM to, say, 60's sit-coms: there are a finite number of classic (let's say RKO) movies available, just like there are only 100 episodes of a TV show available. Once these are broadcast over & over, fans have "seen them all" and tire of watching. 

Now HOW do you inject new life into your channel to keep viewers?* In the case of TV, they stop airing one sit-com and switch to another. Fans grumble because they don't like Full House as much as Andy Griffith. Same here with old movies.

I think it's natural & perfectly fine TCM adds newer movies to their roster when they fit "classic" sensibilities. We're lucky when there's a premiere because broadcast rights have finally been cleared on some obscure film. But until then, showing recents HUGO or BROOKLYN are OK with me, some never went to the theater to see them. And many good 70's/80's/90's movies are not shown free streaming, but only subscription or pay-per-views. 

*Colorful, moving graphics? I have yet to watch one of my newest recording to see what everyone's talking about.

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The following is from the Silver Screen Oasis from August, 2009:


The Forum for Questions for Charlie Tabesh


These were questions submitted to Charlie Tabesh to answer while he visits with us from Monday, August 3rd through Wednesday, Aug. 5th.
As you probably know, Mr. Tabesh has been with Turner Classic Movies since 1997. His duties include programming over 350 movie titles a month including the Race and Hollywood annual festival, Summer Under the Stars and the 31 Days of Oscar. He and his team coordinate the monthly programming and the acquisition selections.
Mr. Tabesh is instrumental in leading TCM’s ongoing commitment to film preservation and appreciation. Here are some answers from Charlie Tabesh on Silver Screen Oasis in 2009

Q: With the increased reputation of TCM is working with studios easier or about the same as it was in the past? Once you have a kind of working agreement with a studio is there a package you lease or can you pick a certain number of titles in the deal?
Thanks so much for spending some time with us this week.

A: I'd say it's easier now than it used to be. We actually have pretty substantial agreements in place with every major studio. Traditionally networks license films for a set period of time (1 to 2 years, sometimes more, sometimes less) and a set number of runs during that time. There are real budget issues, so a model like that provides the incentive to play a film as many times as possible during that license period (because that means you could license fewer films). We've tried to work with each studio to provide greater access to their libraries so we could play some films only once or twice - that allows us to dig deeper and play titles that are rarely seen. As you know, when we do any sort of festival (star-of-the-month or anything else) we like to showcase films that might not be as well-known but that are important to the theme we're highlighting. We still have plenty of limits and by no means do we have access to every film from every studio but on any particular month I think you'll see films from all of them.

Q: I have a question for you. Besides rights issues, what are some of the other problems you encounter when trying to book older, lesser known titles?

A: other than rights the biggest issue, by far, is quality of materials. A lot of films are in very bad condition, some aren't playable at all. And even if a studio does have film elements, they still need to be transferred to video which can be very expensive (and cost-prohibitive)

Q: I don't have to tell you that TCM has a very loyal core audience and we all have varied tastes when it comes to films and what we expect from TCM. It has to be very challenging to try and program something for everybody. Are there times when you're working on a schedule and just pounding your head on your desk trying to decide whether to add a lesser know, seldom seen, classic for all of us serious film buffs or another run of some well know film (like "Singing in the Rain") in an effort to get viewers who may tune in because they've seen it before or at least have heard of it? How do you do it?

A: That is really the balance that we try to achieve. As you suggest, our hardcore fans, and I assume most people here at Silver Screen Oasis, are excited about the rare or obscure titles. But we're also a place that many people discover classic movies for the first time. In addition - because there are so few options out there for classic movie fans - some people are watching TCM almost all the time and, to them, any repeat is annoying because they might have seen that film on the channel a month or two ago. One more point: if we play a title 5 or 6 times a year, that's a whole lot for us; that might happen with less than a dozen titles each year and the average title plays between 1 to 2 times in a year. And even when we play a film 5 or 6 times, it's almost always at different times of the day. But if you've seen those films a few times you want something new and different. So we're trying to please a lot of people and different levels of classic movies fans. I'm sure we get it wrong sometimes but we do take pride in our role and try to do our best.

Q: Three related questions --
1. What market research is considered when selecting films and themes?
2. What are the demographics of the "typical" TCM viewer and how important is that "typical" viewer when programming?
3. Is there a theme that you, personally, have been wanting to program, but haven't for reasons other than film availability?

A: No, we've never done any sort of research at all on what festivals or films we want to play. We've done some marketing research here and there to see how the brand is doing but never anything to help determine what to play. As for the "typical" TCM viewer, I think we have two primary audiences: 1. older people that remember a lot of these films from when they were younger and have a nostalgic feeling for them, and 2. hardcore film fans, people that just love movies, a group that spans all ages; of course this doesn't capture everyone and there's a lot of overlap between them, but that seems to be a broad description of the TCM fans. As for festivals I've always wanted to do, there are several. Filmlover (from the TCM message boards) had suggested a festival devoted to filmmakers that immigrated and came through Ellis Island, something that I've always thought was interesting. I'd like to do Iranian films at some point because they have such a rich film heritage that isn't seen here very much; comprehensive festivals of some Fox stars would be great (Monroe, Power, Grable, etc.); a festival devoted to revenge in the movies; there are a whole lot, those are just a few off the top of my head and I'm sure we will get to some or all of them in the future. There's just only so much space for all of the great possibilities.

Q: 1. Are all or most of the films shown by TCM presented in digita-beta format transferred from a 35mm print ?

2. What about the films in the voluminous Warner library that haven't seen the light of day for eons particularly many Allied Artists and Monogram titles including the Bowery Boys series, Loophole (1954) and The Cruel Tower (1956)?

3. Does Warners strike new prints or make new transfers of films for viewing on TCM or do you have to simply have to program what you are told is available?

4. When will TCM screen some of the 1940's Universal Sherlock Holmes titles such as THE SCARLET CLAW and THE PEARL OF DEATH that have been remastered by UCLA instead of the PD Holmes films such as THE WOMAN IN GREEN and SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE SECRET WEAPON that are regularly shown using transfers of extremely poor quality?

5. I thought the best thing TCM ever did was the SUMMER OF DARKNESS film noir series . Any chance of repeating this in a similar format? I would love to co-program it with you!

A: 1. Yes, over 99% of what we play are 35mm films transferred onto digibeta. As several people know, there were a couple of times this year that 16mm transfers were the only option for us, but that's very rare.

2. We're in discussions with WB for broader access to their library, but that deal hasn't been completed yet. We have to negotiate with them just as we do any other studio, which surprises a lot of people, but it's true.

3. No studio strikes new prints for us, including WB. And if a film hasn't yet been transferred to video, they usually will only do the transfer themselves if there's a dvd market for the film, our license fee is high enough to cover that cost (plus a little more), or if we pay for it ourselves. There are some exceptions, but economics certainly drives a lot of the decision-making, as you might expect. With regard to WB specifically, many of the films were transferred years ago by Ted Turner. In the '90s WB acquired the TEC library but for a lot of films we still use transfers that were made many years ago. We're in conversations now with WB on the best way to update the library, and I should say there are some people there (one in particular) who are very passionate about that and they're taking a leading role in the process.

4. With the Holmes films it a matter of the rights and the cost to acquire them. But we are interested in obtaining them if we can afford it.

5. I agree, the Summer of Darkness was great and it might be time to do that again at some point in the near future.

 

 

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3 hours ago, fxreyman said:

The following is from the Silver Screen Oasis from August, 2009:


The Forum for Questions for Charlie Tabesh


These were questions submitted to Charlie Tabesh to answer while he visits with us from Monday, August 3rd through Wednesday, Aug. 5th.
As you probably know, Mr. Tabesh has been with Turner Classic Movies since 1997. His duties include programming over 350 movie titles a month including the Race and Hollywood annual festival, Summer Under the Stars and the 31 Days of Oscar. He and his team coordinate the monthly programming and the acquisition selections.
Mr. Tabesh is instrumental in leading TCM’s ongoing commitment to film preservation and appreciation. Here are some answers from Charlie Tabesh on Silver Screen Oasis in 2009

Q: With the increased reputation of TCM is working with studios easier or about the same as it was in the past? Once you have a kind of working agreement with a studio is there a package you lease or can you pick a certain number of titles in the deal?
Thanks so much for spending some time with us this week.

A: I'd say it's easier now than it used to be. We actually have pretty substantial agreements in place with every major studio. Traditionally networks license films for a set period of time (1 to 2 years, sometimes more, sometimes less) and a set number of runs during that time. There are real budget issues, so a model like that provides the incentive to play a film as many times as possible during that license period (because that means you could license fewer films). We've tried to work with each studio to provide greater access to their libraries so we could play some films only once or twice - that allows us to dig deeper and play titles that are rarely seen. As you know, when we do any sort of festival (star-of-the-month or anything else) we like to showcase films that might not be as well-known but that are important to the theme we're highlighting. We still have plenty of limits and by no means do we have access to every film from every studio but on any particular month I think you'll see films from all of them.

Q: I have a question for you. Besides rights issues, what are some of the other problems you encounter when trying to book older, lesser known titles?

A: other than rights the biggest issue, by far, is quality of materials. A lot of films are in very bad condition, some aren't playable at all. And even if a studio does have film elements, they still need to be transferred to video which can be very expensive (and cost-prohibitive)

Q: I don't have to tell you that TCM has a very loyal core audience and we all have varied tastes when it comes to films and what we expect from TCM. It has to be very challenging to try and program something for everybody. Are there times when you're working on a schedule and just pounding your head on your desk trying to decide whether to add a lesser know, seldom seen, classic for all of us serious film buffs or another run of some well know film (like "Singing in the Rain") in an effort to get viewers who may tune in because they've seen it before or at least have heard of it? How do you do it?

A: That is really the balance that we try to achieve. As you suggest, our hardcore fans, and I assume most people here at Silver Screen Oasis, are excited about the rare or obscure titles. But we're also a place that many people discover classic movies for the first time. In addition - because there are so few options out there for classic movie fans - some people are watching TCM almost all the time and, to them, any repeat is annoying because they might have seen that film on the channel a month or two ago. One more point: if we play a title 5 or 6 times a year, that's a whole lot for us; that might happen with less than a dozen titles each year and the average title plays between 1 to 2 times in a year. And even when we play a film 5 or 6 times, it's almost always at different times of the day. But if you've seen those films a few times you want something new and different. So we're trying to please a lot of people and different levels of classic movies fans. I'm sure we get it wrong sometimes but we do take pride in our role and try to do our best.

Q: Three related questions --
1. What market research is considered when selecting films and themes?
2. What are the demographics of the "typical" TCM viewer and how important is that "typical" viewer when programming?
3. Is there a theme that you, personally, have been wanting to program, but haven't for reasons other than film availability?

A: No, we've never done any sort of research at all on what festivals or films we want to play. We've done some marketing research here and there to see how the brand is doing but never anything to help determine what to play. As for the "typical" TCM viewer, I think we have two primary audiences: 1. older people that remember a lot of these films from when they were younger and have a nostalgic feeling for them, and 2. hardcore film fans, people that just love movies, a group that spans all ages; of course this doesn't capture everyone and there's a lot of overlap between them, but that seems to be a broad description of the TCM fans. As for festivals I've always wanted to do, there are several. Filmlover (from the TCM message boards) had suggested a festival devoted to filmmakers that immigrated and came through Ellis Island, something that I've always thought was interesting. I'd like to do Iranian films at some point because they have such a rich film heritage that isn't seen here very much; comprehensive festivals of some Fox stars would be great (Monroe, Power, Grable, etc.); a festival devoted to revenge in the movies; there are a whole lot, those are just a few off the top of my head and I'm sure we will get to some or all of them in the future. There's just only so much space for all of the great possibilities.

Q: 1. Are all or most of the films shown by TCM presented in digita-beta format transferred from a 35mm print ?

2. What about the films in the voluminous Warner library that haven't seen the light of day for eons particularly many Allied Artists and Monogram titles including the Bowery Boys series, Loophole (1954) and The Cruel Tower (1956)?

3. Does Warners strike new prints or make new transfers of films for viewing on TCM or do you have to simply have to program what you are told is available?

4. When will TCM screen some of the 1940's Universal Sherlock Holmes titles such as THE SCARLET CLAW and THE PEARL OF DEATH that have been remastered by UCLA instead of the PD Holmes films such as THE WOMAN IN GREEN and SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE SECRET WEAPON that are regularly shown using transfers of extremely poor quality?

5. I thought the best thing TCM ever did was the SUMMER OF DARKNESS film noir series . Any chance of repeating this in a similar format? I would love to co-program it with you!

A: 1. Yes, over 99% of what we play are 35mm films transferred onto digibeta. As several people know, there were a couple of times this year that 16mm transfers were the only option for us, but that's very rare.

2. We're in discussions with WB for broader access to their library, but that deal hasn't been completed yet. We have to negotiate with them just as we do any other studio, which surprises a lot of people, but it's true.

3. No studio strikes new prints for us, including WB. And if a film hasn't yet been transferred to video, they usually will only do the transfer themselves if there's a dvd market for the film, our license fee is high enough to cover that cost (plus a little more), or if we pay for it ourselves. There are some exceptions, but economics certainly drives a lot of the decision-making, as you might expect. With regard to WB specifically, many of the films were transferred years ago by Ted Turner. In the '90s WB acquired the TEC library but for a lot of films we still use transfers that were made many years ago. We're in conversations now with WB on the best way to update the library, and I should say there are some people there (one in particular) who are very passionate about that and they're taking a leading role in the process.

4. With the Holmes films it a matter of the rights and the cost to acquire them. But we are interested in obtaining them if we can afford it.

5. I agree, the Summer of Darkness was great and it might be time to do that again at some point in the near future.

 

 

That was really interesting. It would be great to hear from someone like this as to what is behind the current “update”. 

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