September 17, 2015

RSD Students Help Produce an Inspiring ASL Music Video 09/17/15 Releases the World Exclusive “Home” by Deaf Film Camp

Last July 26 through August 7, 2015, Rochester School for the Deaf (RSD) students (pictured left to right)  Alex Michalek, Hunter Luther, Luz Chastel, Adriana Gonzalez, and Isabella Robillard, were among 60 Deaf teens, ages 13 to 16, who were attending Deaf Film Camp.

The filmmaking camp for Deaf youth is located at Camp Mark Seven, near Old Forge, in New York’s Adirondack Mountains. Campers learn how to write, shoot and direct their own video productions. Guiding them are professional, Deaf adult filmmakers, animators, actors and screenwriters from around the world.

In 2014, Deaf Film Camp students worked together to produce an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreted version of Pharrell’s hit song “Happy.” On YouTube the video has been viewed over 1.4 million times.

This year, campers produced an ASL version of Phillip Phillip’s hit song “Home,” which was released September 16 exclusively on Many of the five-dozen Deaf film campers who “act” or are seen in the video include the five students from RSD.

Deaf Film Camp co-founder Wayne Betts, Jr., told PEOPLE: “We picked “Home” because the lyrics are simple, but heavy with soul. The concept of translation is abstract, and we try to capture that in the sign language, it's very challenging for us to communicate emotion in a song.”

He went on to say that the video endeavors to “capture the essence of the camp” and what a typical day at the two-week overnight camp looks like.

A camper named Gareth told PEOPLE: “This camp is important to me because it gives deaf teens the opportunity to realize we can do anything too. We can get involved in this business. Anything is open to us. It may be a struggle and there will be obstacles, but there's opportunity for us in filmmaking.”




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