A different kind of music video will debut in Rochester this week, as local deaf and hard of hearing students unveil a completed sign language rendition of hit rock song The Middle Wednesday.
American Sign Language music videos of Pharrell’s Happy and Phillip Phillips’ Home, created by students at Deaf Film Camp in Old Forge, went viral on Youtube in the last two years. They were the creative vision of Stacy Lawrence of Pittsford, the founder and former executive director of the camp.
The videos feature students and faculty, including Lawrence, giving enthusiastic sign and dance performances. In May, Lawrence was instrumental in bringing deaf director and cinematographer Wayne Betts Jr. to Rochester School for the Deaf to help craft the newest music video, set to the 2000s hit by Jimmy Eat World, with students in the school’s American Sign Language Video Production class.
“We were empowered with the freedom to make this video from start to finish,” said student Felicia McGinnis of Brighton in a news release.
“The Middle isn’t about being stuck there, it’s about doing your best and living right now,” she added.
The Middle music video will be shown at 6 p.m. Saturday, during the Convorelay: Rochester Deaf Community video premier event at the Main Street Armory at 900 East Main St.
The event will be hosted by America’s Next Top Model winner and Dancing with the Stars Mirrorball Champion Nyle DiMarco.
Deaf students to unveil signed video