A hilarious new internet video series called Dine and Sign has been created by rising US filmmaker and CODA Alex Laferriere, showcasing his mealtime conversations in American Sign Language (ASL) with his deaf dad.
In one of the most recent episodes, below, Alex asks his Dad ‘What’s the problem with long hair?’ His father’s answers (featuring the odd profanity – those of a sensitive disposition, you have been warned) reveal a very ‘deaf’ sense of humour that UK deafies will recognise and enjoy.
I took the opportunity to ask Alex a few questions about his life and work:
Tell us about your family life…
It’s funny because the term CODA was only really brought to my attention in the past couple of years! My brother and sister are hearing, but I don’t think we really thought about deaf culture and the terms associated with it, and what it could mean for our development. I think I’ve had a great upbringing- I was captain of my High School football team, went to college and continued my sports interest, focusing on filmmaking and my media pursuits, now my professional endeavors have become my aim.
What inspired you to put your dad centre stage in the videos?
As a pragmatic person, I have always worked with what I’ve had, filming a 92-minute feature film on $150 and a couch, winning “Best Feature” and “Funniest Flick” at a film festival. Continuing my utilization of nearby resources, I saw that my father and I were having some great father-son conversations that I felt other young people could be having… but with a twist. It was my goal to bridge the gap of hearing and deafness, and showcase the world that I am involved in. The response has been great and I’m constantly looking to engage more and more! Not everyone ‘agrees’ with my father or I, but that is the wonderful world of the web- discussion! I think bringing deaf culture to the forefront is possible now more than ever and I’m willing to help that along, with anything I can do.
What are your filmmaking ambitions?
My larger goals as a filmmaker is to have my passions recognized and my professional aspirations supported. Whether that means by the fans themselves, or someone who is willing to connect and talk about my plans to take part in the changing landscape of interacting Streaming Television. I have many things ready to be produced, but I am looking for the right support to execute them professionally. I produce “Dine & Sign” single handedly, on a weekly basis, and I couldn’t be more proud of that, but I understand what larger projects like a film or web series require, and any skills, advice or support is greatly appreciated!
How can people find out more about your work?
By Charlie Swinbourne, Editor
The Limping Chicken is the world's most popular Deaf blog, and is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne.
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