Random 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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
(above photo courtesy Stephen)
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