Patrick Read Johnson
|Patrick Read Johnson|
Patrick Read Johnson, on the set of 5-25-77.
May 7, 1962|
|Occupation||Film Director, Scriptwriter, Film Producer, Actor, Visual Effects Artist|
|Influenced by||Stanley Kubrick, David Lean, John Huston, Francis Ford Coppola, Robert Wise, Orson Welles, Franklin Schaffner, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Terry Gilliam, Mel Brooks|
Patrick Read Johnson (born May 7, 1962) is an American film director, producer, and writer from Wadsworth, Illinois, best known for his directorial work on the films Spaced Invaders, Angus, Baby's Day Out, The Genesis Code and 5-25-77. He also has written and produced such films as Dragonheart.
Starting out in the field of practical special effects and models, Johnson was one of the first people outside of Industrial Light and Magic to see Star Wars [albeit in an incomplete form] as chronicled in his semi-autobiographical film 5-25-77. He first saw the film during Spring Break, sometime between late March and early April 1977, when ILM was scrambling to complete VFX shots. He had also visited the set of Close Encounters of The Third Kind at Future General Corporation a few days before and found Douglas Trumbull's work to be "engineered, intimidating and mature" compared to John Dykstra's "shooting-from-the-hip" style.
Johnson began developing 5-25-77 in 1999 after he met Gary Kurtz. In 2001, Johnson began seeking funding for 5-25-77, and didn't start shooting the film until 2004. An incomplete "preview cut" was exhibited in 2007 at Star Wars Celebration IV  and at the Hamptons International Film Festival in 2008, where 5-25-77 won the Heineken Red Star Award.
On May 25, 2012, the 35th anniversary of the release of Star Wars, Johnson began a cross-country road trip in his 1975 Ford Pinto to attract the funding needed to finish the film's remaining post-production work. Johnson spent the summer of 2012 test-screening 5-25-77, his trip also becoming the subject of a documentary called Hearts of Dorkness, by filmmaker Morgan Flores.
In 2013, Toronto International Film Festival's Next Wave Film Festival invited Johnson to show 5-25-77 as a "work in progress", the attention from the festival Johnson attributed to the bid of his promotional tour the summer before.
- "PATRICK READ JOHNSON Drives to the Basement - Ain't It Cool with Harry Knowles". Nerdist. 2012-07-05. Retrieved 2021-08-17.
- DeMara, Bruce (15 February 2013). "Star Wars-inspired 5-25-77 a long, long time in the making: Director Patrick Read Johnson brings his nearly finished love letter to his own idealistic filmmaking youth to TIFF's Next Wave Festival.". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
- Whittaker, Richard (1 July 2012). "Voyage to the 'Hearts of Dorkness': Patrick Read Johnson and the strange oddysey of 5-25-77". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 2 May 2013.