Patrick Read Johnson

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Patrick Read Johnson
Patrick Read Johnson.jpg
Patrick Read Johnson, on the set of 5-25-77
Born (1962-05-07) May 7, 1962 (age 54)
Wadsworth, Illinois
Occupation Film Director, Scriptwriter, Film Producer, Actor, Visual Effects Artist
Years active 1980–present

Patrick Read Johnson (born May 7, 1962) is an American filmmaker, special effects artist and screenwriter. Born in Wadsworth, Illinois, he is best known for his directorial work on the films Spaced Invaders, Angus, Baby's Day Out, The Genesis Code and as-yet unreleased 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.[1] 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.[2] An incomplete "preview cut" was exhibited in 2007 at Star Wars Celebration IV [3] and at the Hamptons International Film Festival in 2008, where 5-25-77 won the Heineken Red Star Award.[4]

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.[5] 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.[6][7]

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.[8]


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