TCM Classic Film Festival Diary Wrap-up

DSCN1746Random thoughts and images from TCMFF 2015.

I attended: 14 movies, 1 event, 6 totally new films, 4 I hardly remembered, 2 favourites I chose and 1 fave (The Sound of Music) that came with the pass, so I had no choice there but great luck. Now for some random photos and lessons learned by a first-timer.

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Read everything about the fest and how it works before you go. I read stuff like this post by Chris Sturhann over and over, and told him so when I spotted him there (make sure to check out the posts he has linked at the end too, all vital info). There are many more about this year linked at A Classic Movie Blog. If it’ll be your first time, bookmark all these posts for future reference and read up again right before you go. For example, lines: rush to the next screening, get in line and after a while you get a numbered ticket marking your spot. They tell you what time to get back to reconstruct that line (which is a bit chaotic, but worked out). Until then you get some time for a bite, a chat or a bathroom break. (not enough for a restaurant meal though). If you’re not back in your spot on time, you will not be let into the theatre–heard of that happening more than once.

Some views of The Hollywood & Highland Center. The TCL Chinese Grauman’s and 6-plex are part of this, and we cut through here to/from our hotel everyday.

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Take a good camera and then use it! I got the first part right, and took a “real” camera because I know my phone is an epic fail in darker settings (see: Sound of Music post, lack of pictures in). But after going crazy and taking tons of great pics on day 1, I slacked off bigtime and now I really regret not having pics of nice sights, theatre facades, costumes on display, posters and art, celebrities speaking, and most of all the awesome people I was with and met. Make sure you check the batteries and SD card before you go too!

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Got great advice from TCMFF veterans: take a portable charger. Your phone will need some juice before day’s end, and though there are some charging stations, they were obviously busy, and I heard, slow to charge. With your own charger you get it done (and also charge up friends’ phones) during a movie.

Blogging during the fest? Your mileage may vary; some bloggers had posts up during, which is amazing, but I didn’t even try or take any tech to write with. Turns out I really needed that time to grab some sleep and be ready for the next day.


When you read in all the TCM posts how little time there is to eat, take it seriously. Could have used a few more of the In-N-Out meal I had on the first day (pictured above), because once the screenings started, there was one real meal a day: hotel breakfast. Otherwise it was popcorn, two hot dogs and two tacos. My memory of Pinocchio will always include being so hungry that I ate a hot dog faster than any record holder at Coney Island and briefly considered the wrapper part of an essential food group. 

Related to time for eating, make sure to schedule in time with friends who are going to different movies than you, because as I learned with Karen, you won’t see them much unless you make a date.


Have fun tweeting and monitoring chatter from other events, but please also look up from your phones to enjoy the people around you. Your fest will be wonderful because of the time spent talking not only to friends old and new but also turning to strangers and asking what they had just seen and what they were most excited about. Everyone there loves movies (I’m shocked!) and will have a fun story, debatable opinion, advice or experience to share. You’ll meet writers and bloggers wherever you turn; I heard all about the new book that Marya is working on, met Lindsay of Lindsay’s Movie Musings and Annmarie of Classic Movie Hub. More than once I learned it was a small world, with people from afar who knew someone from my hometown. DSCN1811IMG_1226aa

 LOVE this photo of Laura’s from her day 4 post

It was fun to see folks sneak looks at each others’ passes to see who they were before saying hello; ideally those passes should also have our twitter handles and blog names, since that’s how we introduced ourselves most of the time. You’ll hear this again and again from me and from other blogs: the movies and events are wonderful and memorable, no question, but the social part is what makes it so fun and meaningful. Here I’ll say once more how great it was finally meeting my “oldest” friends Laura, Karen and Stephen after so many years.

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I had a fantastic first TCMFF experience, where the only bad thing was how fast it all went by. It was a great event that I will always fondly remember and highly recommend.


*all photos are mine unless noted


14 thoughts on “TCM Classic Film Festival Diary Wrap-up”

    1. Haha!
      I’m just still so excited I need to get it all recorded! Thanks for making it such a fun time, and I hope we will both be there next year for more (and learn from some newbie mistakes)!

  1. Kristina, your fabulous coverage of the wrap of the Festival was the best next thing to coming there myself! So glad you had a wonderful time, my friend, and all of of movie lovers! 😀 Have a wonderful weekend!

    1. Thanks so much, I’ve been having fun reliving it all and trying to share, so I’m glad you enjoyed! I would be even more glad if you guys could make it someday and we all meet each other!! Have a nice weekend!

  2. Kristina,

    I’ve been in such a frenzy between trying to blog, work, and go to Noir City, I’ve not made many comments yet, but I want you to know I have eagerly read each and every post you’ve written on the festival! They are wonderful, really capture the feel of the entire experience. And I especially appreciate your kind comments — it was *so* special to spend so much time together!!

    This is a great overview of what you found helpful and of note as a “newbie.” Really enjoyed seeing the festival through your eyes from that perspective also.

    Best wishes,

    PS As I “dig out” I’ll be emailing you some photos!

    1. Hi Laura, thanks so much, it means a lot not just from a friend, but from one of the bloggers whose tcmff posts I ate up in years past that had me wanting to go someday. Now passing it on to people who haven’t been yet. Definitely grateful to have good friends like you that made the time there even more fun and memorable, can’t beat that :). And can’t wait to hear more from your other fests and screenings! Thanks again and best!

    1. Dreams can come true! Definitely you have to try it someday, hopefully I can answer any more questions you may have. Start putting pennies in the jar!

  3. Thanks for the hat tip Kristina. I’m still adding to that link post. There’s a crazy amount of coverage out there and I’ve found all of it worth reading because every festival experience is different. I loved your coverage and meeting you!

    1. You’re welcome and I agree, even at the same screenings people focus on different things, never mind all the variations in schedules you can get. It’s all great to read and relive everybody’s version of the fun. Thanks so much and that goes double: meeting all of you was the best part! Cheers

  4. Great tips for newbies! I will be sure to research them again when I go which (hopefully) will be next year.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences with us. I almost feel like I’ve been there! 🙂

    1. Thanks! I admit I feel weird giving tips at all, I’m far from an expert, but hey I was there so I learned some things. I’ll just have to keep going back til I’ve learned ALL the things! 🙂 and I really hope you do go!! You will have a blast, it’s worth all the pennies and the effort to save them. I hope to see you there!

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