Former 2nd unit director for the John Badham features "Short Circuit" (1986) and "Stakeout" (1987), made his first directorial effort with "Short Time" (1990), an action comedy starring Dabney Coleman. Champion began his affiliation with Badham in 1980 as an associate producer. "Short Time", an uneven mix of action, comedy and deathbed melodrama, cast Coleman as a terminally ill cop who wishes to be killed while on duty so his wife and son can collect insurance. The mixture of stunts and the bizarrely amusing gambit of a man who wants to get caught in the line of fire managed to entertain before devolving into a tearjerker at its close.
Champion's second film displayed a similar penchant for multiple, and sometimes uneasily juxtaposed, film genres. The reasonably successful fish-out-of-water film, "The Cowboy Way" (1994), featured Woody Harrelson and Kiefer Sutherland as two hayseeds who arrive in New York City and have an action-packed time trying to right some wrongdoings.