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The Forum for Questions for Charlie Tabesh

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The Forum for Questions for Charlie Tabesh

Postby moira finnie » August 3rd, 2009, 7:11 am

Please enter your questions in this thread for Charlie Tabesh to answer while he visits with us from Monday, August 3rd through Wednesday, Aug. 5th.

As you probably know, Mr. Tabesh has been with Turner Classic Movies since 1997. His duties include programming over 350 movie titles a month including the Race and Hollywood annual festival, Summer Under the Stars and the 31 Days of Oscar. He and his team coordinate the monthly programming and the acquisition selections.

Mr. Tabesh is instrumental in leading TCM’s ongoing commitment to film preservation and appreciation.

____________________________

To kick things off, I'd like to extend the thanks of the SSO to Charlie Tabesh for taking the time to visit with us and answer our questions. If I could ask an initial question it would be:

How has arranging the broadcast of films on TCM changed since you've been with the network? Thanks in advance for your reply.
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Re: The Forum for Questions for Charlie Tabesh

Postby movieman1957 » August 3rd, 2009, 8:45 am

WIth the increased ruputation of TCM is working with studios easier or about the same as it was in the past?

Once you have a kind of working agreement with a studio is there a package you lease or can you pick a certain number of titles in the deal?

Thanks so much for spending some time with us this week.
Chris

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Re: The Forum for Questions for Charlie Tabesh

Postby SSO Admins » August 3rd, 2009, 12:38 pm

I heard from Ken Winokur of Alloy Orchestra that it was getting much easier to work with Paramount on their early silents and pre-codes. Is that the case, and can we look forward to more from this particular studio in the future?

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Re: The Forum for Questions for Charlie Tabesh

Postby MissGoddess » August 3rd, 2009, 2:03 pm

Hi Mr T! I want to tell you that 2009 has been wonderful so far! (Especially the month of April :D )

My queston for you: Is there a chance in...wonderland...that TCM could get broadcast rights to
Gary Cooper's western, The Hanging Tree?
I understand there have been "issues" between Warners,
I think, and the Cooper Estate, but it would be exquisite if TCM could show interest. This western
is too darn good to be unseen for so long--it features an interestingly darker character for the actor.

P.S. While in France last week I met a lady who had a stand on the Right Bank selling vintage film
magazines (some going all the way back to the twenties!) She told me that she envies us here
in the States because we have TCM 24/7. She bemoaned the scarcity of classic film showings
on French TV. You have many fans over there. :)

April (aka MissG)
"There's only one thing that can kill the movies, and that's education."
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Re: The Forum for Questions for Charlie Tabesh

Postby tcmprogrammr » August 3rd, 2009, 2:29 pm

Hi April - we're working on an agreement with Warner Brothers, one that I hope will allow us to play "The Hanging Tree" next year. No promises, but I think there's a very good chance.

As your friend suggests, while there is a TCM in many countries around the world, each is programmed differently based on their business model and overall philosophy. We try to work together and share information as much as possible but we each have our own agreements with the studios and some (not all) have advertising.

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Re: The Forum for Questions for Charlie Tabesh

Postby tcmprogrammr » August 3rd, 2009, 2:34 pm

jondaris - I had not heard that but it wouldn't surprise me. I know the primary archivist at Paramount and he's eager to show off their great library. A couple of years ago we were trying to work with Flicker Alley on a Paramount silent and it was pretty difficult to obtain the rights. But that might have changed by now and if it has then there might be an opportunity to play more of them.

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Re: The Forum for Questions for Charlie Tabesh

Postby tcmprogrammr » August 3rd, 2009, 2:45 pm

Hi Chris - I'd say it's easier now than it used to be. We actually have pretty substantial agreements in place with every major studio. Traditionally networks license films for a set period of time (1 to 2 years, sometimes more, sometimes less) and a set number of runs during that time. There are real budget issues, so a model like that provides the incentive to play a film as many times as possible during that license period (because that means you could license fewer films). We've tried to work with each studio to provide greater access to their so we could play some films only once or twice - that allows us to dig deeper and play titles that are rarely seen. As you know, when we do any sort of festival (star-of-the-month or anything else) we like to showcase films that might not be as well-known but that are important to the theme we're highlighting. We still have plenty of limits and by no means do we have access to every film from every studio but on any particular month I think you'll see films from all of them.

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Re: The Forum for Questions for Charlie Tabesh

Postby Lzcutter » August 3rd, 2009, 2:46 pm

Hey Charlie,

Thanks so much for being here! Hope you are staying cool in the summer heat.

I have a question for you. Besides rights issues, what are some of the other problems you encounter when trying to book older, lesser known titles?
Lynn in Lake Balboa

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Re: The Forum for Questions for Charlie Tabesh

Postby tcmprogrammr » August 3rd, 2009, 2:50 pm

moirafinnie - I'm not sure how to answer that one. I've been with TCM for almost 12 years and I don't think my philosophy as the programmer or the overall philosophy of the network has changed at all. But, as I said in my reply to Chris, we do have access to more films than we used to because we've been able to work with all of the studios. And we're always trying to provide interesting and unique angles on film history. For example, we did a month-long tribute to Japanese filmmaker/animator Hayao Miyazaki. Several people thought we were on our way to becoming an anime network. We've done a Bollywood festival, Tarkovsky festival, etc. At the end of the day we program very thematically and those themes are often very different, but the basic underlying philosophy is the same.

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Re: The Forum for Questions for Charlie Tabesh

Postby tcmprogrammr » August 3rd, 2009, 2:55 pm

Hi Lynn - other than rights the biggest issue, by far, is quality of materials. A lot of films are in very bad condition, some aren't playable at all. And even if a studio does have film elements, they still need to be transferred to video which can be very expensive (and cost-prohibitive).

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Re: The Forum for Questions for Charlie Tabesh

Postby srowley75 » August 3rd, 2009, 3:14 pm

Hello,

Wanted to say that I particularly appreciate (1) the yearly special festivals highlighting race in Hollywood and (2) TCM Underground. I never thought I'd see Russ Meyer and Herschell Gordon Lewis on TCM.

I'm sorry if this has already been discussed in other forums or on the website, but are there any plans for TCM HD anytime soon? I know at least one friend that'd be delighted to be a subscriber, especially since TCM seems to be one of the most OAR-conscious networks currently operating.

Also, can we look forward to seeing more Universal or Paramount precoders in the near future?

(And in closing, I'll put in my own plug for Claudelle Inglish (1961), The Chapman Report (1962), Lucy Gallant (1955), and Too Much Too Soon (1958).) :wink:

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Re: The Forum for Questions for Charlie Tabesh

Postby moira finnie » August 3rd, 2009, 3:19 pm

Hi, Mr. Tabesh!

This question is from a friend of the site who loves TCM but may not have time to drop by here to ask it in person:

It's been great to see more Fox films like THE FARMER TAKES A WIFE (1935) and THE RAINS CAME shown on TCM recently. Is there any chance that in the future we might see any Jeanne Crain Fox titles like MARGIE and CENTENNIAL SUMMER? (Fox Movie Channel can go years in between showing certain titles...)


Thanks,
Moira
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Re: The Forum for Questions for Charlie Tabesh

Postby Gagman 66 » August 3rd, 2009, 3:22 pm

Dear Mr. Tabesh,

:D Welcome, welcome, to SSO! It is wonderful to have you here as our guest for this month! I want to be sure thank you implicitly for the Marion Davies Day today, and the Harold Lloyd tribute on Wednesday. These are much appreciated. Are there any projects currently in the works to bring more of Marion's Silent films to TCM? The majority of the films of her's that you run are her talkies. Delightful films in there own right. They really showcase not only her Marion's great depth of talent, but also emphasize that she was able to maintain her popularity and status as a major Star well into the 1930's.

I am also curious about the Colleen Moore projects. Just yesterday I was told that Warner' "Has been working on LILAC TIME and wants to put out a good version." A direct quote from a former high ranking figure at Kino. And of course I am still hoping for a premier for the recently restored HER WILD OAT one of these days as well. I had known about the Vita-phone projects that SYNTHETIC SIN and WHY BE GOOD? were both pending restoration, but was not certain about LILAC TIME until just now. I first heard a rumors of a restoration in March of 2007, but that was about it? Are there any additional details forth-coming that you could impart? It would be wonderful to finally see some Colleen Moore features on TCM.

It is also nice to hear that you may be establishing a better relationship with Paramount as well. With potential improved access to their Silents library. Possibly the Photoplay Productions versions of WINGS and THE WEDDING MARCH which I haven't given up hope of your running sometime. My fondest dream with regard to the Paramount titles is to one day see the restored 1926 version of Herbert Brenon's BEAU GESTE on TCM among my favorite films. Or maybe CHILDREN OF DIVORCE a film I have never seen. Don't want to get to long winded. So for now I will just say keep up the good work! I honestly don't know where I would be without TCM!

Sincerely,

Jeffrey

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Re: The Forum for Questions for Charlie Tabesh

Postby tcmprogrammr » August 3rd, 2009, 3:22 pm

srowley75 - we currently offer an upconverted hd channel. It's available to any affiliate that wants to take it and, while it isn't yet true-hd, the picture is much better and we keep the aspect ratios the same (never stretching or cropping the picture). For those that don't know, this is a technical process that enhances the signal. I can see it on the television in my office and it looks great. As for a true-hd service, that's probably a year or so away. Even then, a lot of what we play won't be available as "true" hd since it's very expensive to create hd transfers and it will be a while before the more obscure films are made available in that format. But it's coming, we're making plans for it.

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Re: The Forum for Questions for Charlie Tabesh

Postby MissGoddess » August 3rd, 2009, 3:25 pm

srowley75 wrote:I'm sorry if this has already been discussed in other forums or on the website, but are there any plans for TCM HD anytime soon? I know at least one friend that'd be delighted to be a subscriber, especially since TCM seems to be one of the most OAR-conscious networks currently operating.



Can I just jump in and say that I received an email newsletter from my cable provider (TimeWarner) that announced one of the new channels being added to Manhattan's lineup in mid-August will be...TCM HD. I almost fell over. Was it a Type-O on their part????
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