When the kids from Deaf Film Camp performed Pharrell’s “Happy” in ASL, everyone went wild for the video! Now the students are preparing for an even bigger, better ASL music video, and we can’t wait to see it!
Deaf Film Camp takes place each year for two weeks at Camp Mark Seven in New York. The camp was founded as a way for deaf and hard of hearing kids from 13 to 16 to get together explore filmmaking. At the camp, kids learn everything they need to know to make a film, including writing scripts, building a set, doing makeup and special effects, and of course, recording the action!
Stacy Lawrence, the founder of Deaf Film Camp, says translating a song to American Sign Language is hard, but rewarding. Song lyrics are like poetry, and each word has to be carefully studied to make sure the song’s true meaning comes through. It’s also important to make sure the performers are having a good time, too, and are comfortable with the signs. According to Lawrence, that’s one reason the “Happy” video was so popular. “They were so comfortable and so happy, so at home,” she says. “I think that’s one of the reasons it went viral.”
The “Happy” video is more than a song set to ASL. It is proof that kids, no matter who they are, can find a way to be whoever they want to be. “When I was growing up, I did not see one deaf filmmaker or a movie with deaf actors, but it’s very important for deaf children to see them,” says Lawrence. “It’s important to know that you aren’t alone in your dreams.”
Now the kids at Deaf Film Camp are hard at work on another project, but it’s being kept secret for now. Their new video will be released on August 25th, and they have said it will be even bigger and better than their “Happy” video! And if you haven’t seen “Happy” yet, click here and check it out! You’ll be happy you did!