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By Ondi Timoner | January 17, 2013

Hilari Scarl joins BYOD to discuss her film about deaf performers, “See What I’m Saying.” From their moments in preparation, to the stage and beyond, she chronicled the very particular struggles that face deaf artists such as CJ Jones and TL Forsberg.

Hilary also goes into the difficult time that many deaf performers have in connecting to a larger audience and the universal struggle of artists that are trying so desperately to be heard–beyond any medical condition.

Watch new episodes of BYOD live each week on Tuesdays at noon on TheLip.TV, or tune in for the archived replay starting here on the following Thursday.

BYOD is hosted by Ondi Timoner, director of “DIG!,” “JOIN US” and “WE LIVE IN PUBLIC,” and has the rare distinction of winning the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance twice. Each week the show explores a different documentary filmmaker or aspect of filmmaking, with special guests and a live Q&A– diving deep into creative process and the business realities of producing and distributing films. Ondi shares her insider views, opinions, and personal stories, welcoming audience participation. BYOD aims to entertain, inform, and elevate documentaries in general by bringing attention to films and film makers that deserve exposure.

Hilari Scarl is an award-winning director who was selected out of 12,000 filmmakers to appear on the Steven Spielberg television series ON THE LOT. She received outstanding reviews from judges Garry Marshall, Carrie Fisher, Jon Avnet and Brett Ratner on her short comedy DITTO and for her cinematic vision and overall strength in working with actors.

Hilari has produced TV shows for CBS, The History Channel, TLC and Court TV. She directed/ produced over 12 short films in two years, including the short documentary PAVING THE WAY which was a finalist for International Documentary Challenge, played the film festival circuit and was acquired by Current TV. Her narrative short SNIPS & SNAILS is a horror spoof that she directed, co-wrote and co-produced with Gary Anthony Williams. The film won the Audience Award at the Dances With Films festival and became a cult classic at film festivals around the world.

Hilari’s interest in the deaf community began in 1992 when she started working in deaf theatre. She has spent the past 18 years working with the deaf community as a director, performer and educator with the Tony Award winning National Theatre of the Deaf (NTD), the Deaf Arts Council, New York Deaf Theatre and Deaf West. She brings her intimate knowledge of deaf culture, personal friendships within the deaf community and signing skills to this documentary.


00:01 Today on BYOD
00:25 Welcoming Hilari Scarl.
01:50 Coming to the deaf performance community.
04:06 See What I’m Saying, Clip: Robert.
07:28 Filming without audio.
11:20 The shooting process and narrowing down to four subjects.
12:50 See What I’m Saying, Clip: CJ’s intro.
16:26 The huge opportunity to break through.
20:33 30 million deaf and hard-of-hearing Americans.
22:51 Diverse stories among deaf people and filmmakers.
23:56 A staged reading by deaf and hearing actors.
27:45 Transcending difficulty through artistry.
28:59 See What I’m Saying, Clip: Robert’s dealing with HIV-AIDS.
31:18 Educating against AIDS in the deaf community.
33:50 The story of CJ- a star in the deaf community.
34:44 See What I’m Saying, Clip: CJ at the festival.
36:20 Capturing a difficult performance.
38:49 TL and the complicated voice between two worlds.
39:42 See What I’m Saying, Clip: TL the rock star.
43:45 Caught between two worlds.
46:11 Why turn to documentary?
50:20 See What I’m Saying, Clip.

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