Screenwriter Spotlight:
Finalist Karen Campion



1. What’s your name? Where were you born? Where do you live? And what’s your hobby? 
My name is Karen Campion. I’m a born and raised Nebraskan, and after having spent 25 years in Chicago, I now reside in South Florida. My top hobby, outside of writing, is running. 
2. Where did you come up with the concept that just placed as Finalist in the screenplay contest? How long did it take you to develop it into the screenplay it is now? 
She Has Risen is a love letter to all children of abuse. The pilot shows the range of a predator’s web of shame. The story of these two women of differing generations in a sense is avenging every single viewer who has been a victim of abuse, primarily sexual abuse in this case, in hopes of stirring up personal healing. Surviving abuse and being a SURVIVOR of abuse are not the same. Knowing someone cares is sometimes enough to let the healing commence.  
3. From concept to finished draft, can you take us through your screenwriting process? 
For me, as a runner, the bulk of my writing process is exploring the story in my mind first. I meet the characters and allow them to expose themselves to me. I picture every scene down to the last detail and when I feel like I am ready to write it down – well then it is go time. I wrote the first draft of She Has Risen in one week. I made necessary revisions based on judging feedback as I received. I always appreciate feedback as the drawback to the characters living in my mind is I can become attached to certain storylines and dialogue that need to be cut or reworked.

4. When did you realize that you wanted to become a screenwriter? 

I started out writing novels. I’ve always been called to write so I lean in. It’s a blessing to have writing in my life, and what a bonus to be recognized! I came to love TV dramas along the way. I must have watched Brothers & Sisters six times through. Crazy lady, I know. But somehow, I started studying it, turning my current manuscript, at the time, into a script. I bought Screenwriting for Dummies and enrolled in an online class. I find it such an enjoyable why to write-slash-tell a story.     
5. Who are your biggest filmmaking/screenwriting influences? What about their style do you like or borrow? 
One name that instantly comes to mind when I think of my screenwriting influences: Ken Olin. When This is Us came on the air, without seeing the credits, I knew Ken Olin was a part of it. I gravitate toward relatable characters telling us, the viewer, we are ok, that the only magic ingredient to living life is simply to live it. And a great lesson we learn from TV is that perfection is boring. Haha. We don’t write perfect characters…we write perfectly flawed and oh so human characters because they are interesting. 
6. Have you ever been obsessed with a movie or TV show? If so, which one? Why? 
Brothers & Sisters. Clearly. This is the third time in three questions it has come up. This show was chicken soup for my soul. I felt comforted by this family dealing with ups and downs and always steadfast in their support for one another – thick and thin. On my quest to help others find well-being in a tough world, I do believe TV shows, fiction-in-motion, aid in healing whatever wounds we have collected. It helps to know we are not alone. I wholeheartedly believe this.
7. What’s your favorite moment in cinema history? Why? 
Titanic. I gotta go with Titanic as my favorite moment in cinema history. I had never left a movie with a stomachache like that before. And perhaps not since. The playing of the string quartet during the panic, the ship snapping in two, the woman putting her kids to sleep before they drown, goodness, all the drama – and to know it really happened. Well, historical fiction and I fell in love that day.    
8. Who’s your favorite character in cinema history? Why? 
Bridget Jones. My favorite character of all time hands down. Ohh how I loved rooting for that girl. In fact, Bridget Jones cannot be my password for anything because my love of her is well-known. The lovable, authentic, true to herself, quirky underdog. She became my hero in the first two pages of the book and on the screen – holy moly, I was hooked. I went to Blockbuster every Friday to rent a movie. And for one year, I’m not kidding, I left with Bridget Jones’s Diary. The staff often asked me why I just didn’t buy it. Haha. My honest response was because every week I intended to rent a new movie. Eventually, I found my own boyfriend and that was that. But I’ve never forgotten the year Bridge and I shared together. 
9. If you could talk to anyone from any era, who would it be and what would you ask them? 
Choosing an era…this is feeling close to impossible. I’d kinda like to spend a month in each. To experience what each generation has been through and accomplished would be so cool. And how lucky we are to have talented writers, directors, producers, and crews to take us there!! 


                                   BY CHICAGO SCREENPLAY AWARDS DEPT. 

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