“Home,” performed by Phillip Phillips, was coordinated by Stacy Lawrence, a graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf and a Brighton resident. Lawrence is the founder and director of Deaf Film Camp at upstate New York’s Camp Mark Seven in Old Forge, N.Y. Deaf Film Camp is a non-profit organization that opens its doors to campers ages 13 to 16 every summer for two weeks of filmmaking courses that focus on everything from set design to screenwriting.
In addition to Lawrence, RIT/NTID alumni Rosa Lee Timms and Wayne Betts, Jr. were involved in the video’s creation.
In 2014, campers helped create a video for Pharrell’s hit song “Happy” that went viral on social media. This past July, more than 60 deaf campers from around the world participated.
In an interview with People.com, Lawrence said she anticipated the popularity of the video, hoping it would surpass the almost 1.4 million hits that the “Happy” video garnered since its release last year.
According to Lawrence, interpreters have been working feverishly over the past 12 months to perfect the translation for “Home” and that it “takes a lot of time to translate songs to American Sign Language because each lyric must be examined for meaning, especially the ways in which children might interpret certain phrases.”
Lawrence also said that the campers feel “so comfortable and so happy, so at home.”
“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,” added Lawrence. “It’s important to know that you aren’t alone in your dreams.”