Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Rochester School for the Deaf
1545 St. Paul Street
Rochester, New York 14621

Frank Kruppenbacher
585-490-2811 (cell)


RSD High School Students Debut The Middle by Jimmy Eat World in ASL

Rochester, NY – The main objective of Rochester School for the Deaf (RSD) High School students in their American Sign Language (ASL) Video Production class was to produce an awesome music video that also showcased their landmark school which is celebrating its 140th anniversary this year.

The resulting video titled The Middle, by Jimmy Eat World, performed in ASL and produced by RSD students, debuted Wednesday, June 1, at 1:30 p.m. during a student assembly in the school auditorium, located at 1545 St. Paul Street. The video was also made available for viewing on the RSD YouTube channel:

The video was produced by students in Teacher Paul Kelly’s ASL Video Production class at RSD. Classmates include graduating seniors Brianna Di Giovanni, of Irondequoit; Felicia McGinnis, of Brighton; and, Marlena Rauber, of Greece. Junior classmate Sean Dinsmore, of Greece, was also a member of the production team. Graduating senior Martin Bindler, of Bolivar, Allegany County, and junior Hunter Luther, of Linwood, Livingston County, provided technical assistance behind the scenes.

“We chose The Middle for our senior class project,” says McGinnis, “because it has an uplifting message that kids in school can relate to.”

Don't write yourself off yet
It's only in your head you feel left out or looked down on
Just try your best
Try everything you can
And don't you worry what they tell themselves when you're away

“We were empowered with the freedom to make this video from start to finish,” McGinnis adds. “In that process we included as many in the RSD family as we could to put a spotlight on our school and deaf and hard of hearing children and youth. The Middle isn’t about being stuck there, it’s about doing your best and living right now.”

It just takes some time
Little girl, you're in the middle of the ride
Everything, everything will be just fine
Everything, everything will be all right

As a team, students translated the lyrics into ASL and rehearsed sign production to carefully match the tempo of the song. Students scouted scene locations on the RSD campus, recruited “extras” from the student body, and led all video shooting and editing.

The video's high production values were made possible through the efforts of Stacy Lawrence, of Pittsford. Lawrence is founder and past executive director of Deaf Film Camp, in Old Forge, NY. It is there where deaf and hard of hearing teenage campers produced ASL adaptations of Pharrell Williams' Happy and Phillip Phillips' Home in the last two years, garnering worldwide media attention. Lawrence was instrumental in bringing to RSD in May renowned Deaf cinematographer, editor and director Wayne Betts, Jr. (Through Deaf Eyes, a PBS documentary; Gallaudet: The Film; Through Your Child's Eyes: ASL; Convorelay: Austin Deaf Community). Betts, who also taught at Deaf Film Camp, and Lawrence advised and guided RSD students throughout the steps of producing The Middle ASL music video. RSD Teaching Assistant and Drama Club Advisor Vicki Nordquist also assisted Kelly and his students with ASL translation.

The Middle ASL music video will also be shown publically on Saturday, June 4, during the Convorelay Rochester Deaf Community video premier event, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Main Street Armory, 900 East Main Street, in Rochester.

This event will be hosted by America's Next Top Model winner and Dancing with the Stars Mirrorball Champion Nyle DiMarco.

To attend this free, family-friendly event visit: to register.




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