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December 3, 2017

Stephen Colbert on His Former Boss Louis C.K.’s Sexual Harassment History: ‘I Didn’t Know’

Stephen Colbert has known Louis C.K. for decades, and even reported to him when C.K. was the head writer at 1996’s short-lived “The Dana Carvey Show.” Despite their professional interactions, Colbert got candid during a Dec. 2 discussion with Samantha Bee about how he had no idea that C.K. had a reputation for harassing women.

“I feel dumb,” Colbert said at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, at the seventh annual fundraiser for New Jersey non-profit Montclair Film (via our sister site Deadline). “I’m not surprised that men are bad but… I didn’t know about Louis C.K. I didn’t even know about Cosby! And that’s dumb.”

Bee said she is pleased that all of these sexual harassment scandals are now coming to light.

“It’s heartbreaking, but it’s not surprising probably to most women I know in the comedy community,” she said. “It’s definitely not surprising to any woman who lives on planet Earth. The speed and ferocity at which everything is coming forward at the moment is impressive to me, and I’m happy to be alive in this moment. In a moment where people are feeling freer with their stories and we don’t have to live with shame.”

Watch Colbert and C.K. together on “The Late Show” earlier this year:

Source: IndieWire film

December 3, 2017

Record Opener ‘Disaster Artist’ and ‘The Shape of Water’ Lead Specialty Box Office Surge

The hits keep on coming. Both “The Disaster Artist” (A24) and “The Shape of Water” (Fox Searchlight) opened strong, despite the usual strong-fall off in post-Thanksgiving audiences. Last year the month of November saw only one specialized release, “Manchester By the Sea,” pull an opening platform per theater average over $60,000. This year has already seen five.

“The Disaster Artist” (in 11 markets) showed the best performance in New York/Los Angeles of any title this year (nearly $120,000 per theater), besting last weekend’s numbers for “Call Me By Your Name” (Sony Pictures Classics). They join other Oscar-bound strong openers including “Lady Bird” (A24) and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” (Fox Searchlight).

Sally Hawkins and Octavia Spencer"The Shape of Water"

Sally Hawkins and Octavia Spencer”The Shape of Water”

This marks unprecedented strength over such a short period, with “Lady Bird” and “Three Billboards” already performing well in wider release. At some point exhibitors are going to be challenged to handle so many hits (all will not go wide at the same time). These are good problems to have after a year of uneven art house results.

Woody Allen’s latest “Wonder Wheel” (Amazon) played at a respectable if unimpressive level, falling short of other recent openers as well as his top recent films. While the second weekend of “Darkest Hour” (Focus) fell more than the same weekend of “Call Me,” the World War II drama’s hold was reasonable for a non-holiday weekend.

Wonder Wheel

“Wonder Wheel”

Opening

The Disaster Artist (A24) – Metacritic: 76; Festivals include: South by Southwest, Toronto 2017

$1,221,000 in 19 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $64,254

James Franco’s 16th feature as a director is not only his biggest yet but also the biggest specialized opener of the year. A24 opened this in 19 theaters in 11 markets, including many of the biggest general audience theaters. The result was the biggest gross in all but New York’s Lincoln Square (where it was bested by “The Shape of Water” with more seats) and sellouts in some shows which reduced the gross.

The multi-city break was a risk, but the results were stellar: among similar initial openings “The Disaster Artist” ranks as one of the best ever, in league with eventual Oscar-winners “Black Swan” (domestic total: $106 million) and “Precious” ($47 million).

And “The Disaster Artist” qualifies as the top first specialized weekend of 2017 just after “Call Me By Your Name” claimed the title. Its five New York/Los Angeles theaters will end up with something around a $120,000 per theater average, just after “Call Me” managed a very strong $103,000 last weekend. And that was a holiday with a strong Friday, while the post-holiday is usually one of the worst weekends of the year. This true-story film about Tommy Wiseau’s DIY production of legendary bad film “The Room” clearly has hit an initial resonant chord beyond the specialized older audience.

What comes next: A24 has a nice problem on its hands. Whatever its plans for this film, the demand from exhibitors to expand quickly will be intense, despite the heavy traffic ahead over Christmas. They likely will insist no dates without a commitment to play into next year, and also want to make sure their “Lady Bird” keeps its strong presence. This already has shown it has a major audience. Now the question is how they manage their success.

Sally Hawkins and Doug Jones in the film THE SHAPE OF WATER. Photo Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures. © 2017 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

“The Shape of Water”

Fox Searchlight

The Shape of Water (Fox Searchlight) – Metacritic: 85; Festivals include: Venice, Telluride, Toronto 2017

$166,800 in 2 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $83,400

Guillermo Del Toro’s latest (acclaimed) fantasy film ranks as his biggest initial grosser. Opening only in New York (enabling question/answer sessions in both its initial city, then already nearly sold out Los Angeles next weekend), it scored a spectacular initial number, more impressive as it was competing for seats and attention with three other top early release titles at the Lincoln Square in New York.

This is the second straight big opener for Fox Searchlight after “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” as well as their second later year awards contender. They are having a great rebound after a spotty record after “Brooklyn” two years ago. That has changed with these two films, with their only problem how to handle two hits at once at a time when screens are at a premium.

What comes next: 40 to 50 theaters in 12 total markets will play next weekend, with over 700 anticipated by Christmas.

Wonder Wheel (Amazon) – Metacritic: 50; Festivals include: New York 2017

$140,555 in 5 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $28,111

Amazon’s initial venture into hands-on distribution (rather than partnership with major specialized companies) is their second effort with Woody Allen after last year’s “Cafe Society.” This 1950s Coney Island-set romantic drama received mediocre reviews, not helpful against highly acclaimed titles already playing in New York and Los Angeles. The initial grosses fall in the low range of Allen’s recent films, about the same as 2015’s “Irrational Man.”

What comes next: This expands to the top ten markets this Friday, with a wider nationwide play the following week.

“The Other Side of Hope”

The Other Side of Hope (Janus) – Metacritic: 84; Festivals include: Berlin, Telluride, Toronto 2017

$17,052 in 3 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $5,684

Veteran Finnish director Aki Kaurismaki remains one of the few European filmmakers to get a near automatic American release. His latest, about a Syrian refugee in Helsinki, told with the usual droll style despite its serious subject, got terrific initial reviews in its initial New York/Los Angeles runs with a modest sampling similar to many subtitled releases.

What comes next: Expect playoff over the next couple months in big cities.

Big Time (Abramorama/Mongrel)

$7,571 in 2 theaters; PTA: $3,786

This documentary about acclaimed Danish architect Bjarke Ingels got a modest response in its initial dates including New York.

What comes next: Documentaries about niche creative forces tend to find audiences, giving this a shot at interest around the country.

Also available on Video on Demand:

Love Beat Rhymes (Lionsgate) – $(est.) 4,500 in 8 theaters

"Call Me By Your Name"

“Call Me By Your Name”

Week Two

Call Me By Your Name (Sony Pictures Classics)

$281,280 in 4 theaters (no change); PTA: $70,320; Cumulative: $908,175

A drop of only 32 per cent would be impressive in the second weekend in the same initial theaters. That this acclaimed drama about a gay romance in 1980s Italy managed this despite coming after the holiday shows continued promise for this awards frontrunner.

Sony Pictures Classics is expanding this more slowly than most other recent blockbuster openers, in part because it likely will benefit from maximum initial wide placement at the time of certain Oscar nominations. Other big cities will see openings by Christmas.

Darkest Hour (Focus)

4106_D015_00585_R_CROPGary Oldman stars as Winston Churchill and Ben Mendelsohn as King George VI in director Joe Wright's DARKEST HOUR, a Focus Features release.Credit: Jack English / Focus Features

“Darkest Hour”

Jack English

$109,000 in 4 theaters (no change); PTA: $27,250; Cumulative: $412,000

Also sticking to its initial four theaters, this recreation of Churchill’s first critical days as Prime Minister managed to fall only 37 per cent after a holiday weekend. The total in most circumstances would be decent even if the anticipated film didn’t rise to the level of the five higher opening titles in recent weeks. Its expansion to 50 theaters next weekend will give a better indication of its chances of becoming a competitive player, with its appeal to older audiences critical to specialized success.

The Man Who Invented Christmas (Bleecker Street)

$863,053 in 674 theaters (+48); PTA: $1,282; Cumulative: $3,151,000

The second weekend of the mid-level release of this Charles Dickens biopic had a respectable hold. But it comes after a weak start. The number with little else opening should be able to sustain a third week ahead in most locations.

Bombshell – The Hedy Lamarr Story (Zeitgeist/Kino Lorber)

$8,000 in 1 theater; PTA: $8,000; Cumulative: $45,000

A decent hold for this documentary about the sex goddess star who accomplished much more in her career, though it did fall considerably from its $18,000 opening holiday weekend.

Photo by Merie Wallace, courtesy of A24

“Lady Bird”

Photo by Merie Wallace, courtesy of A24

Ongoing/expanding (Grosses over $50,000)

Lady Bird (A24) Week 5

$4,454,000 in 1,194 theaters (+403);  Cumulative: $17,089,000

The Best Film and Actress wins from the New York Film Critics confirm that Greta Gerwig’s coming-of-age film is one of the top awards contenders of the year. As it hits over 1,000 theaters for the first time, the public is with it as well. “Lady Bird” and “Three Billboards” are in the same territory and both have a long way to go. “Lady Bird” could soon outpace “Moonlight” ($27.8 million) as A24’s biggest-grossing film.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Fox Searchlight) Week 4

$4,530,000 in 1,430 theaters (+816); Cumulative: $13,671,000

Martin McDonagh’s breakout initial success continues to thrive. It placed #8 overall and is finding success outside just core specialized locations. Searchlight has pushed an aggressive expansion so far, which is sometimes a risk, but in this case has paid off with an already strong total that looks to grow much larger with not only the holidays and awards consideration ahead, but clear appeal to a crossover audience.

Roman J. Israel, Esq. (Sony) Week 3

$1,935,000 in 1,663 theaters (no change); Cumulative: $9,503,000

Denzel Washington’s turn as a crusading Los Angeles lawyer (from the director of “Nightcrawler”) has received elevated support from Sony (including an initial platform opening). Its mixed reviews and intense competition in the upscale market has left it with a minor response despite playing broadly nationwide.

"Loving Vincent"

“Loving Vincent”

Loving Vincent (Good Deed) Week 11

$211,071 in 161 theaters (+14); Cumulative: $5,502,000

The sleeper of the specialized fall continues to find new business as it plays deep into its third month.

My Friend Dahmer (FilmRise) Week 5

$140,000 in 90 theaters (+15);  Cumulative: $939,234

This specialized graphic novel adaptation continues to find interest in a very crowded marketplace, now just shy of $1 million.

"The Florida Project"

“The Florida Project”

The Florida Project (A24) Week 9

$129,240 in 120 theaters (-54); Cumulative: $4,873,000

Now an established awards contender after Sean Baker’s Best Director win (as well as Willem Dafoe’s) from the New York Film Critics, this Orlando-set child survival drama soon will pass the $5 million mark.

Last Flag Flying (Lionsgate) Week 5

$100,000 in 110 theaters (+12);  Cumulative: $816,844

Richard Linklater’s latest, another road trip with a trio of military types from the author of “The Last Detail,” continues to struggle to find any interest in a period of intense competition from other specialized titles.

The Square (Magnolia) Week 6   70-860

$(est.) 70,000 in 51 theaters (-19); Cumulative: $(est.) 930,000

This Swedish comedy/drama set in an ad agency looks soon to become one of the few arthouse subtitled films this year to pass $1 million.

Jane (Abramorama) Week 7

$73,286 in 49 theaters (-2); Cumulative: $1,253,000

One of the most successful theatrical documentaries of the year continues to sustain its presence in advance of its expected run for an Oscar.

Victoria & Abdul (Focus) Week 11

$65,000 in 131 theaters (-13); Cumulative: $22,037,000

As Focus moves on to “The Darkest Hour” and soon, Paul Thomas Anderson’s “The Phantom Thread,” they are still dining on their specialized success with Stephen Frears’ retelling of elderly Queen Victoria’s friendship with an Indian servant.

Novitiate (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 6

$52,875 in 163 theaters (+43);  Cumulative: $468,545

Still expanding, this 1960s set nuns-in-training drama has failed to gain traction despite continued support from SPC.

Also noted:

The Killing of a Sacred Deer (A24) – $40,787 in 41 theaters; Cumulative: $2,192,000

The Breadwinner (GKids) – $(est.)37,000 in 43 theaters; Cumulative: $(est.) 103,000

1945 (Menemsha) – $33,777 in 11 theaters; Cumulative: $158,289

Thelma (The Orchard) –  $31,423 in 36 theaters; Cumulative: $81,449

God’s Own Country (Goldwyn) –  $24,000 in 13 theaters; Cumulative: $249,000

Faces Places (Cohen) –  $16,105 in 13 theaters; Cumulative: $520,758

Source: IndieWire film

December 3, 2017

2017 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Voting Underway — Updating Live

Voting is underway as the Los Angeles Film Critics Association determines the best in film this year. As per tradition, the group is making announcements in real-time via Twitter, and IndieWire will be updating this post live in order to keep up with the results. Last year’s big winner was “Moonlight,” which was awarded Best Picture and Best Director for Barry Jenkins. Top acting categories went to Adam Driver for Best Actor in “Paterson,” and Isabelle Huppert for Best Actress in both “Elle” and “Things to Come.”

Earlier this week, the New York Film Critics Circle voted on and announced their awards, giving top honors to “Lady Bird” for Best Picture and star Saoirse Ronan as Best Actress. Additionally, Timothée Chalamet won Best Actor for “Call Me by Your Name,” and Sean Baker was named Best Director for “The Florida Project.”

LAFCA was founded in 1975 and includes both print and digital critics (including IndieWire’s own Michael Nordine).

The full LAFCA winners list will be updated below.

(Lunch Break)

The Douglas Edwards Experimental Film award: Lee Anne Schmitt’s “Purge This Land”

Best Documentary/Non-Fiction Film: “Faces Places”
Runner up: “Jane”

Best Supporting Actress: Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”
Runner up: Mary J. Blige, “Mudbound”

Best Editing: Lee Smith, “Dunkirk”
Runner up: Tatiana S. Riegel, “I, Tonya”

Best Production Design: Dennis Gassner, “Blade Runner 2049”
Runner up: Paul D. Austerberry, “The Shape of Water”

Best Supporting Actor: Willem Dafoe, “The Florida Project”
Runner up: Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Best Music/Score: Jonny Greenwood, “Phantom Thread”
Runner up: Alexandre Desplat, “The Shape of Water”

Best Cinematography: Dan Laustsen, “The Shape of Water
Runner up: Roger Deakins, “Blade Runner 2049”

Source: IndieWire film

December 3, 2017

‘Every Frame a Painting’ Is ‘Officially Dead,’ Tony Zhou Reveals in Lengthy Post

Every Frame a Painting,” a YouTube channel which attracted many cinephiles by focusing on the artistry of cinema, has ended. Creator and narrator Tony Zhou, alongside his fellow “Frame” writer and editor Taylor Ramos, published a “Postmortem” for the show on Dec. 2, alongside a script for a never-completed final video which was a thoughtful peek behind the curtain of the artists’ workflow.

“Every Frame a Painting is officially dead. Nothing sinister; we just decided to end it, rather than keep on making stuff. The existing videos will, of course, remain online. But there won’t be any new ones,” reads the introduction to the script.

Near the beginning of the script itself, Ramos outlines why the duo have stopped producing videos. “In the past year, we’ve both started new jobs and taken on other freelance work. Things started piling up and it took all our energy to get through the work we’d agreed to do. When we started this YouTube project, we gave ourselves one simple rule: if we ever stopped enjoying the videos, we’d also stop making them. And one day, we woke up and felt it was time.”

From there, they reveal many of the steps of their process, including how they’ve overcome challenges while making their videos. Key ideas include the importance of research, the power of organization, the benefits of working with a partner, and how to manage certain degrees of fame.

The duo ends with a thank you to fans: “We can never express what an amazing experience this has been and how much this has meant to us. We hope that this script may help someone somewhere. Just liked we hoped the videos would. Maybe we’ll see you for the next project.”

Read the whole script here, and watch the duo’s final video below:

Source: IndieWire film

December 2, 2017

‘The Last Jedi’ Star John Boyega Admits He Doesn’t Like Porgs, Thus Turning to the Dark Side — Watch

No one has seen “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” yet, but everyone has seen — and formed an opinion on — porgs. The adorable (or not) creatures came up on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” last night, with Kimmel asking the cast of Rian Johnson’s contribution to the mythos what they think of them. Only one person admitted to not being a fan: John Boyega. Watch below.

He isn’t especially vocal about his disdain, initially signaling it with a gesture. After being asked for his thoughts by Kimmel, however, Boyega holds nothing back: “I just naturally don’t like them,” he says. “I don’t. We were on the Falcon and there was a hole and there was, like, little porgs all bunched together and then there were big ones…I’m not into it.” Oscar Isaac, meanwhile, is proudly pro-porg.”

Read More:  ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’: Laura Dern’s Top Secret Character Revealed (and She’s Causing Trouble)

“People forget that these movies were made for children,” Hamill says when asked about what could be the most controversial “Star Wars” creature since Ewoks and Jar Jar Binks. He’s quickly interrupted by Kimmel, however: “No, they’re made for middle-aged men now.” Fair point.

Source: IndieWire film

December 2, 2017

How to Layer Text Behind Objects in Adobe Premiere Pro

In this video tutorial, learn how to place text behind foreground objects using basic compositing to create depth and style.<p>You can quickly and …
Source: CW’s Flipboard Feed

December 1, 2017

Exclusive SXSW Badge Discount for Enrolled Students

SXSW 2017 Conference Atmosphere - Photo by Errich Petersen

SXSW is offering students an exclusive badge discount for SXSW 2018. Now through Thursday, March 1 buy yourself a badge and get one free for a fellow student.

Experience 10 days of sessions, screenings, showcases, exhibitions, tacos, networking, and much more. From compelling conversations with industry leaders and buzz-worthy film screenings to tech startup competitions and fresh new sounds at showcases, SXSW fosters creative and professional growth.

If you are currently enrolled in high school, college or university, read on. We’re going to walk you through getting a badge to SXSW 2018.

Student Discount Process

1) Discount Rate: Student badges for SXSW Interactive, SXSW Film, and SXSW Music are priced at $625 each. For each student badge purchased at the $625 rate, a coupon to register one additional student at $0 will be issued. For comparison, the standard walkup rate for one badge is $1,325.

2) What We Need From You: Fill out the form below with the names of both students who will be attending SXSW and PDFs providing proof of current enrollment.

3) Registration Coupon: After we receive and verify proof of enrollment, we will send you a $625 student registration coupon. Once you redeem the $625 coupon, we’ll send you a second $0 coupon for your friend to redeem.

4) Plan Your SXSW Adventure: Explore the online SXSW Schedule, download the SXSW GO mobile app, and stay tuned to SXSW News for the latest announcements and event updates.

Fill out the Student Discount Offer form below and get ready for SXSW 2018 this March 9-18 in Austin, TX!

Student Form

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Attendees at 2017 SXSW Conference session “Mark Cuban & Tech Execs: Is Govt Disrupting Disruption?” – Photo by Errich Petersen

The post Exclusive SXSW Badge Discount for Enrolled Students appeared first on SXSW.

Source: SxSW Film

December 1, 2017

How to transform your story into your BUYER’S STORY

It’s a fact not a whole lot of people are aware of.

But half of all new business ventures fail in their first 5 years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

According to CBInsights the top reason is No market need. 

Translation: businesses don’t know how to craft and vet a compelling business story that resonates with their market. 

It’s as if founders fall in love with a product that is only connected to a nice-to-have problem nobody really cares to solve.

In our visual storytelling workshops, during our Story Making phase, we underscore the importance of clients vetting their customers’ core problems on several levels.

Building an authentic portrait of your top buyer persona profile requires:

1)    DIRECT interviews with customers, sales team, and partners to uncover their purchase decision process;

2)    INDIRECT social media research – to capture their hot topics, pain points, passions, and interests, including your competition.

This research is critical since your top buyer – like you – processes information on objective and subjective meaning levels.

Objective would carry the largest common ground with your customer segment, whereas subjective – is triggered by personal experiences and belief systems.

Moreover, your job as – the Chief Visual Storyteller – is to map out how your top buyer perceives the core problem your widget aims to solve.

You’ll find that what your top buyer thinks, feels, does and says – is not always in sync.

That’s why the direct and indirect research tactics are super important.

Yes, it requires investing more field work but it’s worth it!

Because the closest you can get to standing in your buyer’s shoes the more chances your story will authentically mirror her problem.

Your goal is to make your story feels as if it’s your buyer’s story, NOT YOURS.

“Wow! This [problem] just happened to me last week and that was exactly why I was so frustrated. This {widget} is exactly what I need to get this {problem} out of the way” should be your buyer’s imaginary thought bubble after consuming your visual story.

What do you think? How are you vetting your customer’s problem? What learnings are your finding? Feel free to drop me a note.

****

Ready to become a pro visual storyteller?

We help you rise above the communication noise with personalized visual storytelling workshops, so you can connect with your audience, empower their lives and grow your company.

Schedule an appointment!

Source: Visual Storytelling

November 30, 2017

Hey Startups: Apply to Tech Startup Spotlights

Tech Startup Spotlight

Imagine walking into a room full of the most influential investors in the world, and every one of them wants to meet you and learn about your startup. Sound like a dream? You can make it a reality by applying to be part of the Tech Startup Spotlight at SXSW 2018.

Spotlights are casual exhibitions that bring 20 of the most promising startups together in a reception setting with complimentary drinks. At the Tech Startup Spotlight, companies taking the tech world by storm get to pitch their business in a fun, relaxed environment at SXSW.

Apply Now

During each two-hour Spotlight, participants are encouraged to provide demos and showcase their innovations to attendees. Many life-changing connections happen between startups and the hundreds of attendees of the Tech Startup Spotlight.

SXSW is a well-known catalyst for startups. In fact, approximately $4.63 billion* has been invested in startups participating in events at SXSW between 2009-2017.

Don’t miss your chance to propel your startup to the next level. Apply for the Tech Startup Spotlight today!

*Does not include certain undisclosed funding. This data is as of June 6, 2017.

Photo by Kit McNeil

The post Hey Startups: Apply to Tech Startup Spotlights appeared first on SXSW.

Source: SxSW Film

November 30, 2017

From the StoryCorps App: Lives Impacted by AIDS

Did you know that the broadcast pieces you hear on NPR and our podcast are excerpts of interviews pulled from the StoryCorps Archive? Participants visit one of our recording locations with a friend or family member to record a 40-minute interview with the help of a trained StoryCorps Facilitator, or record a conversation using the StoryCorps App. All interviews recorded using the StoryCorps App, including the selections below, can now be accessed at archive.storycorps.orgour first step towards making our collection of voices accessible to the public. 

World AIDS Day takes place on the first of December each year. On this day, we recognize the ongoing fight against HIV, show solidarity with the estimated 36.7 million people living with HIV worldwide, and honor those who have died from AIDS-related illnesses. In these interviews from the StoryCorps App, people share the impact that AIDS has had upon their lives and the lives of their loved ones.

Hippler450x450

Sisters Melissa Hippler (left) and Judy Hippler Bello remember their brother, author and journalist Michael Hippler, who died of AIDS-related complications on April 2nd, 1991. They describe Michael as a multi-talented storyteller, writer and advocate — “the toast of each town” when he was living in New York and San Francisco.

Judy and Melissa share how the night before he passed away, Michael’s friends came to see him in the hospital. “He entertained everyone,” Judy says, “It was a stand up comedy act — the only difference was he wasn’t standing! He was the MC; he was the host with the most; he gave his monologue; he interviewed people; he had everyone in stitches.”

Windle450x450

Henry Windle interviews his mother, Dr. Stephanie Windle (left), about the role she played in founding the first AIDS treatment clinic in Wisconsin. Dr. Windle, now an Assistant Professor of Nursing at San Francisco State University, talks about the pervasive fear of HIV among nurses in the 1980s.

“Nobody knew if you could catch it by taking care of a patient,” she says. “I remember making a decision at one point, when no nurses would come into that patient room. I thought, this is not going to happen, I am not going to be one of those people that don’t come in the room — and it defined my career.”

Howser450x450

In an interview recorded at the Art AIDS America exhibition in Chicago, friends Stephen Starr (left) and Dave Howser talk about growing up in the Baptist Church, coming out as gay in the midst of the AIDS crisis, and the ways that witnessing the impact of HIV and AIDS has changed their spirituality.

After completing seminary, Dave moved to Chicago to serve as the resident AIDS chaplain at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center. “That could have been me,” he says, recalling the AIDS-related death of a young patient. “I had to decide at that point, was I going to allow HIV/AIDS to keep me from living a full and fulfilling life?”

All material within the StoryCorps collection is copyrighted by StoryCorps. StoryCorps encourages use of material on this site by educators and students without prior permission, provided appropriate credit is given. This interview has not been fact-checked, and may contain sensitive personal information about living persons.

Source: SNPR Story Corps