I'm still not sure how I was chosen to be a TCM Fan Programmer. I've been a member of their website's message boards for over five years. Two years ago, they were doing a series of interviews for their brand marketing division and I was asked to take part in that so I'm guessing that my invitation came because of that.
My husband and I flew to Atlanta in early November to be part of this Anniversary event. TCM had scheduled a cocktail party for Sunday evening. Considering we were flying across the country and the difference in time zones, we decided to go a day early so that we wouldn't be exhausted at the party.
The hotel they put all of us up at, the Mansion on Peachtree, is the nicest hotel we have ever stayed at, including some of the high-end hotels on the Las Vegas Strip. The staff at the Mansion was great and everyone staying there was impressed with the quality of service and the rooms. Each floor of the hotel has 24-hour butler service. Or as we film buffs say, "we each have our own Godfreys!" Yeah, we're that geeky.
I knew a couple of the Fan Programmers already, having met them on the TCM message boards a few years back. Since the three of us lived near each other, it made perfect sense to meet in person at Musso and Frank's back in 2006. But I didn't know the majority of the Fan Programmers.
I was thrilled to finally meet Joe Buonocore because I only knew him from the TCM website and I really respected the discussions he would start on the message boards. He was the oldest of the bunch, retired and living in Florida. He was accompanied by his daughter, Audrey. They both hit it off with my husband immediately.
I was worried that Jon would feel like a third wheel not being a film buff like myself and many of the other Fan Programmers but he had a great time meeting them and talking with them.
The cocktail party that first night was at the TCM Studios and on the set of "The Essentials". I think we were all a bit nervous initially walking into the Studios. We shouldn't have been. The staff of TCM including the VP of Programming, Charles Tabesh and the VP of Original Programming, Tom Brown were there as was the man himself, Robert Osborne.
The spread was lavish and we all got the opportunity to talk to each other. Robert Osborne made a point of talking to each of us. He assured us that there was nothing to be nervous about and to just relax and enjoy ourselves during the tapings.
It was a lively party as everyone was talking about films and getting to know each other.
The next day, the first group of interviews would be taped. I was in that group along with my buddies, Kyle and Peter. Also, part of that first group were Rome Mendheim (in fact, he was the first one interviewed Monday morning) who will be talking later this week about the gangster classic "Angels with Dirty Faces", Theresa Brown (who kicks off the Fan Programmer week tonight with the Bette Davis classic, "The Letter", Juan Castro (the youngest of the Fan Programmers-he's 14-who will be talking about his idol, Fred Astaire and introducing "Swing Time" on Wednesday.
While we were busy doing that, TCM had arranged for the Tuesday interviewees to take a historic trolley tour of Atlanta.
More to follow but here is the Fan Programmer Schedule for all those interested in watching TCM this week:
Remember all times are PST, so adjust them for your time zone!
Monday, April 13:
5 p.m. Theresa Brown, New York
Film: The Letter (1940)
7 p.m. Lani Golstab, Austin, Texas
Film: Grand Illusion (1937)
9 p.m. Peter Bosch, Hollywood, Calif.
Film: Those Lips, Those Eyes (1980)
Tuesday, April 14 (TCM’s 15th Anniversary):
5 p.m. April Lane, New York
Film: Gone with the Wind (1939)
*Gone with the Wind was the first movie to air on TCM
9 p.m. Lisa Mordente, Nanuet, N.Y.
Film: Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
11 p.m. Rome Mendheim, North Hollywood, Calif.
Film: Angels with Dirty Faces (1938)
Wednesday, April 15:
5 p.m. Joe Buonocore, Deltona, Fla.
Film: Double Indemnity (1944)
7 p.m. Juan Castro, Northridge, Calif.
Film: Swing Time (1936)
9 p.m. Lynn Zook, Sherman Oaks, Calif.
Film: She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949)
Thursday, April 16 :
5 p.m. Anna Seager, Salisbury, Md.
Film: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954)
7 p.m. Jeff Hoyak, Pequannock, N.J.
Film: The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
9:15 p.m. Kyle Kersten, Los Angeles
Film: Meet John Doe (1941)
Friday, April 17:
5 p.m. Monica Elliott, Atlanta
Film: The Maltese Falcon (1941)
7 p.m. Philip Himberg, Santa Monica, Calif.
Film: So Long at the Fair (1950)
8:30 p.m. Jay Looker, Sedona, Ariz.
Film: Silk Stockings (1957)