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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]

Duke Johnson
Duke Johnson director.jpg
Duke Johnson at the 2015 Fantastic Fest
Born (1979-03-20) March 20, 1979 (age 40)
Alma materColumbia College Chicago, AFI Conservatory
OccupationDirector, writer, producer
Years active2000–present
Spouse(s)Soyoung Na

Early lifeEdit

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 linksEdit