A Unique Perspective on the Student Awards by: Levie Isaacks, ASC


Since being elected to Treasurer last June I was asked to send in my bio by Delphine to be part of the cast of a new administration for the governance of the ASC. I debated whether I should even mention, in that bio that I was born to deaf parents, and my first language is sign language. I finally decided, what the heck go ahead and do it.

Imagine my surprise then a week later Delphine contacted me and told me that a deaf student was nominated in the documentary category for the Student Heritage Awards and asked me to interpret for the ceremony.

Colin Shepherd, contracted pneumococcal meningitis and suffered a profound hearing loss at 17 months old. He received a cochlear implant at 2 1/2 years old and began his preschool educational Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf in Swissvale and later he mainstreamed into the Greater Latrobe School District in Latrobe PA with a full-time sign language interpreter. Colin was very athletically inclined and won the Sportsmanship Award in 2009.

At eleven years old, Colin watched “Jurassic Park” and could not believe how real the dinosaurs were. He researched dinosaurs at the library and decided then he wanted to be a visual effects specialist. In 2010 he was accepted to the Rochester Institute of Technology in the School Of Film and Animation. The faculty there encouraged Colin to change his major to Cinematography.

His film, “The Microscope”, won the documentary prize for cinematography. It is in black and white and a very thoughtful visual piece about the micro and macro world. Colin also worked with a composer to score the film.

It was a historic moment for me and the A.S.C. to have a deaf student be nominated and win out of so many submissions for this prestigious award. It was an honor for me to take part in the ceremony. Colin will be attending the A.S.C. awards in February along with the other Student Heritage award winners.