How to Survive a Plague – Sundance Day 2

This day has been incredible!   Mom and I woke well rested and grabbed some breakfast downstairs here at the Avenues Hostel.  They provide toast, eggs, cereal, etc. for you to prepare.
  We then spent the morning getting ready for Tyler’s big premier; this included tracking down mom’s suitcase which Delta had dropped off down in the lobby, showering and getting all dressed for success.  We then drove up to Park City.

The day was gorgeous!  It was sunny and all the freshly fallen snow was simply hanging on the trees and glittering.  We picked up Tyler and Rosalee and did a drive by of the Temple Theater…just to see where exactly it was and figure out where to park.  Parking is an issue here – they really encourage you to use the public transpo, which is great, but we needed a place to ditch the car.  Anyway, we popped into a Hot Pot restaurant out near the freeway for lunch.  I’ve never had Hot Pot and this way very cool; it’s one of the do-it-yourself food experiences with your own steaming bowl of spiced water.  Add the veggies, meat, etc…to cook and then eat with your rice.  Then when you think you are full, it becomes soup.  Anyway, it was a great lunch and gave us some time to catch up with Tyler and learn more about the festival and the goals of the film.  Once that was over, the nerves were setting in.  We made a quick jaunt to the outlets so all 3 of us ladies could find Tyler a new black sportcoat (success on sale), and then drove down into Park City.  We parked in one of the Sundance lots for $20 and caught the Temple shuttle easily.  The excitement was really building as it became apparent most of the folks on the bus were on their way to WATCH Tyler’s film.  These were the people who bought tickets!  The show was completely sold out weeks ago.

When we arrived Tyler introduced us to many people…film folks, Act Up folks, and friends.  At this point we were the entourage – seriously – we headed away from the main theater crowd, up the back stairway to the pre-party.  It was a small get together with all the people responsible for the film.  This is where the pictures happen!  It’s the room with the special Sundance backdrop for photography.  wow!  Tyler mingled, we chatted and got a soda, then took pictures.  It was just incredible to be at such a premier event – to be in the inner circle and see Tyler in his element.

As we entered the theater to get our seats we realized this was it!  How to Survive a Plague is an incredible story about the Act Up AIDS rights movement….how the gay community organized themselves, protested, and got their message heard until the government finally worked with them to get more funding for AIDS research and a quicker method for drug approval.  Without Act Up the aids epidemic would have continued to kill millions; now drugs are available though they are expensive.  The film got a standing ovation!  People had started applause even before it was completed.  So incredible to know my brother was Editor and Writer for this amazing story.  At that point there was a Q & A session for the director, David France, who surprised everyone by inviting to the front 4 people who were in the film!  We were all just amazed and honored that these people, who had fought so hard with Act Up, came to the premier.  He also called up the production team – so Tyler was up there as well!  David gave much credit to Tyler as a writer and editor for helping get the thousands of hours of raw footage into a cohesive story.  I’m just so proud of my brother – not just his editing skills and his ability to actually make a living in the film industry – but also for being involved in such an awe-inspiring topic. The film leaves you a bit emotionally drained; good and bad, happy and sad.  After all this we mingled in the lobby and chatted with people – before getting back on our shuttle.

Back at the car mom changed from her dress and I changed into snow boots so we could hop a different shuttle into Park City proper for an after party.  It was hosted by the Skywalker sound folks at on of the brewpubs.  My phone had died, so Rosalee, mom and I got a drink and parked ourselves near the kitchen by an outlet so it could charge.  Thist was great because we were able to grab the hors d’vours as they came out!  We had fun chatting while Tyler visited with his people….afterward he had a dinner to go to with just the production crew.  So, the 3 of us ladies walked across the street for some pizza, then wandered a few shops in Park City before giving in for the night.  We shuttled back to the freezing cold car and dropped Rosalee off before heading back to our hostel in Salt Lake.


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