Casting directors might shy away from deaf TV and film personalities because they simply don’t understand how to communicate, or perhaps they don’t understand that the benefits far outweigh any costs. But with audiences increasingly demanding diversity in the media and responding positively to shows that explore different cultural identities, entertainment outlets are starting to come around. At LC Interpreting Services, we make the process of hiring an on-set interpreter seamless and simple, while offering top quality communication access.
By providing access for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, the majority hearing culture welcomes deaf individuals to participate in the humor, drama, and shared memories that TV and movies help create. Entertainment Interpreters assist in bridging the cultural gap by providing communication access on the sets of TV shows or talk shows and out in the field such as game shows and reality TV. These interpreters possess a specialized set of skills that enables them to accurately communicate in situations that are high-stakes and unpredictable.
Skills of Top Film and Television ASL Interpreters
Fluent in ASL and English
Basic fluency in the spoken and signed languages is a good start but qualified Entertainment Interpreters should be certified professionals with strong language skills and experience. They will also understand any relevant vocabulary and common industry phrases. Since most television interpreters work on sets, which can be unpredictable situations, it is important that an Entertainment Interpreter’s ASL/English skills are fast and effective.
In the ever-changing world of TV and movies, Entertainment Interpreters arrive to each assignment prepared by knowing the script and understanding the type of program or film they will be working on. For talk shows, interpreters will prepare by researching the guest they will be interpreting for that day. These interpreters are flexible with their time, understanding that a day may get cut short or run much longer than expected. They know their way around film and TV sets and feel comfortable interacting with producers, cast, and crew. Qualified Entertainment Interpreters know where to stand, when to interpret, and when to get out of the way.
Calm Under Pressure
Sometimes a script will have a last minute change, or something off the cuff will happen during a live broadcast, or delays create a time crunch or extended day. Qualified Entertainment Interpreters know the ins and outs of the industry and are able to professionally manage each assignment while still providing top quality services for deaf consumers.
It is important for Entertainment Interpreters to reserve judgement and prevent their personal opinions from impacting service when potentially working with public figures in the entertainment industry. Interpreters must overcome preconceptions if they have any, which might include being “star struck!”
Entertainment Interpreters not only provide interpretation, but they effectively bridge the communication gap and help foster cultural understanding between deaf and hearing individuals on set. Working with a top quality interpreter for film or TV provides an opportunity to spread information beyond the cast and crew to wider audiences. When everyone is working together and comfortable in their roles, it comes through in the final product.
Some films and television programs want to utilize ASL or deafness as part of a scene or story, but aren’t sure how to do it in a culturally competent way. This is an example where a Deaf Director is the best option. A Deaf Director on set will work with cast members as ASL coaches to learn their part and to actually understand more about the language they are using.
Film and Television Interpreting Services: Contact SignNexus
SignNexus is thrilled to offer Entertainment Interpreting services in the greater NYC area. From reality TV to sitcoms to talk shows and movie sets, our interpreters have the skill and experience provide equal access accommodation in any setting.
At SignNexus, we believe that access to cultural arts and entertainment is a right, and we are proud to provide passionate, top quality interpreters for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing community. We have provided services for many venues including, but not limited to, the following:
Bravo, Odd Mom out
Hulu, Difficult people
Nickelodeon, Nick News
The Food Network, Chopped
VH1, Blank Ink Crew
ABC, The Chew
ABC, The View
CBS, Late show with Stephen Colbert
NBC, Late show with Jimmy Fallon
NBC, Late show with Conan O’Brien