WRITER | FILMMAKER | CONSULTANT
Katherine O'Brien is a writer, filmmaker, and story consultant, operating in Hollywood and throughout the international marketplace for more than 15 years.
As a writer, Katherine actively creates original content for film, television, and digital short form platforms; focusing primarily on comedy, satire, and true stories with social justice themes that elevate historically underrepresented voices. Sought-after for her keen storytelling instincts and unique comedic voice, Katherine has been hired to rewrite adaptations, reboot a beloved comedy franchise, and was entrusted to pen the sequel to China's first-ever romantic comedy, cult-favorite Waiting Alone. Whether writing original content or adapting the works of others, Katherine gravitates towards purpose-driven content, and is passionate about helping those stories find their audiences.
She continually cultivates her expertise in story development as both a screenwriter and story consultant, developing projects with some of Hollywood’s most respected companies and internationally acclaimed filmmakers. In her consultancy, Katherine provides expert story analysis, and script consultation for studios, production companies, and independent filmmakers. Every year for the past decade, Katherine's clients have won or been nominated for Oscars, Golden Globes, and Emmys.
Outside of her work in Hollywood, Katherine is a teaching artist and community activist with a passion for building pathways to platforms for underrepresented voices, and mentoring up-and-coming content creators. She was tapped to develop the screenwriting program at The Second City’s Harold Ramis Film School in Chicago and is a professor at the world’s only accredited MFA in Comedy program at DePaul University, in partnership with The Second City. She also teaches at Columbia College Chicago, and works as an educational consultant for the Doha Film Institute in Doha, Qatar. Katherine is a frequent panelist at Chicago film events, especially in support of women and underrepresented voices in comedy and how to navigate opportunities in the Hollywood-based film industry. Her guest speaker appearances include supporting the Chicago Comedy Festival, Scruggs Fest at The Second City, NYTVF, the Austin Film Festival, and (upcoming) Northern Michigan University. Additionally, she serves on the jury for the student competition in the JCC Chicago Jewish Film Festival and has done so for the past three years.
During the COVID-19 Pandemic public school closures, Katherine has become a contributor to PBS' At-Home Learning in support of parents and educators and she continues to develop content and initiatives in the education and activism space. She is the Executive Producer of We Still Teach, a partnership between the Chicago Teachers Union and Fox32/My50, a show that puts teachers on television to help Chicago bridge the digital divide and raise awareness for the imbalance of equity and access to opportunity during remote learning.
From 2008-2010, Katherine served as the Communications Co-Director of Generation Obama: Los Angeles and its transition organization, Generation for Change. For the past decade, Katherine has focused her community organizing efforts in support of local politics, prioritizing her advocacy around public education, equity and inclusiveness, and public safety. Although the 2020 Local School Council election is currently postponed, Katherine remains steadfast in her commitment to serving her community and is a candidate for LSC parent representative at LaSalle Language Academy.
Katherine lives in Chicago with her husband and two young sons.