Susan Johnson (filmmaker)

Susan Johnson is an American film producer and director, known for directing the 2016 comedy film Carrie Pilby and the 2018 feature To All the Boys I've Loved Before.


Johnson earned a full scholarship to the American Film Institute's Conservatory, from which she graduated in 2000 with a master's degree in directing.[1][2][3] For her coursework, she directed three short films, Second Coming (1999), Call My Name (1999), and Destiny Stalled (2000).


Johnson began her career as an assistant for the William Morris Agency. In 1992, along with music journalist Kevin Murphy, she founded the music video production company Vendetta Films, which produced the music video for EMF's cover "Search and Destroy", from the Unexplained EP.[4] The following year, she produced the music videos for four Gloria Estefan songs, including "Mi Tierra", "Con Los Años Que Me Quedan", from the album Mi Tierra.[5] She directed Sara Evans videos “Three Chords and the Truth” , “The Cryin’ Game” and “I Don’t Want To See The Light”. In 1998 she directed The Warren Brothers' music video "Guilty",[6] and the following year, she directed their music video "Better Man".[7] In 1999, Johnson directed the music video for Mindy McCready's "All I Want Is Everything", from the album I'm Not So Tough.[8]

Johnson began her film producing career with the coming-of-age film Mean Creek (2004), for which she won the Independent Spirit John Cassavetes Award and the Humanitas Prize.[9] In 2005, she produced the drama Nearing Grace, starring Jordana Brewster, Gregory Smith, David Morse, and Ashley Johnson, from a script by Jacob Estes which was adapted from the Scott Sommer novel. The following year, Johnson produced the drama film Eye of the Dolphin (2006), starring Jane Lynch, Carly Schroeder, George Harris, Katharine Ross, and Adrian Dunbar.

In 2007, Johnson formed Braveart Films with actor Gregory Smith, and produced the comedy Wieners, starring Kenan Thompson and Darrell Hammond, Zachary Levi, Jenny McCarthy, Andy Milonakis, and Joel Moore. Johnson also produced the Eye of the Dolphin sequel, Beneath the Blue (2010), which starred Paul Wesley.

She made her directorial debut with the film adaptation of Caren Lissner's novel Carrie Pilby, starring Bel Powley, Nathan Lane, and Gabriel Byrne.[10] The film premiered at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival, chosen as one of 34 "Special Presentation Films." [11] It was released by The Orchard in March of the following year, then began showing on Netflix in September, 2017.[12] Johnson directed the 2018 film adaptation of Jenny Han's novel To All the Boys I've Loved Before, starring Lana Condor, John Corbett, and Janel Parrish.[13] The film was released by Netflix.[14]


Year Title Role
2004 Mean Creek Producer
2005 Nearing Grace Producer
2006 Eye of the Dolphin Producer
2008 Wieners Producer
2010 Beneath the Blue Producer
2014 God Help the Girl Co-executive producer
2016 Carrie Pilby Director, producer
Unleashed Producer
2018 To All the Boys I've Loved Before Director


  1. Coffin, Lesley (April 3, 2017). "First-time director Susan Johnson embraces 'old-school' Hollywood". FF2 Media. Retrieved September 4, 2017.
  2. Gorber, Jason (March 12, 2017). "GIFF 2017: Susan Johnson Talks CARRIE PILBY". Birth. Movies. Death. Retrieved July 21, 2017.
  3. Horst, Carole (May 11, 2016). "Cannes Facetime: Director/Producer Susan Johnson". Variety. Retrieved July 21, 2017.
  4. Newman, Melinda (July 18, 1992). "Music Video – Holding a Grudge". Billboard. p. 37.
  5. Russell, Deborah (August 14, 1993). "Music Video – Production Notes". Billboard. p. 35.
  6. Hay, Carla (October 31, 1998). "Music Video – Production Notes". Billboard. p. 85.
  7. Hay, Carla (August 14, 1999). "Music Video – Production Notes". Billboard. p. 101.
  8. Hay, Carla (October 23, 1999). "Music Video – Production Notes". Billboard. p. 94.
  9. N'Duka, Amanda (October 3, 2016). "Gersh Signs 'Carrie Pilby' Director Susan Johnson". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 21, 2017.
  10. McNary, Dave (June 17, 2013). "'Carrie Pilby' Headed For Big Screen (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved December 13, 2015.
  11. Jaafar, Ali (July 26, 2016). "Toronto To Open With 'The Magnificent Seven'; 'La La Land', 'Deepwater Horizon' Among Galas & Presentations". Deadline Hollywood.
  12. Hipes, Patrick (November 1, 2016). "The Orchard Acquires Bel Powley Movie 'Carrie Pilby'". Deadline Hollywood.
  13. Jarvey, Natalie (July 21, 2017). "John Corbett, Lana Condor Join 'To All the Boys I've Loved Before' Film (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
  14. Kroll, Justin (March 21, 2018). "Netflix Acquires Rights to Adaptation of YA Novel 'To All the Boys I've Loved Before' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
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