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Thoughts on TCM after the Sept. 1 change


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I recently watched on my DVR the 1951 version of "A Christmas Carol". I recorded it 2 years ago on TCM. It was great seeing the old sets and logos before TCM changed their look on September 1 of 2021. There were no loud, garish colors on the graphics and the host's background set wasn't rotating back and forth like they do now.  TCM's classic library is mostly black and white so I don't see the need for splashy colors that just don't go with the programming.

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I actually had an epiphany recently as regards the "set."

I am wondering if the set is no set at all, but is instead a "virtual set" that the hosts are green-screened against.  This struck when I noticed that the depth of field had changed quite a bit of late.  The background (I believe) used to be more in focus than it is now.  This could of course with done with lenses and lighting, but it made the background look more fake to me.

Is there an insider who knows the truth! 🙂

 

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16 minutes ago, overeasy said:

I actually had an epiphany recently as regards the "set."

I am wondering if the set is no set at all, but is instead a "virtual set" that the hosts are green-screened against.  This struck when I noticed that the depth of field had changed quite a bit of late.  The background (I believe) used to be more in focus than it is now.  This could of course with done with lenses and lighting, but it made the background look more fake to me.

Is there an insider who knows the truth! 🙂

 

I had a moment when I wonder that too as, as you note, the depth perception or something looks off now and then. But then I thought, "no, they wouldn't do that," but maybe.

As to all the changes, like many here, I prefer the much older logos, graphics, narration, etc., as those were attempting a style and vibe consistent with the "Golden Era" of Hollywood. 

What I see now is some marketer's idea of how to make TCM "relevant" to a "modern" audience.

I find it hard to believe that TCM is going to attract a younger audience this way as the product is the product. If B&W and "old" movies just don't appeal to someone, will more modern channel graphics change that? Maybe the idea is that the new "look" will encourage some to try the movies who wouldn't before and, then, they'll get hooked. 

Heck, if that works, then great as I'm less concerned about TCM's look, than that it maintains a large enough audience to keep doing what it does. 

 

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1 hour ago, overeasy said:

I am wondering if the set is no set at all, but is instead a "virtual set" that the hosts are green-screened against. 

I've been wondering this from the beginning. As this change was right on the heels of seeing the hosts from their homes, I have wondered if they actually are still there with nothing other than a portable green screen between themselves and their refrigerators. 

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16 hours ago, mkahn22 said:

As to all the changes, like many here, I prefer the much older logos, graphics, narration, etc., as those were attempting a style and vibe consistent with the "Golden Era" of Hollywood. 

What I see now is some marketer's idea of how to make TCM "relevant" to a "modern" audience.

Dismal. The original Ted Turner logos are still the best, they showed classic icons in an artistic & stylized way. People are attracted to beautiful art and it creates a more memorable & favorable "brand". Didn't we all buy merchandise, t-shirts, mugs with those logos? I sure did.

b3d49fe295de70ae5fefeaa930f47a8c.jpg

I even liked the more modern 60's feel of the FF program:

fbb1be9cd720b91e6e431e321c25e41c.jpg

A low lit set behind a host brings depth & interest, creating a "brand" experience. Although it seems corny, I'd love to see classic movie posters displayed on set, even rotating by genre/era/whatever brings drama. There's so much incredible poster art work available, it's designed to catch the eye. 

vintage-poster-auction-the-golden-west.j

8846b2fa0da1285d5faa308d990ad2c7--best-m

God forbid, anything CHEERY!

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7 hours ago, TikiSoo said:

 

Dismal. The original Ted Turner logos are still the best, they showed classic icons in an artistic & stylized way. People are attracted to beautiful art and it creates a more memorable & favorable "brand". Didn't we all buy merchandise, t-shirts, mugs with those logos? I sure did.

b3d49fe295de70ae5fefeaa930f47a8c.jpg

I even liked the more modern 60's feel of the FF program:

fbb1be9cd720b91e6e431e321c25e41c.jpg

A low lit set behind a host brings depth & interest, creating a "brand" experience. Although it seems corny, I'd love to see classic movie posters displayed on set, even rotating by genre/era/whatever brings drama. There's so much incredible poster art work available, it's designed to catch the eye. 

vintage-poster-auction-the-golden-west.j

8846b2fa0da1285d5faa308d990ad2c7--best-m

God forbid, anything CHEERY!

Agree completely.  I collect original posters (mostly stone lithos) and many of them are just amazing.

The new set is just as bland as bland can be.  I feel like I'm in a Crate and Barrel.  The entire "rebrand" has been a disaster, but it's also a good example of "the emperor's new clothes."  NO ONE at TCM is going to admit that the  money they spent to have people create this dreck was wrong!  And hey, who doesn't like being CURATED!

Cheers!

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I've got to say, I rarely get home before the first movie of primetime starts. On rare occasions, I walk while the host intro is still ongoing, and I'm usually trying to shed my work clothes and get into my pajamas (what's up, ladies?) before the movie starts, and as susch, I'm only listnening to the intro, not watching. So, I've seen virtually zero intros since the changeover, and I've missed all the stylistic element changes that have so many people on here upset and disgusted. Guess I've seen the occasional outro if I stay awake long enough to get through the first movie. I haven't noticed or I guess paid any attention to the changes. I am going to try to pay attention in the future if possible. So, TCM has pretty much been the same for me. I have seen the graphic with the multiple iterations of the letter C along with the zippy synthesizer music, and I've definitely seen how the logo display in the bottom right hand corner has changed to also highlight the ever-morphing letter C. I've been watching long enough to remember the long-ago, subtler logo display changeover after the simple display of TCM to the years when the logo would then expand to include "dot (.) com".

Edit: I just watched the outro to How Green Was My Valley. Yes, there is a very slow camera movement to one extreme end and back the other way. I didn't find it that distracting. Not "whiplash"-inducing, as I've read it described it on here.

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I return every day to TCM more from force of habit and a love for old movies than I do for brand loyalty anymore.

Sadly I feel the TCM I came to know and love is gone forever. Kind of like original Coke. It says Coke but somehow it just doesn't taste the same.

Things change. Times change. You grow up and move on. You miss those years of going to the beach every summer with your folks when you were a kid.  The beach is still there but now you think about those times with nostalgia. Going there now can never recapture those earlier times. Other people are enjoying that same  beach like you did when you were a kid but in a different way because there are new laws, restrictions, restaurants and attractions.

Now I think about TCM with nostalgia. The way it was. Which is kind of meta when you really think about it. Thinking about a nostalgic channel with nostalgia!

FIVE people replaced Robert Osborne, FIVE! Start with that. He was part of the last vestiges of old Hollywood. Those who come after will have only read accounts. They won't have lived it. A scan of a copy of a fax...

I know Ted Turner was a business man but I don't think he ever started TCM with the notion of selling wine. Need I say more?

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In general, I hate the changes. I really dislike the way the scene moves behind the hosts. I don't mind the look of the scenes, but I hate the movement, and I too wonder if the backgrounds are even real! As for the rest, I hate the bright neon colors, the squiggles, and the awful music that sounds like computer-generated noise. Particularly the music leading up to Ben's intros--I hear that rat-a-tat non-music, I see the neon colors and seizure-inducing motion, and always imagine, "News at Ten, with Ben Mankiewicz!" because it looks like a local news broadcast. I'm still not sure how any of this conveys Classic Cinema.

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I’ve been thinking more about the format changes lately.  I really dislike them.

I originally thought I’d get used to the changes after a while.  I haven’t.  Instead, I’ve found them more and more annoying.

I’ve also tried to remind myself that the movies are the important thing, and that the format changes are just window-dressing, perhaps the price we have to pay to keep TCM going as the potential audience gets younger and younger.  

But while I certainly want TCM to appeal to younger folks, I just don’t think the cheesy new graphics and music are likely to accomplish that.  If someone likes the old movies on TCM, isn’t it likely that they’ll also like graphics and music that are more consistent with what they see in those movies, rather than computer-generated graphics and synthesized music?

I also find the “Everything Old Is New Again” theme demeaning.  They seem to be saying that these old movies are only worth watching if you can relate them somehow to recent films.  Don’t these classic movies have merit on their own?  And can’t the viewers see that merit without making that kind of comparison?  Am I so clueless that I can’t enjoy a movie starring Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy unless I can see that it’s similar to a recent film featuring two younger stars?

For what it’s worth, I’m fairly certain that the hosts (except Eddie) are being shown in front of a video display via green screen, as opposed to a real physical set.  There’s no way they could rotate the set back and forth while keeping the host in the same relation to the camera by using a physical set — unless the set is on a big turntable, which seems extremely unlikely.   I’m just guessing about that, of course, but that’s how I see it.

TCM really needs to re-think these format changes, perhaps after the changes have been around long enough to let the  decision-makers save face regarding this mistake.  I’m sorry to say that, because I’m sure they meant well.  But it was a mistake nonetheless.

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This new short music piece that TCM has adopted and plays between every single movie or program is definitely getting on my nerves.  I can with the deal with the amateurish ~squiggly~ graphics alright, but the short piece of music has quickly grown repetitive and tiresome to my (((ears))).   I'm sure TCM overpaid somebody to compose that brief piece of ear slop.   👂

 

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The Everything Old is new Again thing I find hard to fathom. "Young" viewers may not know who the "old" actors are or what their roles signify. I don't see them making meaningful connections between the old and new, at least not as presented in this ad thing. And frankly, if I were "young,"  I would probably be put off by a slogan telling me how to understand something.

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An iconic logo has been replaced by a meaningless one, the "Parade of Animated C's" is idiotic but, by far,  the worst thing is the music.  I swear if I hear that non-melodic, synchronized bumper music one more time, I will surely lose my mind.  It is the penultimate in inane and annoying.  

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9 hours ago, lydecker said:

An iconic logo has been replaced by a meaningless one, the "Parade of Animated C's" is idiotic but, by far,  the worst thing is the music.  I swear if I hear that non-melodic, synchronized bumper music one more time, I will surely lose my mind.  It is the penultimate in inane and annoying.  

It's an irritating chord to say the least.

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I would imagine I have shoes older than the average age of the people making these decisions at TCM right now.

One by one, all we old fuddie-duddies (you know- the faithful viewers who have sustained TCM for years)  shall pass from this existence, and it seems TCM is getting ahead of things by trying to attract younger viewers- with flashing logos, discordant music, and apologies for the work of great directors like John Ford (The Searchers) and producers like David O. Selznick (Gone With the Wind).  Notice that TCM continues to play these horribly outdated, racist films, rather than shelving them. It's all about "education" you see. Uh huh

It's as idiotic as it sounds and they seem to be oblivious to the fact that it is the films themselves which attract viewers of any age.  In my experience, decisions by committee almost always turn out to be ham-fisted and ineffective, if not downright counterproductive.

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I noticed that the TCM shop was filled with mugs, baseball caps, t-shirts, etc. using the horrible new logo.  I wonder, I wonder if anybody is actually buying this stuff. TCM is also hedging their bets by having some items with the termed "classic logo" (i.e., that old, horrible thing that they couldn't wait to get rid of.)  The Christmas Mug is especially horrifying:    https://shop.tcm.com/tcm-holiday-mug/762184855202

 

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2 hours ago, unwatchable said:

Notice that TCM continues to play these horribly outdated, racist films, rather than shelving them. It's all about "education" you see. Uh huh

Actually, one poster suggested on another thread that these movies have perhaps already been shelved, citing their total absence from the schedule in recent weeks and months.. Another poster argued that maybe they're not being shown just because they're not being shown.

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32 minutes ago, sewhite2000 said:

Actually, one poster suggested on another thread that these movies have perhaps already been shelved, citing their total absence from the schedule in recent weeks and months..

I'd be delighted for that to be the case. Let them cut off their nose to spite their politically correct, "progressive" face.

32 minutes ago, sewhite2000 said:

Another poster argued that maybe they're not being shown just because they're not being shown.

Well, I would argue they're not being shown because they're not being shown, no matter what the reason they're not being shown. 😜

moviecollectoroh's list indicates that both of these films were last aired in July, 2021.

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When promotions for films are done with the accompanying sounds of rap "music" I will know that it is time for TCM and me to part company. (Either that or I just wear ear muffs and take them off when the films begin).

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TCM is different than other movie-type networks.  Most of those places are just video juke boxes that play the hits one after another.  TCM was, and hopefully always will me, a network that is thematic.  It concentrates on a time and place.  Classic movies.  The studio system.  Sure, a few more recent movies can creep in, but that is NOT what TCM is, in its soul -- and in ours.

The New Stuff is just crap.  Can I say that?  Will it get spammed-out?  We'll see...

The music is horrible.  Did anyone think of creating "variations on a theme?"  Maybe one that's more orchestral or jazzier, less punchy?  I know that, back in the day, TV stations would create music for their news and promotional campaigns and they'd go to great lengths and expense to "mix it up" so that while the "imaging" was similar, the various cuts were mixed differently.  TCM, from what I can tell, has this ONE PIECE OF EXTREMELY ANNOYING MUSIC. 

And excuse me for being dense, but does someone think that the much-desired younger demo is going to watch/not watch because the music and graphics are different?  Please!  People either like the movies or not.  End of story.

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