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Interactive Annual 17:

TCM Summer Under
   the Stars

Launch Live Site

“A brilliant timeline execution including details for a given day.”—Oscar Llarena

“Hepburn day. O’Toole day. Bergman day. I love the concept of using the actors as an entry point into the canon of film. The site does a nice job delivering deep-dive information on each of the actors, as well as presenting necessary information about shows and times.”
—Jill Nussbaum

Overview: Summer Under the Stars is an annual event on Turner Classic Movies held throughout the month of August where the feature films of a different star are presented each day. The site was just one component of TCM’s overall promotion of the Summer Under the Stars programming event, and was supported by on-air and print ads. This year illustrator Michael Schwab created custom illustrations for each star. His illustrations serve as the primary imagery and the secondary nav (the main nav is a dignified footer consisting of the dates of the month in Clarendon); clicking on the image leads to a full view of the schedule for the star and in-depth content including background, video clips and photos.

  • • The project took about eight weeks to complete, from presenting the initial concepts to posting the site.
  • • A limited-edition set of trading cards featuring each of Schwab’s illustrations, and facts about each star, were given away through a sweepstakes.
  • • The look of the site was so popular that Schwab was also commissioned to create artwork for TCM’s annual Classic Film Festival that will be held in Hollywood in April 2011.

Comments by One Trick Pony

How did this project compare with others you’ve worked on in the past? “We have a number of designers in-house that are also very good illustrators, and this was the first time we had ever hired an outside illustrator. The client suggested that we hire a ‘famous’ illustrator that could potentially bring a following to expose new audiences to TCM. Michael Schwab immediately came to mind—not only because of his celebrity status, but because his style seemed like a perfect fit. We were actually surprised that he hadn’t done any work for TCM in the past. Michael was immediately interested in the job, the only concern for both sides was the short amount of time that we had to get 31 portraits produced. Luckily, there were little to no revisions and Michael was able to crank out a great set of illustrations in an amazingly, and undisclosed (we don’t want anyone hitting him up with the same ridiculous request that we did) amount of time.”

How did your relationship with the client evolve over the course of the project? “We’ve worked with the interactive group at TCM for over ten years and have gone through three main site redesigns and over twenty microsites—and, we’ve done it all with the same folks leading things on the client side. Needless to say, we’ve developed a unique working relationship where the client not only trusts that we completely understand their product/brand, but they are always 100 percent involved in pushing the creative. This was the first project where we hired outside talent to help out. We decided on the idea of creating a set of collectible trading cards with key art, that the entire site would revolve around. Although we fancy ourselves great illustrators and designers, we embraced getting an outside talent involved. This really strengthened our relationship with the client; it showed that we were able to negotiate the deal, art direct it and build a site that beautifully complemented the work.”


Michael Schwab, illustrator
One Trick Pony (Hammonton, NJ), project design and development/ad agency
Turner Classic Movies, client

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