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Joe Johnson


Joe Johnston (born c. 1950) is an American film director, producer, writer, and visual effects artist. He is best known for directing effects-driven films, including Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989); The Rocketeer (1991); Jumanji (1995); Jurassic Park III (2001); The Wolfman (2010); and Captain America: The First Avenger (2011).


Johnston was born in Austin, Texas, and attended California State University, Long Beach, and Pasadena's Art Center College of Design.


Much of the work at the beginning of Johnston's screen career combined design and special effects. He began his career as a concept artist and effects technician on the first Star Wars film, directed by George Lucas, co-created the design of Boba Fett in The Empire Strikes Back, and was art director on one of the effects teams for the sequel Return of the Jedi


His association with Lucas would later prove fruitful, when he became one of four to win an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects for Lucas and Steven Spielberg's film Raiders of the Lost Ark. Johnston continued to work on many films as an effects expert.


Johnston made his directorial debut in 1989 with the hit comedy adventure Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, starring Rick Moranis. He followed it with the comic-book adaptation of The Rocketeer (1991). The film was a commercial failure, as was his next, the animated and live-action The Pagemaster, starring Macaulay Culkin.


 Johnston rebounded, directing the family hit Jumanji, starring Robin Williams. The film overcame lukewarm reviews to gross over $260 million.


Johnston was set to direct Hulk, but dropped out in July 1997. Johnston then switched gears from effects-driven action films to the more personal October Sky (1999), starring a teenage Jake Gyllenhaal as a 1950s West Virginia high school student who dreams of being a rocket scientist for NASA against his father's wishes.

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