Inspiration For 2019–Turner Classic Movies Film Festival 2018!

The hurly-burly of hustling down Hollywood Boulevard hasn’t altered much from pass holder forays down the busiest street in LA in 2017. The hawkers and gawkers, snake-handlers and CD sellers, presenters and pass holders all navigate the obstacle course while snapping photos of their favorite star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  The haves are constantly juxtaposed against the have nots, and sometimes the have nots are not what they seem.

On my first day, Tuesday, April 25, I found that a man who appeared to be in his mid-30s had asked me for money so he could buy food. I told him I would be happy to buy him a meal at the local fast-food establishment that I was preparing to patronize. He looked at me with disgust, waved me away, and obviously wasn’t as hungry as he appeared to be.  Of course, I shrugged off the incident. It might just happen again. The first rule of Hollywood Boulevard is… “don’t talk about Hollywood Boulevard.” Stick to the movies, the presenters, the high cost of a refreshing beverage poolside. We can always talk about Hollywood Boulevard later.

Mary Astor has fans celebrating her life and struggles in interviews and a documentary film by director Alexa Foreman, Scandal:The Trial Of Mary Astor, which had its world premiere at the TCM Film Fest….(photo courtesy of Miss Paula who chose the special Mary Astor brew at a local java joint in honor of the documentary screening)

Wednesday afternoon at Larry Edmunds Bookshop, the premiere bookstore on Hollywood Boulevard, Director Foreman participated in an SRO Q & A with yours truly to celebrate the Mary Astor doc…

Andrew Yang, great grandson of Mary Astor, shared lifelike dolls of the classic film star with the audience, which are produced by his company…

Cora Sue Collins, Barbara Rush and author Meredith Ponedel wait for Kelly Kitchens’ social media party to commence. Actor Ted Donaldson also attended.

Social media garden party pass holders focus on an interview with Cora Sue Collins and Barbara Rush conducted by author Danny Miller…

Festival pass holders actually started dribbling into the Hollywood Roosevelt Lobby on Monday, and by Tuesday, the more dedicated had already plunked down their credit cards at the HRH Reservation Desk hoping they wouldn’t be charged for the entire contents of their mini-bar before they checked out. Notice the look of uncertainty and disbelief as the hotel guest signs the blank credit card authorization form the seconds before a digitized plastic room key is presented. Not only is their expression unsettling, but some of the signatures are even a little wobbly. But all fear and trepidation melts once the guest has left luggage in the room, and ridden down the elevator to greet friends schmoozing and lounging in the lobby.

Lobby love with writer and gadabout Kim Luperi and TCM’s ever effervescent Shannon Clute…

Media-fest pre-party finds TCM Backlot commercial cutie Beth Ann Gallagher and TCM Host Alicia Malone clinching before the fest frenzy…..

Host Scott McGee, Turner Portfolio 360 Brand Strategy and General Manager Jennifer Dorian, and FilmStruck Guru and Senior Vice President of Programming and Production, Charles Tabesh…

The first order of business at the TCM Film Festival is usually a Meet The TCM Panel, and this year was no different, only a few of the players changed.

Getting ready to par-tay with Julia Ricci, Priscilla’s hubby, Jeff Lundenberger, Priscilla Smith and Patrick Goff…

Chinese Multiplex Mania with Danny Reid, Joel Williams, Jessica Pickens, Kendahl Cruver, and Christy….

All anxieties disappear once pass holders greet old friends from previous festivals, reconnecting with a family of choosing instead of a group of genetic links who do not necessarily connect emotionally with classic film, travel, sitting in the dark for extended periods of time, or mountains of pre-popped popcorn and Twizzlers.

Andrew Yang, great-grandson of Mary Astor, with friend in Club TCM….

Hollywood legend Norma Weingarten Pisar, Diane Baker, actress and close friend of Robert Osborne, TCM Programmer Dennis Millay, and Kelly Brady lobbying for a photo-op. Pisar is the daughter of Jessie Marmestan, a USC/MGM doctor, goddaughter of Norma Shearer, step-daughter of Lawrence Weingarten, and ex-wife of Sam Pisar, and has been involved in many creative endeavors in LA.

Cinemaven Theresa Brown, perpetual TCMFF Florida Fan Sam Mahin, and Paula “Cinema Detroit,” #TCMParty doyenne grab a moment to pose in the Chinese Multiplex Lobby, always a popular gathering spot for fest-themed displays…

Fans ready for the Red Carpet Rumba near the entrance to the TCL Chinese Theater, formerly and always Grauman’s to classic film fans…

Credentialed Media mavens (L to R), Kim Luperi, Michelle Conte, a perky but unknown credentialed media gal, The Nitrate Diva’s Nora Fiore, and (Front) Journeys in Classic Film’s Kristen Lopez, gather for the race down the TCMFF Red Carpet 2018…

PR whiz Liz Kelly is ready for celebs!

TCM’s Duchess Of Social Media Marya Gates, Raquel Stelcher, and Asbury Park, New Jersey’s Jeff Lundenberger….

And the celebs are off to the races!!

Juliet Mills and husband Maxwell Caulfield…

New TCM Host Dave Karger engages with media…

Author Alan K. Rode, Michael Curtiz: A Life In Film, greets a journalist and fan …

TCM VP and Brand Activation and Partnership whiz Genevieve McGillicuddy enjoys the cheering crowd with the RC Host…

Mario Van Peebles escorts his father, Melvin Van Peebles, who told yours truly that being at the TCMFF was ” the most love I ever had with my clothes on!”

TCM’s Jennifer Dorian reiterated the future vision for the network after Coleman Breland, President Of Turner Classic Movies and Turner Content Experiences, outlined the detailed plans for connecting with fan interests, expanding content choices and remembering the enormous impact that former TCM Host Robert Osborne had on the network…

Wyatt McCrea, grandson of classic film heartthrob Joel McCrea, laughs at a journalist’s comment..

Pola Changnon, TCM SVP Of Marketing, Creative and Brand Services, shared her excitement for this year’s special guests and screenings…

Noir Alley Kingpin Eddie Muller emotes…

Rosanna Arquette, happy about the Bill Cosby conviction earlier in the day stated, “Justice was done today!”

Writer and presenter Cari Beauchamp is interviewed by TCM’s Kristen Welch in front of the cheering fan gallery…

Actor and comedian Dennis Miller seriously readies for the next barrage of questions…

Writer, author and Treasures from the Disney Vault Host Leonard Maltin is always ready to share…

Animated Ruta Lee talked, laughed, and shared with all the journalists, the most energetic and democratic of special guests…

2018 Oscar-winning costume designer Mark Bridges introduced Gigi at the festival…

Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey shared their love for the epic Zeffirelli film, Romeo and Juliet…

First Robert Osborne Award recipient Martin Scorsese, founder of The Film Foundation and the World Cinema Project, rushes down the runway to prepare for the ceremony…

The opening night Red Carpet Gala Premiere of The Producers was preceded by a new event, heralding a memorial to an esteemed, honored man revered by all fans of Turner Classic Movies, Robert Osborne. The festival website defines the event:

Turner Classic Movies is proud to honor our late host, Robert Osborne, with the creation of the Robert Osborne Award. This annual award will be presented at the TCM Classic Film Festival to an individual whose work has helped keep the cultural heritage of classic films alive and thriving for generations to come.

The presentation of the first Robert Osborne Memorial Award, presented by Leonardo Di Caprio, went to esteemed director, writer, and film historian, Martin Scorsese. Scorsese walked down the Red Carpet quickly with an escort.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVt7yPeYe8o

Pass holders don’t care about the drunks, the drug addicts, the beggars or the trash up and down the street. Yes, they give out money, pay for food, and generally try to be respectful of the people in the parade that they constantly wish they could pass by. Die-hard fans attending the TCM Film Festival care about having a communal, family-oriented gathering with like-minded friends who share common ideas and beliefs. Strategizing the mine field of Hollywood Boulevard is nothing when we pass holders consider what will be shared at the end of a trek to the Egyptian or back up the boulevard to the Chinese. Walk, Don’t Run the next time an opportunity is offered to be with friends from all over the world who want to share experiences like the annual spring convention on Hollywood, Boulevard.

The world premiere screening of Scandal:The Trial Of Mary Astor saw Host Gary Freedman and Director Alexa Foreman wistful as they remembered their good friend Robert Osborne ….

Java jaunt before Stage Door’s screening at The Egyptian…

Director Sean Cameron showing some pass holder passion….

And there’s always the thrill of the Hand and Footprint Ceremony at the TCL Chinese Forecourt…

Academy-Award Winner Cicely Tyson waits for her moment in the hand and footprint sunshine with director, actor, and producer Tyler Perry….

Cicely Tyson listens to fans and photogs shouting “hurrahs” as she takes time to make it right…

Closing night party huzzahs in Club TCM…. and spilling into the lobby…

Marion Davies’ biographer and fest presenter Lara Fowler with credentialed media Kristin Sales…

Canada’s Heather Dagorne, The Bay Area’s Miss Paula, and Minnesota’s Vickie “Vickster” Gleason…

Christy with Disney historian and author J.B. Kaufman….

PR gal Kelly Kitchens, Susan Godfrey, and Minnesota’s Vickie Gleason…

Everybody had to have their photo op with Sheryl Birkner…

Classic Movie Hub’s AnnMarie Gatti and cousin Doreen…

Theresa Brown, Sam Mahin, and Ana Eire…

Mark Wickersham, Kelly Kitchens Wickersham and Lawrence Kaplowitz…

TCM’s Dennis Millay and jet-setting fangirl Jackie Brady….

Authors Sloan De Forest, Must See Sci-Fi, and Jeremy Arnold, The Essentials- 52 Must See Movies. Warner’s new book about Christmas-themed films comes out soon …

Director Alexa Foreman and Dan from Florida…

Jocelyn Dunphy and good friend Lenore K…

Jasmine, Alan and Chris…

Diana Panda and yours truly…

Two Laura’s, one Mike, and one Jasmine…

Aurora Bugallo and Kaci Kielmar bookend a happy couple…

Larry and Monika Henreid dining in style…

Larry’s Brigade, almost all pals from The TCM Message Boards, The Silver Screen Oasis, and the first fest in 2010…

Beautiful Diane Baker….

Journeys in Classic Film’s Kristen Lopez and Christy….

Selfie with Karen Burroughs Hannsberry

Jeff Lundenberger, Christy, and Jeff Tambor of Larry Edmunds Bookshop …

Kelly Brady and Miss Paula….

With the ever kinetic Jack Fields…

Wendy Mahaffey and Heather Dagorne ready for next year…

Well, the party’s over for 2018. Pretty soon we’ll be partying like it’s 2019!

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TCM FILM FESTIVAL PASS HISTORY—A few updates….

I had a few moments to update an earlier article concerning the TCM Film Festival, pass history, and updates for annoucnements, special guests, and films.

This is not a comprehensive list, and there may be errors, but it’s definitely a loose guideline timeline, and accompanying photos are not necessarily linked by the years in which they were initially created.

2010        2010         2010         2010        2010          2010           2010           2010             

The First TCM Film Festival was originally announced on September 9, 2009.

With Mrs. Peter Fonda, the man himself, Shirlee Fonda, and Robert Wolders on April 27, 2013….

Pass sales began 11-18, early incentive of $100 discount if passed purchased before 12-18 -2010

Films announced March 9, 2010.

Panel topics and panel guests March 18, 2010.

Christopher Plummer in 2015….

Spotlight Pass Contest began in March ….

Spotlight Passes sold out on February 18

Behind the scenes with Robert Osborne at the Hand and Footprint ceremony for Jerry Lewis in 2014….

2011      2011       2011        2011       2011      2011       2011       2011     2011       

Tippi Hedren and The Birds, selected films announcement on 12-11-2010

Film updates on 12-20-2010

Film festival update on 1-31-11

Social media fans with TCM Host Ben Mankiewicz at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in 2014….

2012      2012     2012      2012     2012     2012    2012    2012    2012     2012   

Film update on 1-31

Kim Novak announcement 3-6

Film and Special Guest updates on 3-8

Panel updates 3-19

Richard Lewis, Jerry Lewis, Illeana Douglas and celebrity fan crack smiles in 2014…

2013      2013      2013     2013       2013     2013      2013      2013     2013      2013         

Dates announced 10-10-2012

Spotlight Passes sold out on November 16

(Earliest on record and one day after sales began.)

Films and panels update on 1-17-14 Special Guests announcement on 4-17-13

Social media fans with TCM Host Ben Mankiewicz in 2012,,,,,

2014     2014      2014    2014    2014    2014     2014     2014     2014     2014    2014   The 20TH Anniversary Party!

Dates announced on October 2, 2013.

Festival promo video released on 10-2-2013

Quincy Jones announcement on 12-5-2013

Oklahoma! and Special Guests announced on 2-13-2013

Maureen O’Hara and other special guests announced on 2-5-13  Classic passes sold out before the festival.   Gone With The Wind, Why Worry? and The Wizard of Oz announced as screenings on 10-29

Essential passes sold out on 11-4-2013

Panel updates on Thursday, 3-13-2014 

  

Popular Bay Area fan Paula, Mr. Osborne’s first cousin Susan, and Senior TCM researcher Alexa Foreman prior to Robert Osborne’s surprise tribute in 2014…

2015      2015    2015     2015     2015    2015   2015    2015    2015    

TCM’s Scott McGee visits the Hollywood Time Machine on 9-27-14 and announces that a festival update is coming “soon.”

Hollywood Roosevelt sold out on 10-2-14

Announcement of festival theme and 4 Restorations coming to the festival on 11-4-14

Pass sales begin on 11-11-14

Upates on 3-13-15

Kim Novak and TCM Host Robert Osborne at the closing night party in Club TCM 2012…

2016?             2016?               2016?               2016?

Dates announced for TCMFF 2016 on Wednesday, August 28 for April 28-May 1

(The earliest announcement date of record.)

And we are all anxiously awaiting updates for the coming  year’s celebrations. Update: ESSENTIAL AND SPOTLIGHT PASSES SOLD OUT AT THE CITIBANK PRESALE ON 11-17-2015.

See you in 2016!

Turner Classic Film Festival 2015 and Memories of 2010

Dateline: HOLLYWOOD, Tuesday, March 24

Meeting my dear friend, the Countess De Lave, on my first day back in LA since 2014 afforded us a joyous reunion. I met her at the very first TCM Film Festival in 2010. She has a rental car, and a very comfortable ride it is. As she zooms away from our good friend Mark at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel Valet Portico, she has a devilish smile, and I realize she has been up to something. What that something is definitely constitutes a lovely surprise.

As she tools down Orange St., away from the hubbub of arriving TCM Film Festival 2015 passholders, I am experiencing the excitement of a new adventure.

“I’ve made reservations,” she coyly reveals as we wait at the first of several stoplights.

“You have made reservations. Hmnn. That means we are going somewhere special!” I delighted.

“Yes, we are,” she said.

“And will you tell me where we are going before we get there, or will you keep me in suspense like a Hitchcock mystery? Where will we find our maguffin?”

“I have made reservations for us to lunch at….Chateau Marmont!”
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I squeal in delight. I know not how she wrangled such special treatment for two gadabout gals who love to laugh, dine, and discuss the events of the day with a wink and a cocktail or two.

As we drive, I wonder who will be there. The Chateau Marmont is the Bide-a-Wee hideaway for some of the actual movers and shakers of the film industry currently and during it’s heyday, and a serious stop on the way up or down from the peculiar pecking order established by A-listers and B-wannabes. Will Michelle Grammer be there plotting her next reality show? As well-dressed tourists, we don’t have to worry about where we fit in. We just need to have enough cash to tip and cover the bill.

As we drive through the traffic, the Countess and I discuss how much fun the first festival had been. That’s when we met, the very first night. As we chatted about the first festival, I looked up the list of all the celebs that graced the stages, attended the parties, and chatted during panels at Club TCM:

* Actor Jean-Paul Belmondo
* Editor and author Peter Biskind
* Film director and historian Peter Bogdanovich
* Film historian and author Donald Bogle
* Academy Award-winning actor Ernest Borgnine
* Actor, producer, director and writer Mel Brooks
* Producer and director Frank Capra III
* Noted filmmaker John Carpenter
* Author Cheryl Crane
* Actor Tony Curtis
* Producer and Director Stanley Donen
* Emmy-nominated actress Illeana Douglas
* Photographer, writer and editor Curtis Hanson
* Screenwriter and actor Buck Henry
* Actor, writer, director and producer Darryl Hickman
* Award-winning actress and director Anjelica Huston
* Award-winning actor Danny Huston
* Writer and editor David Kamp
* Editor and writer Sam Kashner
* Actor Martin Landau
* Actor, director and producer, Jerry Lewis
(Due to unforeseen circumstances, we regretfully announce Jerry Lewis has cancelled his appearance.)
* Actor, producer and director Norman Lloyd
* Film historian and author Leonard Maltin
* Actress Nancy Olson
* Actress Luise Rainer
* Director, producer and writer Richard Rush
* Academy Award-winning actress Eva Marie Saint
* Academy-Award winning visual effects artist Douglas Trumbull
* Academy Award-winning actor Jon Voight
* Actor Eli Wallach

My first Thursday in LA found me atop the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel anxiously awaiting my Fan Perspective Interview conducted by TCM’s Tim Reilly and photographed by FX’s premiere cinematographer currently working on the Syfy network’s Face Off, Bruce Dorfman. I was nervous. I told stories. I sang a song. I couldn’t hardly see a thing as the sun was in my eyes. The handsome assistant attaching my mike got awfully frisky, and I asked him if he needed a medical degree for what he was doing.

My friend, Lynn Zook, kept giving me the “thumbs up.” I stopped chatting and asked director Tim Reilly what to do, and he laughed and smiled, and said, “just keep talking.” For some reason, when I’m nervous in LA, it just doesn’t feel the same as when I’m nervous in Texas.

Here’s the youtube link to my interview that is still periodically screened on TCM: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=yddHfhbr4J4

Lynn and I had met previously in Las Vegas in 2007 when I was presenting a seminar at the National AP Conference at the Venetian. We had known each other online for quite some time because of our association on the TCM Message Boards, and her enthusiasm for classic film and her encyclopedic knowledge is so inspiring. The first festival ensured that we connected with all our TCM Message Board crew like Kingrat, Filmlover, and Kyle in Hollywood. What a joyous, well-versed group of friends to be met! And I’m happy to say we all still connect online and in person.

The only member of our group who no longer can celebrate with us is the late Kyle Kersten, who unfortunately has passed away. But all of his threads created on the TCM Message Boards are archived on the site here:
http://forums.tcm.com/index.php?/forum/140-remembering-kyle-in-hollywood/

The very first Gala Premiere at the TCM Film Festival in 2010, saw Judy Garland on the screen at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre tantalizing the audience with her songs, dances, and genius. Robert Osborne introduced the film, and Joey and Lorna Luft, who were in the audience. Afterward, Alec Baldwin joined Robert Osborne on stage for some cute banter and schtick.

Afterwards, I quietly slipped out of the screening to head to the Hollywood Roosevelt Pool.

Then I went to the Esther Williams and Betty Garrett pooside bash. Ben Mankiewicz introduced them and had a short discussion with those lovely ladies before the film began. Unfortunately, Esther Williams was in a wheelchair but seemed in good health and quite perky. She was wearing a cranberry red sequined jacket, and sparkled when she spoke. Still a feisty gal, and still has her bathing suit business because the Aqualillies were sporting her little red swimsuits. They had a great show, doing some of the same Esther Aquatics we’ve known and loved.

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Betty Garrett was having a little trouble speaking due to a cold or something, but she was so cute, too, and seemed quite energetic. Esther left shortly thereafter, and so did Betty. But after the movie started, and the double duets of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” with Esther and Ricardo Montalban, and Betty and Red Skelton came on, Betty stepped back out on her patio from her private cabana at The Hollywood Roosevelt, and Garrett wistfully watched this sequence. As many of the viewers around the area saw her standing there, they turned and gave her a round of applause, and it looked like she teared up, and disappeared again into her suite. Besides meeting many new friends at the 2010 festival, the moment when Betty Garrett received applause during one of her greatest screen scenes while she stood on her cabana patio was my favorite moment during the first festival in 2010.

In 2015, I was chosen to be one of the premiere TCM Film Festival Social Producers, and had to miss the wonderful premiere of the 50th Anniversary edition of The Sound of Music with Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer introducing the film, but I was finally able to see The Man Who Shot LIberty Valance with my good friend Lynn, and her husband Jon. Keith Carradine sported a quick but enthusiastic introduction, and I cried at all the same places that I always do, especially when Vera Miles, as Hallie, reflects on her first love. The flowering cactus resting atop Tom Donafan’s casket still reaches deep into my soul, and elicits those liquid reflections of my appreciative emotions. It was a film I had longed to see on the huge silver screen of my dreams.

The first Vanity Fair party I attended in 2010 was held in Kress & Co., and I was the date of a very sweet man from D.C. whose wife was ill with cancer, and couldn’t accompany her husband. As we were walking in, I ran into Eva Marie Saint and her husband as they were exiting the festivities. Cher had come and gone in a white leather ensemble, and Hugh Hefner had made an appearance with a blond beauty. (Isn’t that the same newsflash from 40 years ago? )

Diane Baker had been escorted to the Vanity Fair party by her good friend, Robert Osborne, and I had a few moments to chat with her, as well as Jaqueline Bisset. There was even an Alec Baldwin moment when he told me “Hi, how’s it going?”
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As I sat with Countess DeLave in the lovely Chauteau Marmont restaurant enjoying the canned music, and the “lightning-fast service” reminiscent of Harmonia Gardens in Hello, Dolly, I laughed and laughed. I couldn’t believe we were actually enjoying these delicious salads, and flavorful entrees in such an emotionally-charged atmosphere of the Hollywood pecking order. The moment when we walked inside the restaurant area, about 65% of all the diners turned toward us, looked to see if we were “anybody,” and then slowly resumed their conversations and appetizers.

We even were allowed to see one of the suites just in case we decided to stay there in the future. Riding up in the elevator is even a transparent adventure in the “Who is that?” culture of the “in crowd.” Both elevators have windows in them so passengers can see who is riding up to their rooms or down to the lobby. If I ever stay here, I think I’d be afraid to walk down the hall in my bathrobe without makeup to find the ice machine in the middle of the night.

Best Advice: Always keep a lipstick in the pocket of your jammies when you stay at Chateau Marmont. A girl always needs to perk up her look, and she might want to leave a message on the mirror. 😀

On The Set Of Turner Classic Movies With Ben Mankiewicz…

I was lucky enough to spend December 6th at the Turner Studios in Atlanta watching Ben Mankiewicz film some of his segments for our favorite cable channel, Turner Classic Movies, which will be twenty years old in 2014, and it is still commercial free.

Where else can classic film fans view their favorite films ad-free and with in-depth commentary by Robert Osborne and Ben Mankiewicz?

As I was beginning research for an upcoming project, I wanted to consult with an industry professional, a historian, and a documentarian…

Senior Researcher Alexa Foreman hard at work…

My good friend, Alexa Foreman, Senior Researcher at TCM, took me on a short tour of the offices of TCM personnel concerned with the responsibilities of the day-to-day operations, and I met the lovely Holly Harper, a sweet lady who just happens to be Programming Director for TCM Canada. Harper also happily admits to reading the “Sue Sue” TCM Film Festival columns on the TCM Message Boards from time to time, some of which are archived on this blog, with more scheduled for updating by 2014. (The “Sue Sue” TCM Festival columns have a combined readership of over 300,000 views on three different blogs, one of which is The Silver Screen Oasis, host of a popular Guest Author Series highlighting authors concerned with classic film subjects.) Harper reads the TCM Message Boards every day and appreciates TCM viewers and their comments, and is enthusiastic about her dedication to TCM. I also was able to say hello to Tim Reilly, the director of my Fan Perspective Video filmed in 2010 on the roof of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles, and watch the elusive but adorable Sean Cameron as he directed Ben Mankiewicz’s segments, as well meeting many other hard-working and dedicated staffers.
I was most curious about how each introduction and final comments were written, reviewed, and filmed, and it is obvious that much detail and detective work accompanies scripts prepared for Robert Osborne and Ben Mankiewicz, and Mr. Osborne still reviews all the scripts.


Ms. Foreman, as “The Keeper of the Flame” of accuracy and detail, reviews content, checks facts, and monitors a shoot while it is being filmed from her office outside of the studio. Foreman also reviews the video feed from the studio to modify any changes Ben Mankiewicz or Robert Osborne might make to a segment.

In order to research each script, Foreman has access to a huge library of film-related books, compilations, filmographies, encyclopedias, and biographies of actors, actresses, directors, technicians, photographers, and screenwriters, a roomful of digital files and interviews, and various other electronic sources in order to develop scripts for Osborne and Mankiewicz.


One of the many hallways leading to the studio where Ben Mankiewicz films his segments contains highlights of Turner Studios through the years…


When I arrived on the set before Ben had entered, I was immediately offered a sumptuous breakfast prepared by a local Atlanta caterer who had steam tables filled with hot biscuits, sausage, bacon, cheese grits, and eggs. Also prepared for the staff on set included coffee, tea, and sodas, fresh fruit, granola bars, and other yummy snacks. Since the action on the set is fast-paced and allows for a short lunch break and a ten-minute turnaround between sequences, TCM ensures all the breakfast and lunch needs of crew members to keep everyone happy!

Pat Segers, in charge of makeup and hairstyling on the set, is another sweet lady who has been with TCM since the beginning of operations, and has been privy to many of Robert Osborne’s Private Screenings as well as many of Osborne’s own wraparounds as she was in charge of his makeup and professional appearance for so many years.
Segers shared that she met Betty Hutton, Robert Mitchum, Ann Miller, Jane Russell, and many other Private Screenings subjects, and marveled at how Osborne has been able to elicit such candid comments from many of Hollywood’s stars of classic films. Segers claimed Betty Hutton was quite nervous on the set, but Osborne’s manner helped to calm her for the cameras, and Hutton clutched her rosary for much of the filming. Ann Miller was very “polished” both in her appearance and her manner, and Robert Mitchum was laughing and joking with the crew, but was very ill at the time of his taping. Segers has her own personal styling business, and reveals that she “airbrushes” on all the foundation before her subjects are ready for their moment on the screen
When Ben arrived on the set, he smiled, and we started chatting about the last festival. He was happy to see I was there to chronicle his day in front of the camera.

Ben being prepped by a staffer for the next segment…

The first few moments before filming a segment, Ben reviews the scripts, and plans how he will pace his descriptions of each movie, sometimes repeating a name or phrase that he might be unsure of as he laughs and jokes with crew members in between preparation time and shooting the script. Ben also told me that he checks all his “scripts in the wraparounds” and receives copies several days prior to the shoot, editing and/or reviewing “every single one of them,” and often adding some of his personalized comments. On the day of filming, he reads through them again in order to make additional changes if necessary. With such detailed preproduction for the Mankiewicz and Osborne programs, Turner Classic Movies continues to be a cable channel whose personnel are all focused on accuracy and professionalism.

Ben wanted me to share our photo with everyone…

Ben also wanted me to share photos of some of his favorite friends…


The Atlanta set is decorated with a memento of Ben’s favorite dog, Rookie. Rookie’s leash and other pet related items kept  Ben wistful talking about Rookie, and he was deeply impressed to know that his fans cared so much about his beloved furry friend. Since there had been such concern during the last festival about the death of Rookie, he wanted everyone to see his current pals–Petey, Lewey, and Bob, and he said that Bob is actually a girl!

More in Part 2 …

Many thanks to Ben Mankiewicz, Alexa Foreman, Sean Cameron, and the crew of Turner Classic Movies for a fabulous day in Atlanta!

Pat Segers has her own make-up and styling business and can be contacted at pat@patsegers.com.

©

TCM Festival 2012

DATELINE: HOLLYWOOD ROOSEVELT HOTEL
Apr 11, 2012 12:21 AM

Just arrived this afternoon, and The Hollywood Roosevelt is all abuzz….passholders are arriving from all over the country, Canada, and Great Britain. Met a cute Australian in the elevator, but he’s not here for the festival…

The weather is delightful, and it’s brisk and cool here at night. The lovely Givenchy dress that Audrey Hepburn wore in Sabrina is safely encased in a lovely display in Club TCM, which is definitely decorated and arranged differently from last year.

TCM sent an email to passholders about some special events in the lobby. so check it out if you haven’t seen it already.

FYI, I just saw Elvis (impersonator) at CVS. He was buying some bottled water.
More later…