I first came across the story of the first AIDS press conferences in this article in Mother Jones. I wondered if there was any video of the conference, but when I inquired at the Reagan Library, they said they only had audio. Which, if you've seen any of the other films on this site, didn't present much of a problem because that's pretty much what I'm used to working with.
The people from Vanity Fair had reached out earlier to me about creating another film for them so I thought this might be the perfect project. Launching the film on World AIDS Day would give it an added boost. So I set about gathering my materials. I contacted Kathy Kinsolving (again using LinkedIn - the same place I found The Silly Bastard) and she agreed to help. I was also honored to have Saul and Sandra, the photographers who took such moving pictures of an AIDS hospice in Seattle, on board.
The final project probably only took a couple months from start to finish. Most of it fell together pretty easily. I wanted to end with an uplifting message, but eventually, given the source material, didn't think it fit.
Embed code doesn't work here, so you can watch the film at the Vanity Fair web site.
Recordings of press conferences at the Reagan White House reveal the shocking indifference, and sometimes outright derision, which the administration dealt with the growing AIDS epidemic.
You can download a mono version of the press conference - that should work just about anywhere - by CLICKING HERE.
Oddly enough, as one of my most watched videos, this had a very limited festival run. Oh well.
America's AIDS Magazine