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Katie Johnson of Shooter

Today we’d like to introduce you to Katie Johnson.

Katie, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
When I was little my mom didn’t allow cable TV or video games in the house. So naturally, I grew up to write for Shooter (USA) and Call of Duty (Activison). I didn’t aspire to become an action writer. I originally thought I would write and act in Julie Delpy style indie movies about Feelings. But in getting to write action, I’ve had to learn an entirely new world, and in being a lifetime learner, that was really half the fun.  So now, I write and act on a show about a former Marine sniper and government conspiracies.  And you know what, that’s close enough!

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I graduated in 2008 from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts with a BFA in Writing for Screen and Television – right in the middle of the recession and the writers’ strike. Fun times.  Like many artists, my path was meandering, messy, and full of meaningful “finding myself” tangents along the way.  I grew up in the South, and at first tried to be the living embodiment of the “Good Girl” myth. Sexually desirable with no sexual agency, non confrontational, and putting the needs of others first above all else. Back at film school, I was basically the Elle Woods of the bunch. “You don’t look like a writer” was a common refrain, apparently my extroverted, optimistic, hyper femininity was a lot for some people to wrap their brains around. And I get it, I was a lot back then. In different ways, I’m still a lot now. I’ve just learned to stop apologizing for it. I did that by starting a decade long process of chipping away at that “good girl” person I performed so well. If I was going to make it, that shell had to crack open. And, oh wow, it did.  I started fine art modeling when I was still in college, which took me to to pole dancing and then later touring as a burlesque dancer To quote Camus, “I have lived, I have lived, I have lived!” But here’s the thing, I took every side show spectacle back to the page, using it to mature and refine my voice. My roaring 20s made me a more seasoned writer. And definitely taught me a thing or two about surviving as a woman in a man’s world.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with TV Writer – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
As action writers, we can work with any of the studios in TV, feature films or games.  I say “we” because I have a writing partner, David Daitch, who is a lieutenant commander in the Naval Reserve, and a fellow at the USC Schwarzenegger Institute.  Which means we tend to focus on projects that require a knowledge of military and foreign policy, or otherwise have a lot of research to get the story right. We’re both sort of cartoons of “Right Brain” and “Left Brain” people, so combining his unique background with mine, we’re able to construct emotional stories in a technical world.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
Since we are in a post #MeToo #TimesUp entertainment industry, I’m hoping that the old paradigms continue to crumble in the wake of intersectional feminism cleaning house. I hope that in the near future women and people of color will not have to face the all too familiar discrimination of the past. I would love to see more women and poc writers, directors, producers, editors, and directors of photography (okay, literally anything in the camera department!) I would love to see sexual predators held accountable for their behaviors and ideally eradicate the problem altogether. I mean, there’s always a first time it happens, and a truly good working environment will stop the problem after the first time instead of letting it continue to where you have a problem like what we’ve been seeing.  I would love to see men leading that charge, realizing that sexual assault is not a “women’s problem” – statistically speaking is a problem involving men and power. I would love to see more good men step up to be part of the solution.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Steve Seapker, John Pruitt, David Daitch

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