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Welcome to Genevieve McGillicuddy from TCM in October

Past chats with our guests.

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Welcome to Genevieve McGillicuddy from TCM in October

Postby moira finnie » October 11th, 2010, 9:29 pm

Image
Here's the spot where we can ask Gen McGillicuddy, the senior director of brand activation at Turner Classics Movies, about all that went into planning, organizing and executing the first TCM Film Festival last April behind the scenes. Ms. McGillicuddy, who will also be bringing her talent and passion for her work to the Second TCM Film Festival in 2011 says, “The pleasure of working on this is that it’s not just a job. I have a real affinity for the network, and I love film. That’s the thrill for me—seeing a full house for a film like Metropolis and knowing I played a role.”

A rarely seen young woman, but instrumental in so many ways in making TCM an enriching part of viewers' lives, this is your opportunity to ask a representative of TCM about the plans for the future and the lessons of the recent past. Please be with us for a vibrant discussion during her visit from Wednesday, Oct. 12th through Friday, Oct. 15th, 2010 as our special guest. If you would like to read more about Ms. McGillicuddy's active role in the continuing vitality of TCM, this article from Emory Magazine may be very enlightening.

You can see more about the Second TCM Film Festival, beginning on April 28th and running to May 1st, 2011 in Hollywood at the link below:
http://www.tcm.com/festival/

This Discussion is now closed to new comments. Our thanks to Gen and all those who participated in this visit!
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Re: Welcome to Gen McGillicuddy from TCM in October

Postby movieman1957 » October 13th, 2010, 8:35 am

Hi and welcome to the SSO. Thanks so much for stopping by.

Planning a birthday party can be a challenge to I can't imagine the hurdles you must have faced. A couple of short questions -

1 - Your biggest challenge?

2 - What went much smoother than you expected?

3 - When did you sleep?
Chris

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Re: Welcome to Gen McGillicuddy from TCM in October

Postby MissGoddess » October 13th, 2010, 9:26 am

Welcome aboard, Genevieve! So glad you're here. I just want to add my admiration for all the hard
work you've done on the festival (and in other areas of the TCM-topia). I wasn't
able to attend but I know how accomplished and thoughtful you are, and have soaked
up all the accounts by those fortunate to attend last year's inaugural festival event.

I hope I may be able to come in April for the second round, which I'm sure will be
better than ever.

My question is, what kind of reaction do you typically get when people learn what
you do for a living (and that you work for TCM)? You really do seem to have one
of the coolest jobs ever, next to Robert O himself. :D

Regards,
April Lane
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Re: Welcome to Gen McGillicuddy from TCM in October

Postby kingrat » October 13th, 2010, 12:58 pm

Welcome, Genevieve!

Thank you for chatting with us. I was fortunate enough to attend the first TCM film festival, and everything ran so smoothly, it seemed like the tenth year instead of the first. You must have put in many long, hard hours to make it seem that way. The mix of films from all-time favorites to rarities seemed just right. There were plenty of smiling faces in the festival venues. The system of passes and receiving numbers for shows an hour in advance worked very well. Getting to meet and thank people from the network was a real pleasure.

I was particularly taken with the restored films shown at the festival, like Metropolis, Wild River, Leave Her to Heaven, Pandora and the Flying Dutchman, Dirigible, The Story of Temple Drake, and so on. Will the festival continue to feature film restoration? The recent 24-hour tribute to UCLA's film restoration program certainly included some good candidates for future festivals.

What, if anything, would you change from this year's festival? Are there behind the scenes stories you feel free to share with us?

The best of luck with the 2011 festival. We know it's in good hands.

Sincerely,

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Re: Welcome to Gen McGillicuddy from TCM in October

Postby Alan K. » October 13th, 2010, 1:38 pm

Hi Genevieve: thanks for doing this.

I am curious on how TCM handles their celebrity guests who attend the festival screenings. Aside from having them sign a standard release for video material, do you also pay your guests an honorarium fee?

Thanks!
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Re: Welcome to Gen McGillicuddy from TCM in October

Postby CineMaven » October 13th, 2010, 3:54 pm

Hi there Genevieve,

It's quite a coup for the Oasis to get you to come and chat with us. YAY!! So youuuuuuu put that whole festival together. Congratulations. Seems like you and your team made a couple of thousand people very very happy. I read their accounts and it sounded like a dream come true for a classic film fan.

Please, would you tell us, if you could have any celebrity you wanted to attend TCM's film festival next April...WHO would that be? Who would your dream picks be?

Thank you,

Theresa Brown
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Re: Welcome to Gen McGillicuddy from TCM in October

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » October 13th, 2010, 4:08 pm

Welcome to the SSO, Genevieve!

I am so happy that you are able to visit with us. I have attended many different types of
conferences because of my work responsibilities, and I wanted to let you know that the
TCM Film Fest 2010 was one of the best--it was well organized, entertaining, rigorous, exciting and thoroughly
enjoyable. I also made many new friends and was happy to share the experience with so many new
acquaintances from all over United States and several foreign countries.

I was lucky enough to meet you at the festival for a moment, and you were indeed as busy
as the linked article claims. How do you keep up your energy level?

Do you know if there is an air date for the interview with Luise Rainer yet?

BTW, I'm tall, bilingual, respond well to commands, and chatter away. Need any volunteers for TCM Fest 2011?

Glad you are here!
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Re: Welcome to Gen McGillicuddy from TCM in October

Postby Gagman 66 » October 13th, 2010, 4:28 pm

:D Welcome and thank you very much for gracing us with your presence here on the Oasis! Congratulations, on the success of the festival, and continued well wishes. I'm sure that it is a monumental undertaking organizing such a large event and you are to be highly commended for all your wonderful achievements.

This is a rare opportunity to make a few inquires and possible suggestions, for scheduling that I hope that you might take under consideration. Must say, I was gratified that Harold Lloyd's legendary SAFETY LAST! along with METROPOLIS was featured this year, and to see that you have not ignored the Silents, which are really my passion. I just can't help but ask about the possibility of seeing the restored version of King Vidor's THE BIG PARADE (1925) at the event in the future? Hopefully, in 2011. It is probably my favorite film, rather Silent or Sound. We are still awaiting the debut of the new master on TCM after the better part of a decade, not to mention that long promised DVD edition that has yet to materialize.

I was so pleased that you presented a fragments showcase featuring the snippets of the lost works of Colleen Moore and Clara Bow this past April. For years I have waited to see the restored HER WILD OAT (First National, 1927) and hoped it would pop up on TCM. But I would certainly be happy with any of Colleen's sadly neglected Silent features. She is an absolute obsession of mine. Being arguably the biggest Silent Star, (save for maybe the Talmadge's) who's films are never seen on TCM. This despite the fact that Warner's technically owns much of her surviving material. So I hope that will change soon, and she will finally receive her due. I consider Colleen Moore to be the Female Harold Lloyd. Regrettably, I have heard nothing additional about the planned restorations of her final two Silent films with Vita-phone tracks SYNTHETIC SIN and WHY BE GOOD? With any luck those may be forth-coming before long now. I Both lost of which had been feared lost for decades until about 5 years ago. I am obviously concerned whenever any film is still Nitrate only, about it being lost again, and this time forever. HER WILD OAT which also features among the earliest appearances of Loretta Young, or perhaps LILAC TIME (FN, 1928) would be ideal for the festival in 2011. With Clara Bow, the one film I have frustratingly never been able to see is CHILDREN OF DIVORCE (Paramount, 1927) with Esther Ralston and Gary Cooper. Potentially a terrific double-bill with the restored LILAC TIME since both have Coop, and these seem to be the two films that really jump-started his career as well.

Another film I have drummed up some support for is Howard Hawks FIG LEAVES (Fox, 1926) with Olive Borden, and George O'Brien. Recently restored, it is just a delightful comedy and a real crowd pleaser. A great early example of Hawks delightful satiric works that is not all that well known today. Indeed many are probably not even aware that Hawks had been a director during the Silent Era. I am so excited that TCM will be running the early Talkie SUNNY SIDE UP with Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell in December, after it was featured at the festival this past April. This movie has not been televised in any form in probably about 25 years.

Right now, I assume that the first Silent film that you are likely looking at for the festival would be John Ford's UPSTREAM, since it was discovered in New Zealand earlier this year. Although, with any luck there will be a few others.

In any event, Continued success with the TCM Classic Film Festival in 2011 and well beyond. Maybe there is a chance I might be able to make it next year.

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Re: Welcome to Gen McGillicuddy from TCM in October

Postby JackFavell » October 13th, 2010, 5:02 pm

My question is more of a personal one - you are a film buff, and majored in film studies, so I would love to know what are your favorite classic films? Do you have a favorite film era?

I too am curious about the restorations and the recent finds in New Zealand, and whether there is any chance of seeing these new discoveries at the 2011 festival? I realize you can't give away too much information, but it would be amazing to see Upstream....

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Re: Welcome to Gen McGillicuddy from TCM in October

Postby MikeBSG » October 14th, 2010, 9:09 am

Welcome.

I just wanted to say I am very happy to see the Hammer horror films featured on TCM this month. They are often overlooked, and it made me glad to see that TCM was "thinking outside the box" on this issue.

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Re: Welcome to Gen McGillicuddy from TCM in October

Postby Lzcutter » October 14th, 2010, 9:53 am

I just wanted to let y'all know that Genevieve was busy yesterday handling some work related issues but that she has read the thread and will be here this afternoon to respond and take more questions!

Thanks for your patience!
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Re: Welcome to Gen McGillicuddy from TCM in October

Postby mongoII » October 14th, 2010, 10:27 am

Hi Gen,

Welcome to the boards, it's nice having you here with us.
I'm anxious to read your response to Theresa's question about what stars may be attending the
affair next April. Any chance Joan Leslie will be there?
It's wonderful that Tony Curtis had the chance to attend last April since sadly we lost him this year.
I came close to meeting him in Atlanta where I was one of the 15 guest programmers.
I believe I may have met you there?

Thank you,

Joe
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Re: Welcome to Gen McGillicuddy from TCM in October

Postby Gen McGillicuddy » October 14th, 2010, 12:56 pm

First of all- thank you for welcoming me to the Oasis-- I'm flatterered by the interest, on a personal note, and I'm thrilled to hear such positive feedback about TCM and the festival...

I will try to answer as many questions as possible, and thank you for bearing with me, as I'm a bit of a newbie when it comes to posting :D

Okay- here goes:

1 - Your biggest challenge?
I think that it was probably the overall coordination of a variety of Turner-based teams and some amazing folks hired in "on the ground" in Los Angeles-- the TCM network is not powered by the kind of army it takes to pull of a live event over four days, and I was extremely fortunate to find not only the right people to assist us, but everyone got together very well, although many had only started working closely together in the month or two before we launched. A rough estimate would put our full festival staff at about 250-280 people.

2 - What went much smoother than you expected?
Almost everything-- I've organized film festivals before, but not on this scale, and I fully expected many things to execute in a manner that we may not have planned, or have to change something at the last minute. It was all about pre-production and trying to plan for any possible scenario- and I guess that worked better than I expected!

3 - When did you sleep?
Good question-- usually between the hours of 1:30am and 6:30am-- it's amazing what you can do on adrenalin. Frankly, I was having a ball, and I wouldn't have missed a minute of it- sleep was probably the last priority on my list.

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Re: Welcome to Gen McGillicuddy from TCM in October

Postby Gen McGillicuddy » October 14th, 2010, 1:10 pm

I recognize some of the folks here (hi Joe, Theresa and April!)

okay- so to answer some more questions...

My question is, what kind of reaction do you typically get when people learn what
you do for a living (and that you work for TCM)?

It's usually pretty positive-- it's incredibly rewarding to be able to talk about your work and get feedback like "wow- that's my favorite network" or "I watch TCM all the time"-- not everyone gets to do a job that can resonate on that level with folks, so it' s pretty cool.

Will the festival continue to feature film restoration? The recent 24-hour tribute to UCLA's film restoration program certainly included some good candidates for future festivals.

Yes, finding new restorations is always a priority for our programming- we're dedicated to showing the best quality versions that we can locate.

What, if anything, would you change from this year's festival? Are there behind the scenes stories you feel free to share with us?

There is not a lot that I would change from the 2010 edition, but one area for improvement and growth, would be the Festival Boutique-- would be great to expand on this if we can. Also, I think we can continue to find more unique programming for Club TCM; Club TCM enables us to offer events and conversations, apart from the screenings, that I think creates a different kind of film festival experience.
I think one of the most dramatic stories of the 2010 Festival has to involve Luise Rainer-- the circumstances of her visit were very challenging, as some of you may know. It is never an easy thing to bring a 100 year old person overseas, to an event like this (although Luise is a trooper!). When the volcano erupted in Iceland, I recall, in my pre-festival craziness, hearing something about it, but never dreamed it would threaten our plans to bring several of our guests from Europe (also including Jean-Paul Belmondo), to the festival. It quickly became evident that there was a real possiblity that several of our key guests would cancel-- I have to give serious props here to Darcy Hettrich, our VP of talent, for working the phones-- her tenacity paid off, and the moment Heathrow opened, Rainer got a plane. It was touch and go for four or five days prior to her flight-- on top of all the other expected challenges that come the week we were to launch. I will never forget her entrance at the Egyptian Theatre-- simply put, even one week before, I would not have dared hope that we were actually going to pull it off.

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Re: Welcome to Gen McGillicuddy from TCM in October

Postby Gen McGillicuddy » October 14th, 2010, 1:35 pm

Please, would you tell us, if you could have any celebrity you wanted to attend TCM's film festival next April...WHO would that be? Who would your dream picks be?

I'm anxious to read your response to Theresa's question about what stars may be attending the
affair next April. Any chance Joan Leslie will be there?

I too am curious about the restorations and the recent finds in New Zealand, and whether there is any chance of seeing these new discoveries at the 2011 festival?

We'll start making some programming announcements soon, but until then, I can't really share any details... I'm so pleased at the response to the silent film programming. I can tell you that silent film is absolutely going to be a component of programming in 2011 as well...
I can't really narrow down my wish list, but if I had a fantasy guest (truly a dream!)... it would be to invite Cary Grant or Preston Sturges.


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