Shane Fleming, a 10-year-old from Manhattan, is TCM's youngest Guest Programmer. Even though he is not yet 18 and cannot qualify for TCM's Ultimate Fan Grand Prize, TCM Director Sean Cameron contacted Fleming and his parents to let them know that Shane was definitely going to be a part of TCM's 20th Anniversary slate of Guest Programmers.
This year's contest featured more than 300 entries, and hopeful fans from all over the United States produced videos to enter the contest by October 31, 2013.
Fleming will be introducing Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times on April 8th at midnight, and he has created another video to tell all his friends to set their DVRs for that time slot. " I want to be a good film director and preserve films," says Fleming.
Fleming traveled to Atlanta with his parents and six-year-old sister, Matilda, in January to tape a special introduction to the Chaplin film with TCM host Robert Osborne, and Fleming says that "at first, it was really scary. But Mr. Osborne is really cool. He's really nice." Fleming was impressed with the TCM Host because "he's watched a lot of classic movies," and Fleming's sister, Matilda was impressed by her brother, Shane, when she saw him on the set with Robert Osborne, according to their mother, Jill Shely.
Silent films are obviously Fleming's favorite genre of screen classics, and he admits that when he first saw Chaplin's City Lights, he was watching it in 15-minute increments on youtube. "But I didn't really consider it my most favorite until I saw it on the big screen at the Film Forum. Chaplin didn't make City Lights for a five-inch screen. He made it for a 50-foot screen," Fleming reveals enthusiastically. "Seeing that film on the big screen completely changed it for me."
TCM director Sean Cameron is impressed with Fleming's devotion to classic film. "Shane's video came to my attention via a post on the TCM Message Boards," reveals Cameron. "From the moment he started talking extemporaneously about Chaplin while walking down a city street I was hooked. His enthusiasm for classic film is delightful and made him a must have when we started looking for fans to be part of our 20th Anniversary celebration." Fleming "couldn't believe it" when Cameron called, and states that Cameron is "a really nice guy" and "made me feel super comfortable on the set".
"TCM is so great," Fleming continued. "You can't always go to the theater to see a movie, and the closest you can get to a genuine movie experience in your own home is TCM." The TCM cable channel screens films without commercial interruption, and Fleming also admits that "after watching TCM, I can't watch a movie with commercials any more."
TCM's 20th Anniversary Guest Programmer segments will be aired from April 7 until April 11, 2014, on the evening schedule.