I never knew that TCM had a backlot like the old Hollywood studios did. Well, it really doesn't, of course. But a couple of days ago somebody on the TCM boards posted that apparently TCM has set up something new called the TCM Backlot. The publicity blurb on the page is breathless:
Welcome to the TCM Backlot – the ultimate fan club for everyone who loves Turner Classic Movies! The TCM Backlot is your ticket to go behind the scenes, attend private gatherings, meet TCM talent and become part of the network like never before. You’ll get insider access to TCM, where you can influence programming and enjoy exclusive benefits only available to TCM Backlot members. Plus, we’re taking you deeper than ever into the world of Hollywood, cinema, and the luminaries who created the greatest movies of all time.
When you join TCM Backlot, you’ll be eligible to:
Vote on programming and help shape the network
Go on the air as a Guest Programmer
Attend special events and member-only gatherings
Meet TCM staff, talent, and special guests
Watch rare videos and first looks at original programming
Go inside the history of TCM and Hollywood
Access an exclusive digital version of the Now Playing Guide
Preview TCM events, auctions, and upcoming guests
Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the TCM studios
Enjoy regular contests, discounts and giveaways
Be featured in the Now Playing Guide
And you can become a charter member for the low, low sum of just $87! OK, that's not so low. And that's about as far as I got before the page hit an error loading on my browser. But it's not as if I was about to join. TCM was breathless about the supposed social networking benefits of the Classic Film Union, and of course that fizzled. And frankly, that's not something I would have been interested in anyway. But $85 a year to become an "ultimate fan" or somesuch seems like nonsense to me.
Note the difference between the two prices I quoted. Before the signup page crashed on me, I was able to read that you can become a charter member for that $87. But when you look at the reams of terms and conditions, you'll note that it's an annual subscription, costing $85 a year. For however many years this runs. Yeah right.
I appreciate that TCM need to find revenue streams, but I don't think this is the way to go about it.