A lengthy list of television credits and two Daytime Emmys on Dawn Knight’s shelf are proof it’s possible to thrive in the entertainment business north of the border.
Knight, 49, grew up in Sarnia, dabbled in drama before graduating from St. Patrick’s High School, and says she always felt like she wanted to be involved in TV production.
She left Sarnia at age 25 and headed to Toronto. But nothing much happened professionally until she moved to Vancouver.
“It was the summer of 1991. Toronto was in the middle of a heat wave. There was a garbage strike and a transit strike. I thought, ‘What am I doing here?’” she laughed.
In Vancouver, she paid the bills working in restaurants and bars while volunteering as an assistant production co-ordinator on the set of the movie “Kissed.”
“That’s where I made connections,” she said. “Volunteering turned into a job working on a television series called “Maddison” and I haven’t stopped.”
Nearly 20 years later, Knight’s resume features an impressive string of Movies of the Week and television productions.
Mostly, she’s in charge of post-production, taking raw footage and polishing every element of the finished product.
“Apparently I have a knack for multi-tasking,” she said.
This year Knight, who still regularly visits family in Sarnia, produced three TV movies: Heavenly Match, Far From Home and Flowers in the Attic.
She also wrapped up production on the fourth season of The Haunting Hour children’s series, and won a second Daytime Emmy for her work.
Horror master R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour beat such TV icons as Sesame Street in the Emmy’s Outstanding Children’s Series category. Cast and crew were at the swanky Westin Bonaventure in Los Angeles for the awards show when they learned they’d won for a second consecutive year.
Knight said she gets butterflies in her stomach just thinking about it.
“I’m still gobsmacked, just blown out of the water that we won the Emmy. The cast and crew of Haunting Hour are probably the best I’ve ever worked with. Everyone thoroughly enjoys this project.
“It’s smart and it never talks down to the kids. We expect them to keep up with it and they do.”
R. L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour features everything from zombies to ghosts and goblins, and is full of horror and suspense.
“But we go for a scare, then a laugh, so you get a chance to recover and it won’t keep anyone awake at night. It targets nine to 12-year-olds but we’re finding teenagers and parents love it.
“It’s like The Twilight Zone for kids,” said Knight.
Ironically, The Haunting Hour was cancelled soon after its latest Emmy win. It’s being packaged for sale in international markets but can still be seen weekends on the Discovery Family Channel.
Knight has moved on to more Movies of the Week and an action/adventure series called Spooksville.
“It’s all been excitingly good but I’d have to say Haunting Hour is the proudest project I’ve worked on,” she said.