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TCM Programming Challenge Voting


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Hey guys,

 

Got tired of looking at bad art. Reading the posts here is/was preferable to another room of badly drawn and over priced artwork.

 

Wanted to chime in with support for path and this great idea. I won't make illusions, it was harder than I expected and took more time than I first imagined. But at the end of the day it was kind of an escape and release for me to have that to do and I began to look forward to it. Even took it on the road with me so I would have something to do after business meetings were over for the day/evening.

 

It also gave me a very real appreciation of the job. (Yeah, I know that TCMProgrammer probably has a database of what's in the library and what has been run lately, but part of the discovery was that a number of films that I would love to have added to my schedule were not in the TCM library or previously screened on TCM so they had to fall on the cutting room floor based on path's rules and the reality of scheduling for TCM).

 

I hope that TCMProgrammer does use some of our ideas because they all showed the creativity of spirit in programming that we all love about the channel.

 

I cannot wait for the next challenge. I hope more folks participate because it really is fun and once you do it the next time is always easier. Just creating the template for me was half the battle because I went through three versions at least before settling on the easiest one. Figures. LOL!

 

So thanks to all who participated, voted and thanks a thousand times to path for coming up with the idea!

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Where are you looking at bad art? I look at bad art every day, but it's mine and I get paid for it. >>

 

I am out of town on business and they had a bunch of art galleries particpating in a free Arts night celebration. Some of the art was quite good but the majority was not and very overpriced.

 

I would lay good odds that your artwork was much better than the majority of stuff on display.

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"I would lay good odds that your artwork was much better than the majority of stuff on display. "

 

They have my condolences. I'm a pen/ink and watercolor guy, but I am rather proud of my "Movies We'd Love To See" series, with Bing Crosby and Barry Fitzgerald, as priests performing an exorcism.

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You Never Really Understand A Person Until You Consider Things From His Point Of View. - Atticus Finch / "To Kill A Mockingbird"

 

This exercise we have been participating in was begun as a reaction to all the carping by some folks that post around here about the redundacncy and predicatablity of the TCM schedule. It was "Put Up or Shut Up" time for all of us - fans and critics alike. Rising to the challenge wasn't easy as all six of us know. But each of us succeeded and, dare I say, excelled at what some others take for granted.

The most vocal critics of TCM chose not to participate - for better or worse - and for whatever reason they could find. It was too daunting, too tedious or just plain fultile in their eyes. But we saw it differently. Here was a chance to exercise our creative minds with our love of great movies. We "Put Up". And the others have "Shut Up" (at least for awhile lately). Being ever the optimist, perhaps even those that didn't participate have learned something. At least, I'm hoping their silence is saying something and it isn't just a coincidence. Just as I don't think it is a coincidence that so many films are found on multiple schedules.

 

Comparing the six schedules one finds "Young Bess", "The Unsuspected", "Force Of Evil", "Crossfire", "Stagecoach" and "The Long Voyage Home", among others, on more than one participant's schedule. And more than one person chooses to salute film composers, great character actors like Thomas Mitchell, Jack Carson or Frank Morgan, interesting source material like magazine articles or stage plays or places of film origin like the UK or California. This wasn't just "great minds thinking alike" but greater minds thinking alike and differently at the same time. And I am in awe of such a display of talent and scholarship and thrilled to have competed in such great company.

 

I am equally honored that three participants have singled out my work with their votes. That is unexpected and flattering. I have thanked them each of them privately but want to do so publicly in the forum too. Allieharding, filmlover and lzcutter's recognition is probably the second best honor I could receive. The best honor would be to find an idea of mine on the TCM schedule in the next few months. No tangible prize could take the place of that. And I hope all the others feel that way too.

 

I am unable to say that any one schedule is better let alone the best. And every posted schedule has many many films I would love to see in the near future on top of all the films I found for my own schedule that are unknown yet intriguing to me. Some folks excelled by sticking to the traditional TCM template and while others flourished by throwing off those constraints. Each approach produced magnificent results but I don't have five votes to spread around. I don't have three votes to award as a "Thank You" to the three participants who voted for me. I have a single vote and it goes to filmlover - for making me smile with "Another Thin Man" and recalling Nick Jr. sweetly imploring "Daddy...Drink Milk" at the beginning of the week and ending the week with the day long look at The Hollywood Ten.

 

I was so close to abstaining but couldn't get past the idea that it was a cop out and more of an insult to everyone than choosing one recipient.

 

It is 11:45am. I have fretted enough for one night. This probably should be editted and proofread but I have to hit post.

 

Congratulations to all of us. We all succeeded. And I hope the nattering nabobs of negativity that reside around here take the above advice from Atticus Finch before they hit post the next time.

 

Kyle in Hollywood

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Kyle,

 

That I could be half as eloquent as you in your post.

 

Kudos on your choice and major kudos on the post.

 

I,too, agree that the highest honor would be for our ideas to show up on the schedule. TCMProgrammer feel free to use, I doubt any one will object.

 

From the beginning line to the end, your post was a pleasure to read (and you know I am a sucker for "Mockingbird" quote) and above all, a pleasure to be in the challenge with you and the other participants.

 

I hope we all re-up when Path calls on all of us (that refers to all of us on the board, not just the participants this time around) for the next round.

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Kyle, to read such a wonderful, thoughtful observation of the whole challenge was terrific in itself, but then to find out that I was the one you voted for meant so much. Thank you. You have made my day. And what makes it even more special is the company I am keeping in here.

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Now that the challenge is over with, I have a question for everyone that entered:

 

1. What films did you include in order to create a balance?

 

We were all TCMProgrammer for a week and we know that the programmer thinks about these things when putting the schedule together.

 

2. Did you impose restraints upon yourself trying to appease views and opinions that you have read on this message board?

 

Certain films may be considered offensive to some viewers in regards to the year of the film release, language, nudity and political view.

 

3. Do you feel that the films that you included would accomplish the outlined objective laid down by Path to bring new and younger viewers to TCM?

 

We know that TCM pays attention to the competition, Fox Movie Channel, Sundance and IFC.

 

4. What do you think the goal, objective, and future growth of TCM should be?

 

A new TCM channel that will be more progressive showing Art House Films, Imports, and films that appeal to a more educated audiance may be on the minds of those at Time Warner.

 

Just an after thought to our shared experience, take your time and any of your thoughts and or questions would be welcome.

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1. What films did you include in order to create a balance?

 

Good question. There were times in the creating each day?s schedule where I had to juggle films because some films would play better at night or would have more of a chance of drawing a bigger audience if played during Robert Osborne?s evening showings.

 

A film with more adult themes, such as ?A Streetcar Named Desire,? I opted for later in the night. And then there were films like ?Sounder? that I thought should be shown on a Sunday afternoon because it could reach more of a family audience. ?Sounder,? to me, also just feels like a movie that should be played in the sunlight.

 

Here?s another example that you can see what I mean: for those who have seen the great Danny Kaye film, ?The Court Jester,? where would you place it? In the evening? While it would be nice to have an Osborne intro and exit, it would not be a film that would draw new people in at night when there is so much competition from NBC, ABC, etc. It?s also been played a number of times, so it isn?t a premiere that would attract hardcore TCM viewers, either. They will likely figure it will be on again at some point. It?s also a light entertainment. I first saw it as a kid at a matinee several years after it came out. It?s is a perfect daytime fun movie. And a Saturday daytime showing with a host would be great. (Host-shown films seem, to me, to add a bit more significance to a film, like, ?Hey, we think this is a film you should see and here?s why??

 

 

2. Did you impose restraints upon yourself trying to appease views and opinions that you have read on this message board?

 

My answer to this has two points:

a. The challenge was created because several regular posters were complaining about the schedule that the TCM programmer was doing. Path40a gave everyone, especially the naysayers, a chance to program a week of films that they wanted. Myself, I have been very happy with what has been scheduled, but I saw this as a fun exercise to create a week just the way I wanted (how many other networks can you do that with?). So, it being a limited opportunity, I plugged in films I like.

b. I never limited what I wanted based on others? opinions because with all the conflicts of tastes here, I think I would never have been able to create a full, flowing schedule. Also, there is a line in the movie ?1776? (one of the films I included) which applies to this: it is a quote of a Member of the British Parliament, ??that a representative owes the people not only his industry, but his judgment. And he betrays them if he sacrifices it to their opinion.?

 

 

 

3. Do you feel that the films that you included would accomplish the outlined objective laid down by Path to bring new and younger viewers to TCM?

 

As mentioned in answer to 1. above, I came to realize that the programming of the evening?s films was very important.

 

 

4. What do you think the goal, objective, and future growth of TCM should be?

 

a. Keep playing great old films and adding in occasional recent films ones that fit into the category of classic (meaning: great).

b. Keep adding rarely seen films at possible chance. Keep communicating with the audience (via forums like this).

c. TCM staff, keep being film buffs yourself because the people can always tell when they have someone in charge who loves what he does.

d. Keep doing scholarships but expand it to include people of all ages. TCM is doing their composers thing to a young level because it helps eager new talent and TCM knows that a foot in the door at an early age can lead to a great career. However, there are people beyond those age restrictions who have talent and have not been discovered. For someone like myself who is older, we may no longer see a chance for a full career in whatever our chosen field, but certainly we would like to have the chance to live out our dream and see it realized at least one time. That fifteen minutes of glory can last us a lot longer personally.

 

Now, I have a question to ask of everyone who did a schedule:

Did you create a schedule that you were 100% pleased with? Or, like me, do you feel many of your best ideas came after posting and you can?t wait to get another crack at it?

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Hi allieharding,

 

1. What films did you include in order to create a balance?

After getting a a firm draft done on the challenge, I was very conscious of needing to add a military film ("Stand By For Action"), an extra color musical ("Two Weeks With Love") and something romantic ("The Law And The Lady") to the final version. Even though they were the "Filler" to the schedule, I labored on these choices just as hard.

 

2. Did you impose restraints upon yourself trying to appease views and opinions that you have read on this message board?

I am not big believer in appeasement when it comes to habitual whiners. But I made note of legitimate and reasonable ideas that I had read around here. And I had no qualms premiering a movie from the '90s in primetime on my schedule.

 

3. Do you feel that the films that you included would accomplish the outlined objective laid down by Path to bring new and younger viewers to TCM?

Maybe "new" viewers but probably not younger viewers. The only concession I made in that regard was choosing films for Ben Mankiewicz. TCM seems to program a certain style of film during his afternoons - what I call "guy films" - so I programmed films such as "King's Solomon's Mines" and "The Three Musketeers".

 

4. What do you think the goal, objective, and future growth of TCM should be?

I don't have any advice to offer on that. TCM does what they do very well...so much better than Fox Movie Channel. And even IFC and Sundance are much less interesting lately than they once were.

 

There ya go allieharding.

Kyle in Hollywood

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I'm working on my ideas now, here is a rough draft of what I have so please excuse any incoherent thoughts.

 

1. I included films like Westerns that I would not watch put knowing that there are people who do like them I felt it was important to have these films represented. In considering these films I attempted to pick ones that had more added dimensions such as comedy, which the films ?THE ROUNDERS? (1965) ?CATLOW? (1971) display. The film ?WESTWARD THE WOMEN? (1951) is an unusual Western where women are the heros. ?COLORADO TERRITORY? (1949) which is a remake of director Raoul Walsh's own classic 'High Sierra' would be interesting in terms of how Raoul Walsh would re-interpit this story with Joel McCrea.

2. The rstraints I imposed on myself had to do with the fact that many of the films I included were released in the 1960?s and 70?s (22 films). I therefore made sure that the films released during the 1920?s and 1930?s were also represented such as pre-codes(16 films made between 1927 and 1932). I included (15 film) released between 1934 to 1949, and (25 films) between 1950 to 1959. So that is 56 films to 22 for a weeks schedule.

3. I feel that I did a poor job representing films that younger people would like. If I were teaching Art to kids K through 12, I would need to become familiar with what interests them and what they deem important in order to be a good teacher. If I made no attempt to provide lesson plans that dealt with this I would not reach them and I would not be a good teacher. The same is true for a programmer who wants to include this age group. He or she must keep up with events and situations that teens can relate to when providing films for this age group.

 

More thoughts later.

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Hey Allie,

 

1. What films did you include in order to create a balance?

I tried to include films from all the genres, westerns, noir, musicals, comedy, drama. The other thing I tried to do was when putting some of the sets together (ie Val Lewton, Precode Sunday, Chain Gang) was to put the films in chronological order (when the running times worked in my favor) so that viewers could see how the films or actors changed year to year or decade to decade .

 

2. Did you impose restraints upon yourself trying to appease views and opinions that you have read on this message board?

I didn't feel the need to impose restraints to make any faction happy because you can't make them happy. If you try to program just for any one faction you will end up alienating another group so it becomes a catch 22 real quick.

 

I had no qualms about adding films from the last thirty years where appropriate. SOB is a fun look at Hollywood, especially since it's based on Blake Edwards' experience with Darlin' Lily and MGM in the late 1960s. Add to that the homage to John Barrymore and it begs to be run with Raoul Walsh's interview about the real story of Barrymore's body. Should that be off limits because SOB is a film from the 1980s? I don't think so.

 

Likewise the Chain Gang evolution in my schedule. I would like to see those films back to back and I hope others do as well. Should it be scuttled because Cool Hand Luke and O Brother are after 1960? Not in the TCM world that I watch.

I don't have a problem with TCM running films made after 1960 as I think there have been many outstanding films made since 1960 and TCM is the one place I can see them letterboxed and unedited.

 

3. Do you feel that the films that you included would accomplish the outlined objective laid down by Path to bring new and younger viewers to TCM?

Probably not younger viewers but I would hope new viewers.

 

4. What do you think the goal, objective, and future growth of TCM should be?

I think TCM is doing a good job. I wish they would run more documentaries but I understand that they only have so much money each year in the budget for them and I am glad that they are producing new ones. I think TCM should continue to be the place where you can see classic films of all decades unedited and commercial free. I hope as the more rare films become available for the digital age that TCM will include them in the schedule. Our film heritage is an art form and needs to be seen to be appreciated. I appreciate that TCM tries to do that and I hope they will continue to do so.

 

Could they be more adventuresome? It's real easy to say sure. But aside from the library constraints we don't know what other constraints there are: films unavailable because they aren't on a digital format yet, films that are pulled by the studios because they are undergoing restoration, films unavailable because of racial or religious sensitivities that, no matter how mad it makes it us, is a real concern for studios because as I said in another forum, no one wants to go into the follow Fox into the fray of Charlie Chan. Perhaps if the new Chan releases go well, it will make it easier to release other sensitive films.

 

 

Hope that doesn't sound too esoteric or self serving,

 

Lynn aka izzy aka liz aka tz.......

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Now, I have a question to ask of everyone who did a schedule:

Did you create a schedule that you were 100% pleased with? >>

 

Filmlover,

 

I can't wait to find out what the next challenge is and to participate again.

 

I hope that those who didn't participate this time around will join us because it really is fun.

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Hi filmlover -

Did you create a schedule that you were 100% pleased with? Or, like me, do you feel many of your best ideas came after posting and you can’t wait to get another crack at it?

 

I am very pleased with the end result of my schedule. The evening themes fell into place quickly and the secondary salutes during the daytime houra evolved doing the reserch on on IMDB and the TCMDB. Both databases were invaluable for completing the schedule. I could come up with two or three films around a single idea but with a little research I was able to come up with three or four more titles that I could use. It then became an exercise in editing and trying to separate the wheat from the chaff. (or the 85 min films from the 125 min films cause thats what the time slot would allow.)

 

The only disappointment I have is that I couldn't come up with a clean, clear format in which to post the schedule that gave enough information about the films. I would have liked to show off some of the smaller details about the films that influenced my choosing them and why they were on the schedule where they were.

I don't know when the film "They Kew What They Wanted" (RKO/1941) was last shown on TCM but I stumbled across it in my research. It is directed by Garson Kanin and stars Charles Laughton and Carole Lombard in a story that sounds very Cyrano-esque. From what I have read, it sounds delightful and wish I could have included a description.

And I would have liked to highlight the common storyline of the double feature of "The Unsuspected" and "The Big Clock" pairing I placed on the schedule one afternoon (Ditto for "The Law and the Lady" and "Noboby Lives Forever") just in case certain readers weren't that familiar with the films by the title alone.

I did edit the schedule once to annotate it with such details but it became virtually unreadable - way too cluttered. If I could come up with a better posting format, I'd be content.

 

And I am looking forward to getting another crack at doing a schedule.

 

Kyle in Hollywood

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Well, I think Kyle got the last vote in, and what an EXCELLENT post & tribute to those that participated. I don't know how to thank ALL OF YOU for taking the challenge - creating a week's programming for TCM. Each of you is to be congratulated, each of us in indebted to you!

 

If I've counted correctly, here are the final results:

 

lzcutter - 4

jarhfive - 3

hlywdkjk - 3

filmlover - 3

allieharding - 2

MattHelm - 1

 

Please send me an e-mail (path40a@yahoo.com) with the information I'll need to have your prize shipped to you, with your first three choices. I'll be touch if none of your choices are still available and you need to choose another. Thanks again to tcmprogrammer for ensuring that all who participated were rewarded beyond just the fun of taking the challenge.

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Seems y'all had an active (final) night, and hence. Unfortunately, I was among the "digital homeless" this weekend (as my spouse cut our phone & high speed internet lines gardening on Friday afternoon). But our service was restored about an hour ago and I've been trying to catch up ever since. It appears the boards were spammed again, but y'all kept this thread active enough to be on the first page anyway.

 

Not surprisingly, as with the challenge itself, there was a notable silence wrt voting from the most vocal minority among us (e.g. those that always complain about the channel's programming). I guess some people are uncomfortable being "on record" with what they do like, preferring instead to voice what they don't. It just goes to show that there are two kinds of people in the world, those with good memories and , er, I forgot the other.

 

In any case, I think another challenge would be great, especially since I want to participate myself! I didn't think it would be right for me to, on the one hand, beg tcmprogrammer for prizes AND then participate in this one. It doesn't seem that prizes are necessary to get satisfaction from the challenge anyway (per the comments from each who participated). I think the idea that I just read that the winner (e.g. lzcutter) should begin the next challenge is a good one, and hope that Lynn will do so when she has time (and would certainly want her to participate again as well)!

 

Thanks again for making these boards a fun place to visit again. It got to be kind of a chore for a while earlier in the year with the anime & prophets of doom posts;-)

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Hello,

 

Congratulations lzcutter.

 

For me, assembling the schedule was not too work intensive.

 

My timeline:

--A week before schedule 'assembly', I decided on the theme and created and printed an Excel time grid.

--A couple of days before schedule 'assembly', I used a data search routine and collected 'snapshots' of movie data relevant to my theme. I collected the 'snapshots' in a folder on my computer hard drive. I collected what I thought was enough movies to fill out my theme for a one week schedule--I was wrong.

--I decided on June 1st as 'first day'.

--I looked up well known folks birthdays--June 1st to June 7th and picked appropriate candidates.

--I filled in the schedule starting at 6 AM June 1st and filled the schedule chronologically to June 7th. I was really on a roll after my "June 1st" day and had finished most of my schedule within three hours. I ran into a 'road block' on day seven--I ran out of 'theme' movies. I had to repeat the search and pick (theme movies) to 'fill out' the last day of my schedule.

--I discovered most of the start times for my schedule was Eastern, except I had 'prime time' programming start at 7:00 P.M.. I had to do quite a bit of shuffling to make all movies fit the 8:00 P.M. 'start' for prime time movies.

--I looked at previously posted schedules for possible duplications. I posted my schedule and the rest is history.

 

Note that I do the above thing for a living. About half of my paid job is collecting bits and pieces of data, editing and assembling into a data 'package'.

 

Rusty

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If I've counted correctly, here are the final results:

 

lzcutter - 4

jarhfive - 3

hlywdkjk - 3

filmlover - 3

allieharding - 2

MattHelm - 1>>

 

 

Wow!! I just came in from a long day to discover this! I am truly speechless. That sound you hear, that's the sound not only of the men working on the Chain Gang, but the sound of my jaw hitting the ground.

 

When I left home on Tuesday, I was barely in the running so this is very surprising.

Thank you to everyone who participated and to all those who took the time to vote but most importantly thank you to Path for reinvigorating this board and giving us all something to talk to about.

 

I have to admit as cliched as it may sound, it really is an honor to be a part of this challenge with so many posters I respect. I truly feel we all share this because

 

A- we were each willing to jump into the breach without knowing how many, if any, would follow.

 

B- we saw it through to the end and posted our schedules for everyone to see not knowing if there would be ridicule or respect, especially given the overwhelming amount of doom and gloom that had been posted about TCM and programming.

 

I can't wait to do this again though it looks like I'm in charge of the next challenge and will likely follow in Path's footsteps and sit that one out (because really how can you judge if you are playing?)

And actually that is okay with me because my real job is keeping me very busy for the next month. But not too busy that I can't come up with a challenge and supervise it.

 

I also hope that all the participants (me excluded) will re-up for the next one and others will join us. It really is alot of fun and now that we seem to have a template for posting down, that's half the battle.

 

So, let's all get some rest and get ready for the RETURN of the TCM PROGRAMMING CHALLENGE!!!

 

Coming Soon.......

 

Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel

 

Thank you again to everyone!!!! I really am surprised and grateful!

 

Lynn aka lzcutter aka izzy aka liz aka tzcutter aka stunned.

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"Note that I do the above thing for a living. About half of my paid job is collecting bits and pieces of data, editing and assembling into a data 'package'."

 

It wasn't too work intensive for me either. I basically knew what I've wanted to see on TCM for so long, plus I used to make the weekly schedule for 100+ employees. No one was allowed a set schedule, so I had to figure in full-timers and part-timers for a new schedule each week.

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