Owen Campbell: An Expert in What He Loves

Meredith James, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

When you become a senior, your hard work is carefully collected and your high school experience is at its final stretch. For some of our seniors, growing that knowledge, experience and service becomes part of one’s lifeblood. 

One senior here at NDA in particular, Owen Campbell, is a beacon of self-driven passion and love for what he creates. All of his high school experience has shown him his true passions. Campbell started getting into film production around the fifth grade. 

“I got my first video camera when I was in fifth grade, and that is when I started watching movies with a different perspective,” he explained. 

This video camera jump-started his love for film and film production. Campbell remembers picking through movies, trying to figure out how certain scenes were created and filmed. All the way up through middle school and high school, he has worked on filming his own movies, creating his own effects and even coordinating Notre Dame’s Academy Award intros. 

Besides creating content for the Academy Awards, Campbell is a veteran on the school’s tech crew of hard-working volunteers who have worked behind the limelight to present some of NDA’s favorite performances. 

Campbell, who was crowned Mr. NDA last year, is currently working on multiple school projects.

“My schedule is full right now. I am currently attached to five projects at NDA and definitely would not be able to handle another one,” the senior said. 

“I make sure I don’t get in over my head. All of these projects have so much hard work behind them, and I am especially looking forward to people finally being able to see a video I started working on seven months ago that is scheduled to release at the end of the year.”

With coronavirus, virtual school and even a Mr. NDA with no audience, keeping up that dedication isn’t easy. Every one of the contestants in Mr. NDA has had to put in extra amounts of creativity and effort into their acts. 

Campbell, who was part of the production crew filming the contestants’ talent acts, said he “can not wait to see who ends up winning. Everyone did so well.”

This year’s Academy Awards and its livestream crowning ceremony will be shown the week of April 12-16. Campbell will crown this year’s winner.

With pandemic protocol and a concern for safety, a lot of Notre Dame’s activities have been cancelled.  The  Academy Awards is an event to show the students of Notre Dame that there is community, and there is hope.

“I hope that people find it entertaining and see all the hard work that was put into it from so many,” said the retiring Mr. NDA.

Speaking of changes and challenges, the senior recalled one of the biggest changes that happened his sophomore year when the Mr. NDA contest was renamed as the Academy Awards, a show revamped to include female contestants. 

“I was so happy when the change came as it was something I was wishing would happen for a long time,” Campbell said. 

He remembers the backlash when this decision was announced. 

“I was taken aback by all the criticism that came with that choice, and it made me so sad seeing and hearing all the things being said about two girls who simply wanted to be a part of the show.” 

Referencing Katherine Zeise and Anna Schaut, Campbell said, “I had never seen two people work so hard with so many people trying to hold them back,”

Including women in the Academy Awards was definitely a controversial decision, but to Campbell it has proved incredibly worthwhile. 

The hardworking videographer says that he has never felt cheated or overworked for his work here at Notre Dame. Experience is worth more than anything, especially when you are doing what you love. And NDA is full of different projects that require a multitude of perspectives. 

Campbell is deciding between a few schools in order to pursue film study. He hopes to be on the set of something new and exciting, helping it all come to life. 

“Nothing beats a great TV show, and I would love to end up working on one in the future.”