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Duke Johnson (director)

Duke Johnson
Duke Johnson director.jpg
Duke Johnson at the 2015 Fantastic Fest
Born (1979-03-20) March 20, 1979 (age 39)
Alma materColumbia College Chicago, AFI Conservatory
OccupationDirector, writer, producer
Years active2000–present
Spouse(s)Soyoung Na

Duke Johnson is an American film director who specializes in stop-motion animation.[1] He currently serves as a director and junior partner for Dino Stamatopoulos's animation production studio Starburns Industries in Burbank, California.[2][3]

Early life

Johnson was raised in St. Louis, Missouri, where he attended high school at St. John Vianney High School, and attended a summer film course at Columbia College Chicago between his second and third years of high school.[4][5] He graduated from the film school at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, where he spent a semester studying animation in Prague.[6] After graduating, he spent three years working as a waiter in a New York restaurant before moving to Los Angeles, where he obtained a Master of Fine Arts degree in directing from the AFI Conservatory in 2006.[5][7] At AFI, he directed his student film Marrying God, for which he won 8 awards for best student film or best short film.[8]


Johnson has been nominated for Annie Awards in 2011 and 2012 for directing stop-motion episodes of shows such as Mary Shelley's Frankenhole and Community.[8][9] In 2016, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature in the 88th Academy Awards for co-directing the stop-motion comedy-drama film Anomalisa with Charlie Kaufman.[10][11]



Year Title Director Writer Producer Executive producer Notes
2003 Just an American Boy Documentary; cinematographer
2006 Marrying God Yes Short film
2015 Anomalisa Yes Yes Co-directed with Charlie Kaufman
2017 Moonwrapped Yes Short film


Year Title Director Writer Producer Executive producer Notes
2008 Moral Orel Yes Episode: "Help"
2010 Community Yes Episode: "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas"
2010–2012 Mary Shelley's Frankenhole Yes Yes Yes Also matte painter
2012 Beforel Orel: Trust Yes Yes Television special; also animator


  1. ^ Rooney, David (5 September 2015). "Charlie Kaufman's 'Anomalisa': Venice Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  2. ^ "Team". Starburns Industries. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  3. ^ Tapley, Kristopher (8 September 2015). "Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson On Passion Project 'Anomalisa'". Variety. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  4. ^ Wilson, Calvin. "Charlie Kaufman teams up with St. Louis native Duke Johnson for 'Anomalisa'". Lee Enterprises. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  5. ^ a b Debruge, Peter (29 December 2015). "10 Directors to Watch: How Duke Johnson Came to Co-Direct Charlie Kaufman's 'Anomalisa'". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved 19 January 2015.
  6. ^ Peterson, Deb (1 December 2010). "St. Louis' Duke Johnson is directing an NBC Christmas show". Lee Enterprises. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  7. ^ "AFI CONSERVATORY CONTINUES WINNING STREAK WITH ALUM DUKE JOHNSON'S GRAND JURY PRIZE WIN AT VENICE FILM FESTIVAL" (Press release). American Film Institute. 14 September 2015. Retrieved 19 January 2015.
  8. ^ a b Duke Johnson on IMDb
  9. ^ Robinson, Tasha (18 January 2016). "Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson talk about the technical and emotional work behind Anomalisa". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  10. ^ "2016 Nominees". - Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 14 January 2016.
  11. ^ "Nominations Announced for the EE British Academy Film Awards in 2016". Retrieved 14 January 2016.

External links