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Korean American Finds Her Way in "Lost"

2006/01/05 Source

Christina Kim, the most junior writer of "Lost", is regarded as an up-and-coming TV writer who will promote the Korean wave in America along with Kim Yunjin and Daniel Dae Kim. Their efforts are increasingly pronounced as the ABC's hit series "Lost" entered its second season in June this year earning a Golden Globe Best Drama nomination for two consecutive years.

Christina Kim (Korean name Kim Soo-jin) majored in English literature at Georgetown University before pursuing scenario studies in film school at University of Southern California.

When asked how she feels to be one of the "Lost" writer staffs, Kim said, "I was lucky. I cannot believe that my first task would be writing for such a big drama. There are Korean characters in the series, so I think "Lost" needs someone who really knows about Korean culture".

Becoming a TV writer in the United States is commonly compared to winning a lottery. Therefore those who know the hardships of the job refer to Christina Kim as "Sarah Chang in the TV writer world". Generally, one has to submit a spec script, a sample scenario, of an existing drama to an agent. The agent then introduces a talented writer to a broadcasting company.

Christina Kim completed the CBS Diversity Institute TV Writers Mentoring Program in January 2005. She was one of six successful candidates singled out from 350 nationwide applicants. At that time she wrote a spec script for a popular drama called "Without a Trace". The CBS committee found out her great ability, and introduced her to the agency where she became now one of the "Lost" writer members.

Although she became a TV writer in the agency she had to work as assistant taking notes at every script discussion meeting for the first two years. After that stage she could finally become a staff scenario writer.

Six months later, she co-wrote the 11th episode of "The Hunting Party" that will be shot next January. The script is said to be very unusual in the view of scenario writer convention.

"I am the only Korean writer. Therefore it is my responsibility to portray positive and correct aspects of Korea. For example, the conjugal relationship that appeared in the first season did not reflect the real Korean conjugal relations. However in the second season, the character of Kim Yunjin was depicted as a more independent person who provides translations to her husband", explained Kim.

The producers of "Lost" call her "the Korean ambassador" and are constantly asking her advice on matters related to Korea. She speaks up whenever storylines involve the Korean couple, Jin and Sun, Actually some scenes have been changed by her suggestions. For example, the scenery of Seoul seen from Jin's house window was Singapore at first.

Kim was born in Chicago and went to Korea with her father who worked as an energy consultant. Kim said, "I went to an international middle school. And I had 2 hours of Korean lessons every day. I hated those studies at the time. How could I imagine that 15 years later I will have a job that requires both Korean and English".

Kim is now preparing for a thriller with a heroine possessed with a tough personality. She is also planning to write for piece on the Korean war.

Kim gained business and political experience working in the fashion industry, in the Department of State and the White House. She hopes to form a film production company in 10 or 20 years later.

By Jaeyon Nam

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