My love of movies and all-things-Hollywood began at an early age thanks to many afternoons spent with my grandmother. By the time I took my first tap dancing class at age 6, I was asking my teacher how I could learn to dance on the walls and ceiling like Fred Astaire in Royal Wedding.
When the network Turner Classic Movies launched during my middle school years, I thought I had died and gone to Hollywood-heaven. You see, I grew up in a rural southern town with access to only one small video store and a total of 20 cable channels. It was hard to find opportunities to see the classic films I so wanted to explore. In a matter of weeks, the channel became my cinematic classroom and TCM host Robert Osborne was my dashing film professor. Needless to say, I have been a devoted fan of the network ever since – even attending the TCM Classic Cruise (all of them to date) and the TCM Film Festival (2015).
Earlier this month, TCM launched a new branding campaign under the tagline "Let's Movie." According to the TCM General Manager Jennifer Dorian, the campaign's goal is to bring more people to the network and position it as a destination for movie-lovers of all ages. As she told Deadline.com, the network "celebrates the entire spectrum of film history" because a "great movie is a great movie, no matter what decade it was created in."
On September 1st, TCM launched a new promotional spot for the "Let's Movie" campaign. In the minute-long advertisement, families, friends and communities join to watch a series of classic movies. As the diverse groups come together, each film is projected onto a background or location appropriate to the film's content or setting. For example, The Wizard of Oz is screened on the side of a farm house while Ben-Hur is played on the side of the Colosseum in Rome.
The "Let's Movie" concept articulates the way I feel about watching motion pictures. According to the dictionary, motion pictures are a series of images projected on a screen in rapid succession as to give the illusion of movement. To me, they are so much more than this simple definition. Films are a collective experience and an ongoing conversation through time. They can be viewed with people in the present or shared with people from the past through memories.
My beloved grandmother, who introduced me to the films or her youth, passed away when I was 11-years-old. Although she has been gone for more than half of my life, I can still enjoy the movies we watched with each other and, thanks to TCM, view the ones we didn't get a chance to see together.
Today, I can watch a film like To Kill a Mockingbird with my niece and tell her about the time I first saw it with her great-grandmother. I can travel with my husband to film locales like Monument Valley and watch John Wayne movies across the street in the theater at Goulding's Lodge. I can fill my DVR with TCM screenings to watch when family and friends come to my house to visit. Or, I can go with a group of fellow graphic designers to see Psycho on the big screen and marvel at the collaborative work of Saul Bass and Alfred Hitchcock.
These cinematic moments create new memories and remind me of special ones from the past. They also illustrate how films and the entire movie-going experience are something to be treasured and to be shared.
To celebrate the "Let's Movie" campaign and my love of movies (old and new), I decided to join in the TCM fun by creating a series of "Let's Movie" selfies inspired by the visual concept of the promotional campaign spot. Every morning for eighteen days, I designed a new image and shared it with the TCM community on Twitter, using the #LetsMovieSelfie hashtag. Between September 2nd and 19th, I paired selected film moments with images of me on my various travels. As you can see in the series gallery below, each image explores my many adventures, and some cherished memories, with the movies.