TCM Film Fest Special Feature: Line up wth Raquel Stecher

RAQUEL STECHER’S TIPS FOR SURVIVING THE FESTIVAL:

1) Keep a flexible schedule. Have back-ups and be realistic about the time in between screenings. 

2) Bring snacks. There is very little time to eat. Or skip a programming block in order to get a good meal in. 

3) Talk to people in line. You’ll make some great friends that way. 

4) Go to the bathroom. I have run into or passed by many a special guest on the way to the bathroom before a screening starts. 

5) Go to a TCMFF book signing and visit Larry Edmunds Bookshop while you’re in town.

TO EAT OR NOT TO EAT DURING THE FESTIVAL:

I have a good breakfast and I try to fit in lunch and dinner breaks when I can. This usually means I’ll see fewer movies. But sometimes I can sneak in an extra Club TCM event and add to my overall festival experience. Hollywood doesn’t have many options. I’ll find myself at 25 Degrees at the Roosevelt or at In-N-Out Burger more times than I care to admit.

TOP 3 “CAN’T MISS” EVENTS OF THIS YEAR’S FESTIVAL:

1) In the Heat of the Night (1967) red carpet premiere – Seeing Sidney Poitier in person is a chance of a lifetime for me.

2) Zardoz (1974) midnight screening – I’ve never been to a midnight screening before. It’s time.

3) Red-Headed Woman (1932) – This is my favorite Pre-Code of all time. I can’t wait to watch it at the Egyptian with an enthusiastic crowd.

FAVORITE FESTIVAL MEMORY:

“When I attended the first one I knew I’d be back but never in a million years did I think I’d be back so many times. Each festival has given me many once-in-a-lifetime experiences. For example, last year I got to do red carpet interviews which was a dream come true. There are many classic film screenings in the Boston area so when I go to TCMFF I try to see the special guests and attend the events I couldn’t have access to back home. The festival is constantly evolving. The programming challenges me to explore films I’m unfamiliar with and to fall in love with old favorites again. I miss the lobby interviews and I hope they’ll consider bringing those back.”

WHEN DID YOU DISCOVER YOUR LOVE OF FILM?

“I grew up watching more TV than movies. But when I did watch films as a kid it was a bizarre mix of family movies and horror films. Once I was in my teens I fell hard for classic literature. The ’90s were a great time for period pieces and I was hooked. I would only watch new movies about the past and refused to watch any classic films. It wasn’t until I took a film course in college that I started to appreciate earlier films. Much of my education came from watching TCM and reading lots of books about classic movies. I love films from the 1920s to the 1960s and am starting to explore the 1970s.”

ADVICE TO A FESTIVAL FIRST TIMER:

  1. I would encourage a newbie to ask a lot of questions. I asked Retro Set editor Jill a ton of questions before my first festival and it helped me immensely.
  2. I would tell a newbie to study the schedule carefully. Read the film descriptions and guest bios on the festival website.
  3. Comb through social media. On Twitter using hashtag #TCMFF you’ll discover a lot of great insider information.
  4. Once you get there, ask the staffers at the Club TCM information booth lots of questions. I’ve gotten good tips from them. If you see someone from TCM, say hi. They are all super friendly.”

THE RETRO SET WANTS TO THANK CHRIS STURHANN, THERESA BROWN, KELLEE PRATT, JEREMY WARNER AND RAQUEL STECHER FOR HELPING MAKE THIS FEATURE POSSIBLE. If you see @wadesheeler or @biscuitkitten at the fest, please stop and say hello! You can always find us @the_retro_set on Twitter! And remember: #StayClassic and #LetsMovie

About Wade Sheeler 148 Articles
Wade Sheeler is a Reality TV Producer & Director, Writer, Frustrated lover of film and obscure music. He still makes mixed tapes if he likes you enough. For The Retro Set, he'll be covering the best new releases of classic and hard-to-find films on DVD, with an occasional foray into comedies and comedy teams you should really stay away from.

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