Feel Good Commercial: Motion Savvy
I was so happy to have the opportunity to work with a terrific company on their commercial. The crew at Motion Savvy are truly innovative and wonderful! The production crew from Sandwhich Video gave this commercial a very cinematic feel.
I had to learn some sign language for this spot. Previously, I had limited knowledge from a workshop I did when I was a kid at the public library and then learning sign launguage to help my children communicate before they could articulate verbally. I consulted my friend Sara Morrell who had studied sign language in college for my audition as well as the American Sign Languae website.
When I arrived on set I was nervous to talk to Ryan Hait-Campbell, Co-Founder and CEO and Jordan Stemper, Co-Founder and Industrial designer; both of whom are deaf. Thankfully, they are also amazing lip readers. They worked with me to get my practiced, grammatically correct signing, to be more relaxed and natural; a shorthand that would be more common between a mother and daughter.
Then I met my 'daughter', Rose. She is from the San Fransisco area and came down with her mother, Lilly Benedict. Both Rose and Lilly have been hearing impared since birth. I cannot begin to tell you how lovely they were. There was a sign languate translator on set to help us all communicate smoothly, but by the end of the day we were doing pretty well on our own. They were extremely patient with me as I tried out a new language. Lilly has her own business selling essential oils, in case you are interested. Her website is: mydoterra.com/lillybenedict or you can email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
An incredible benefit of sign language on set is that you can communicate across a room without having to yell. After each take I would look over at Ryan and sign to him, "was that OK?" or "are you happy?" So I'd know if I was doing it well or needed to adjust. That was pretty cool.
Sincerely, everyone on the set from the grips and wardrobe folks to the DP were incredibly friendly and professional. Both the little boy who played Jared and one of the other girls who played a background neighbor hung out and got to know each other between takes. They mostly wrote notes to each other to talk. At the time this product was still in the design phase so we didn't have a working model on set. It should be ready later this year! How cool would it be to not have to overcome that language barrier.
For me it was like being in another country for a day, where I could communicate pretty well with most everyone because those without the benefit of hearing were adept lip readers but there were times when they would sign to each other and I didn't have any idea what they were saying. Or I would have lots more to say but it was such a struggle that I would just smile and nod, not having the words to explain it clearly.
Now, imagine that it is flipped. And you live in a country where almost no-one speaks your language. It is a struggle to get your idea across and it can become so tedious that you often choose to keep conversations short. You miss out on things. You don't hear your name being called. Phone conversations are almost impossible. It is hard to make new friends.
Motion Savvy is solving that problem. Removing the communications barrier. It is a truly beautiful thing. If you want to know more about it or if you want to invest innovative company go to this website: http://www.motionsavvy.com