Carin Powell is the writer and director of Liftoff, and co-founder of Signing Animation. Formerly a lead animator and fix team lead, Carin started Signing Animation with Nora Ng-Quinn in January 2020 as a way to combat the bias against Deaf/hard-of-hearing talent in the animation industry. She has had single-sided deafness since early childhood, and has long been a proponent of Deaf Gain. Her mentors in animation include Eric Cera, Paul Naas, Peter Kelly, and Matt Majers. Through her work with Signing Animation she aims to demonstrate the singular talent of Deaf/HoH artists, the methods by which integrated teams can thrive, and the transformative power of storytelling.
Nora Ng-Quinn is the producer of Liftoff and co-founder of Signing Animation. Following her education in film and theater from Cornell University and in acting at the Berkeley Repertory Theater, Nora became an accomplished producer and director during her time at Scary Cow Productions. Nora has dedicated herself to bringing stories from underrepresented groups to the screen, and is likewise committed to the creation of positive workplace cultures. She believes strongly that stories must involve the populations they depict in order to be respectful and truthful, and she is passionate about establishing the playbook for all animation studios to welcome Deaf talent.
Georgia Agbodjan is the production coordinator for Liftoff, and has been with Signing Animation since the earliest months. After her time at UC Davis studying economics, Georgia channeled her lifelong love of animation and film into a career as a video editor and digital content producer. She is dedicated to the cause of diverse storytelling with diverse crews, and joined Signing Animation to further its mission of representation. She has since learned much more about Deaf culture, gained a deeper appreciation for its diversity and nuances, and is now excited to see it brought forward in animation. Georgia has a Youtube channel, NerdLens Studios, which focuses on her experiences in independent filmmaking.
Sam Sepah is a producer and onboarding specialist for Liftoff. Educated in 3D animation, social science, and HR management at RIT, Sam went on to be an HR consultant for such high-level companies as Google, the National Institute of Health, Sprint, and IBM. His specialty is in leadership programs and talent management, and he is contributing his wealth of experience in onboarding and team integration to Liftoff. Sam is a longtime employment rights advocate, and to date is the only Deaf HR professional working in a Fortune 500 company. He is committed to nurturing Deaf talent in animation and doing his part to ensure the success of new graduates entering the film industry.
Purple Fire Crow, also known as Antoine Hunter, is a producer, choreographer, and reference actor for Liftoff. Among his many accomplishments as an artist and Deaf advocate, Antoine has performed worldwide both as a solo artist and as the founder and artistic director of the Urban Jazz Dance Company in Berkeley. Having studied dance and film at the California Academy of the Arts, Antoine has used his talents for outreach and advocacy, partnering with foundations such as DeafHope and the California Association of the Deaf, as well as local cultural centers such as the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts. He founded the Bay Area International Deaf Dance Festival in 2013, which unites Deaf talent around the globe.
Caitlin Comstock is a reference actor and head interpreter for Liftoff. Caitlin's love of American Sign Language was sparked as a child during her interactions with her Deaf friends. She was educated both in theater and in ASL interpretation, and has been a professional interpreter and small business owner for eight years. Her love of the performing arts stems from her time at the Quest Visual Theater, a world-famous integrated troupe out of Maryland. She joined Signing Animation in order to see the beauty of ASL expressed through animation, and to enable the integrated crew on Liftoff to bring a new perspective on the Deaf experience to the world.
Adam Buchbinder is the tech lead and head of finance at Signing Animation. With over two decades of experience in the tech industry and master's degrees in computer science and library science, Adam is contributing his talents in large systems management and digital pipelines to ensure a comprehensive remote working experience for the crew of With The Beat. Adam is dedicated to furthering accessibility in the tech industry, and is excited to combine his love of languages, animated movies, and elegant systems under one roof.