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Stephen R. Johnson

Stephen R. Johnson holding his MTV "Moonman" awards.

Stephen R. Johnson (born July 12, 1952) is an American music video director, television director, animator, painter, and writer. Johnson got his start directing a music video for the song "Girls Like You"[1] by Combonation, which features a young Robin Wright, before moving on to directing videos for popular artists. Johnson has directed three music videos for Peter Gabriel: "Big Time",[2] "Steam",[3] and "Sledgehammer".[4] "Sledgehammer" has the distinction of winning nine MTV Video Music Award, which remains unsurpassed.[5][6] In addition, Johnson has directed the videos for "Road to Nowhere" by Talking Heads,[7] and "The Bug"[8] and "Walk of Life"[9] by Dire Straits.

Johnson's 1987 MTV Video Music Award for the "Sledgehammer" video

In addition to directing music videos, Johnson is known for directing all thirteen episodes of the first season of Pee-wee's Playhouse, for which he was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing in Children's Programming.[10] He also spearheaded the creation of the short film Universal Declaration of Human Rights for Amnesty International, based on the thirty articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights created by the United Nations.[11] The film is composed of animated interpretations of the articles from forty-two different animators.[12]


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