Bellingham, Washington, United States
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Craig Johnson was an independent filmmaker whose films included "True Adolescents" (2009) and the indie hit "The Skeleton Twins" (2014). A self-described movie nerd, Johnson was born and raised in Bellingham, Washington, where he appeared in local productions at the Bellingham Theatre Guild. After graduating high school, he transitioned from acting into writing and directing while he was enrolled at the University of Washington. In search for a more robust cinematic environment, Johnson moved to New York City and attended graduate film school at New York University. Like most film students, Johnson directed a slew of short films before setting his sights on creating his own feature length movies. He made his directorial debut in 2009's "True Adolescents," an independent comedy about a washed-up musician played by Mark Duplass, which also starred Academy Award-winner Melissa Leo. Although the movie did not receive a wide release, it was nonetheless a critical darling when it premiered at the 2009 South by Southwest film festival. The ambitious director felt an opportunity arise from the positive reception of "True Adolescents" and dug up an old script for his next movie. With Duplass along for the ride as an executive producer, Johnson was able to green light his film "The Skeleton Twins" with former "Saturday Night Live" (NBC 1975- ) cast members Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig tackling the lead roles. A dark comedy about estranged twins who reconnect after failed suicide attempts, "The Skeleton Twins" was another critical success for Johnson and a much bigger commercial draw due to the added star-power.