Last year, Deaf Film Camp release their viral mega hit of Pharrell’s ‘Happy’ song in American Sign Language. Well, this year, over the summer, the Deaf Film Camp release another video in American Sign Language based on Phillip Phillips’ classic hit ‘Home’. The video itself, is off to a strong start, however, the question remains, will this video exceed last year 1.4 million views?
With a glowing article from People magazine, it should be noted that Phillip Phillips himself tweeted People story about the video release.
— People (@people) September 17, 2015
He also retweeted Billboard Story about Deaf Film Camp as well.
— billboard (@billboard) September 17, 2015
So far, according to YouTube, the ASL version of ‘Home’ has gotten over 18,000 views. Very impressive…considering it was published on YouTube…two days ago!
Yet, this video was not an easy task, as Stacy Lawrence, Deaf Film Camp Director, explains how they went about this process:
Originally, we did plan three days with outdoor activities in between during the first week, but with all the challenges that happened during the shooting, it took us almost 6 days! Again, with the challenges we experienced at the camp, this editing process was ten times more tenacious and complicated. It took the editors two *full* weeks to complete the task. This is the reason why I call our teachers the Deaf Film Camp DREAM team!
This video itself is about the emotional connection that the children are making with each other while at Deaf Film Camp that is located in the Adirondacks in Old Forge, New York. The video is written, produced, edited, directed and by golly, performed by the campers themselves! With a total of 64 campers from the ages of 13-16, it’s pretty amazing that they were able to organize it all on their own and using their own real life stories within this video.
How did they decide what song to pick?
We asked Stacy Lawrence, Deaf Film Camp Director about this and she told us:
Traditionally speaking, our team picks the song choice based on their unique Camp Mark Seven ( CM7 ) experience in early February after emailing each other several song choices in late December. The beauty of ASL translation is they discuss the meaning behind lyrics and then, visual signs on CONVO videophone in April for a couple of weeks. The most important key is the campers learn the value of ASL translation during their music workshop at the beginning of camp. A beautiful collaboration, I must add! Ultimately, it is the campers who complete the music video project!
Rosa Lee Timm and Azora Telford returned again to camp to help lead in this second video. Rosa Lee Timm starts out with the beginning of the song with her trademark look, her fabulous earrings. If you noticed, she’s the first person in the video that you see for the ASL ‘Happy’ song and this year, she’s the first person you see for the ASL ‘Home’ song. Coincidence? We’ll let you decide.
We asked Rosa Lee Timm about what her experience was like and what stood out to her!
What stood out for me is how campers blended together so well especially when a number of them came from another country.What inspired me was finding hidden talents in our campers. They had so much to offer and it was inspiring to watch them blossom throughout two weeks.Working with campers have been both rewarding and challenging. There were so many of them! 65 campers! Wow. It’s rewarding because they taught me so much about ambition– it being one of the most powerful universal language.Film Camp offers introverted campers an opportunity to express themselves though camera. While our DFC program emphasizes teamwork, it offers our campers an opportunity to explore their passion on their own.This year’s music video is much more personal and challenging than last year. We all learned so much from this project and we left the program with so much knowledge about film, music, deaf culture, and language. If you look at the “Home” music video closely, you will find so many hidden meanings behind them. All in all, it was such rewarding experience.
Yet, someone new appears in the video, Natasha Ofili. Apparently, a newcomer at Camp Mark Seven, she is a first-generation African American designer that lost her hearing at age two, yet, she is now showing some interest in film to be an aspiring actress. She play the role of breaking the stereotype in the song and let’s the campers know that the fears and doubt you have will be totally broken when you are supported by friends. Her beautiful pink lip gloss stands out to show her confident personality as her role as a angel letting the child know she’s not alone.
Azora Telford also returned again for another leadership role within the video ‘Home’ as a quiet, yet strong individual who is there to support the kids transition smooth no matter where they come from..as long as they are one happy family! Azora is a self-proclaimed genderqueer, yet, is widely respected all over the world within the Deaf Community. Azora just really knows how to show a strong heart personality that exemplifies Phillip Phillips’s lyrics when he sings, “Cause I’m gonna make this place your home”!
Azora writes to TSG when contacted about the experiences with working with the kids that, “The one thing I can share is that working with the team and kids is that it truly is a mind blowing experience, it grounds us all. It always reflects back to the reason we do this and that is to create an opportunity for our future generations within the Deaf community. At DFC there are no boundaries only open doors to opportunities.”
Who knows if this video will exceed over 1.4 million views…all that matters is that being with friends will conquer all fear and doubt.