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Sat, Aug 26


Online via Zoom Link

The Language of Film - Interpreting For and About Film Production

A Four Hour Workshop With Alek Lev | This Professional Studies program is offered for .4 CEUs at the some Content Knowledge Level.

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The Language of Film - Interpreting For and About Film Production
The Language of Film - Interpreting For and About Film Production

Time & Location

Aug 26, 2023, 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM PDT

Online via Zoom Link

About the event

*Presented in ASL*

We all talk about the movies. And with the recent successes of Deaf actors and artists on screen, we now find ourselves interpreting about the movies as well. For those looking to interpret for and about film production, or who are simply curious about the process, The Language of Film takes interpreters through every step of filmmaking, beginning with story development and screenwriting, and moving onto casting, pre-production, production, post-production and release. Filmmakers speak their own language from sluglines, storyboards, and gaffers to 180-degree lines, acting adjustments, cinematography, and, more broadly, to screenwriting, editing, and directing. We will also answer that most vexing question: what does a producer actually do? This workshop is presented by Alek Lev, a writer, editor, producer, and director, and a certified American Sign Language interpreter (NIC-Master, CI/CT). Alek’s recent feature film, WHAT? was produced by Deaf entrepreneurs and artists, with a Deaf cast, a Deaf cinematographer and crew, and even a Deaf caterer. Alek will use his personal experience — directing a film where the primary on-set language was ASL — to introduce interpreters to the specialized language of film. 

Educational Objectives

We will learn the meaning of vocabulary used in filmmaking in order to be better prepared to interpret both for and about film production. 

Participants will:

Understand the full journey of the filmmaker, from concept to release

Discover the phases of the writing process and name the sections of a screenplay

List and interpret the 5 key steps in pre-production, production, and post-production

Discuss and debate ethical and linguistic challenges interpreters may confront on set

Define the roles of the central filmmaking production team


Alek Lev is a nationally certified American Sign Language interpreter (NIC-Master, CI, CT), a director, actor, and writer, podcast producer, workshop presenter, and, in a former life, a political organizer. He has interpreted for three presidents, two Broadway shows, and one Beatle. Over the last twenty years, he has worked freelance in New York and Los Angeles, has taught translation at California State University at Northridge, and has presented CEU workshops to interpreters all around the country. Alek graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Wesleyan University with a BA in Theater and English.

Alek trained at The National Theatre of the Deaf’s Professional Theatre School, and stage managed, interpreted, and performed on to tour with their children’s theater, The Little Theatre of the Deaf. In Los Angeles, he has worked with Deaf West Theatre, appearing in Romeo and Juliet and Flowers for Algernon, directing their Much Ado About Nothing workshop, and rehearsal interpreting for Spring Awakening, At Home at the Zoo, and American Buffalo. He even directed an ASL/English opera.

In 2019, Alek wrote, directed, and edited the feature film entitled What? was produced by Deaf entrepreneurs and artists, with a Deaf cast, a Deaf cinematographer and crew, and even a Deaf caterer. He also directed the horror film Ready or Not and co-starred in the Independent Spirit Award-winning film Conventioneers. He has appeared on television in How I Met Your Mother, Miami Medical, and I’m Dying Up Here. For four years, Alek was the New Media Director for How I Met Your Mother, where he produced and directed their behind-the-scenes documentaries. He is also the producer of several podcasts, including Arts Educators Save the World, Private Joke: The Official How I Met Your Mother Podcast, and Meeting Tom Cruise. 

Alek also worked on several presidential campaigns, functioning as a campaign surrogate, congressional district team coordinator, city-wide training director, precinct captain organizer, and special project assistant to the State and Field Directors. He also ran - alas, unsuccessfully - to join his local community council.

His workshop include Interpreting Politics in ASL (Parts 1 and 2), Acting Tools for Terps: A Crash Course in Sounding Human,) The History of the English Language (and Why Interpreters Should Care), and The Language of Film.


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