Deaf Characters, Deaf Culture, Deaf Stories...
Deaf people have been featured in Film and TV ever since the cameras started rolling, but, like many underrepresented minority groups the deaf have often been badly portrayed; misrepresented, marginalised or patronised. It's easy for passive audiences to tolerate this even today, perpetuating outdated stereotypes.
When working with deaf characters from the Deaf World, writers directors and producers have a large, complex cultural and historical background to deal with. All of these elements need to be understood in order to produce an effective, believable and authentic portrayal. A must for any successful story.
Deaf people are diverse individuals with varying degrees of hearing, and different ways of communicating. Many in the industry try to cover the whole spectrum in a single simplistic portrayal. They often fail to establish fundamental character traits, misunderstanding the individual perspective and experience a deaf person may have.
Authenticity has a knock on effect. If the character isn't real or fully convincing, then there is only tokenism, leaving a flawed production, missing out on it's full potential.
At Defeye films we are first of all, filmmakers. We are not academic linguists but we do have extensive experience in writing , shooting and producing films with deaf deaf characters and stories. We have strong connections to the Deaf Community and the wide range of wonderful professionals within it. We particulary have a good overview of the Deaf actors established here in the UK.
As well as independent productions, we have advised and consulted with broadcasters such as the BBC with both TV and Radio productions. How much you use us and to what extent is entirely up to you.
'As a production company that's never worked within the Deaf community before, Ted was able to guide us on understanding the cultural aspects as well as give sound, practical advice on our casting process, putting us in touch with various organisations and contacts to work with. Ted's skills and knowledge were an essential part of our audition and filming process, translating and directing where required. Overall, Ted's input was an integral part of our project and we wouldn't hesitate in recommending him as a consultant or associate for film or television projects.'
James Everett, Managing Director, One Big Mop Productions