Penn State alumnus Tyler Walk has been busy since his 2006 graduation .
After completing a degree in Film and Video Production, Walk has since become a film editor and worked on multiple pieces — one of which is nominated for one of the most coveted awards in film.
Walk originally attended school with the idea that he would be a cameraman because he “loved this technology side of things.” He moved to New York upon completion of his degree and realized he wanted to be a film editor, he said.
“Working one-on-one with a director was exactly what I needed,” he said.
Within six months of his move to New York, Walk moved into editing freelance films. He started as an assistant editor, but after working on a few films, Walk has worked his way up to lead film editor.
In 2012, a film that was edited by Walk, called “How to Survive a Plague,” was released. The film was directed by David France and has been nominated for a 2012 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.
It is a “compelling” and “emotional” film consisting of “setbacks and victories,” Bingaman said.
Maura Shea, senior lecturer of film-video , was one of Walk’s professors while he attended Penn State and said he was a good, helpful student.
“He was going all out in his own project and always lending a hand on everyone else’s,” she said.
Rod Bingaman, senior lecturer of film-video, was another of Walk’s professors and also said he was hardworking and talented.
“He’s really one of the more gifted students I [have] had,” Bingaman said.
“How to Survive a Plague” consists of VHS tapes from 1987 through 1996 that tell the story of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power activist group, Walk said.
According to the group, ACT UP’s, website they are “a diverse, non-partisan group of individuals united in anger and committed to direct action to end the AIDS crisis.”
Shea said it was interesting to get to know the workings of the group through the film and that it was very much a human interest piece. She said that while watching that the audiences “really get to know the people.”
Walk said that the film is set in a time period where people were less accepting of homosexuality and gay lifestyle and he said many thought, “[homosexual people] deserve to get AIDS for what they’re doing.”
ACT UP began protesting and helped force the government to push AIDS medication through faster, he said. Instead of taking eight to ten years for a drug to be pushed through, it took closer to six months, he said.
“[I’m] glad to be a part of the history,” Walk said. “I love the archive format.”
In the future, Walk said he wants to “find [and work on] the next film that tells the untold history.”