Keith M Johnston

Keith M Johnston


  • 2.20 Arts and Humanities Building

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Personal profile

Areas of Expertise

British cinema; Colour film; Film technology; Film trailers; Amateur cinema; 3D film; Film marketing; Science Fiction film and TV; Film history (mainly British and American)


Professor Keith M. Johnston is an expert in film and media history, with research and teaching specialisms in British cinema, film trailers (and other movie marketing), amateur cinema, women filmmakers, and science fiction.

Professor Johnston earned his BA in Film & Media Studies at the University of Stirling / University of California, Santa Barbara; his MA and PhD at the University of Kent; and his MA in Higher Education Practice at the UEA. He worked as a writer/producer in the British media industry for eight years, working on trailer advertising for film, television and radio. He started teaching in 2003, and moved to UEA in 2008.

His current teaching and research focuses on British Cinema, Film History, Science Fiction, Film trailers and marketing, media technologies, film and television aesthetics, and genre.

His research and teaching interest in British Cinema has been published in two books: Colour Films in Britain: The Eastmancolor Revolution (2021) and Ealing Revisited (2012); as well a series of articles in the Journal of British Cinema, Screen, and the Historical Journal of Film, Radio & Television. His focus on British film technology includes the history of colour and stereoscopic 3D technologies. He teaches on the UG module 'British Film Since the 1960s' and the MA module 'British Cinema: Realism and Spectacle'.

His research and teaching in Science Fiction includes the introductory textbook Science Fiction: A Critical Introduction (2011), and the 3rd year module 'Science Fiction Film & Television'.

His research and teaching in film trailers and other marketing materials has been published in Coming Soon: Film Trailers and the Selling of Hollywood Technology (2009), and in Convergence, Media History, and the Journal of Popular Film and Television. He teaches aspects of film marketing across a number of UG and PG modules.

His research on amateur cinema, particularly British women amateur filmmakers, has been published in Invisible Innovators (2021), Women's History Review, and Screen. The research has had an impact on film archive practice, including metadata and cataloguing.

Professor Johnston makes regular contributions to different media programmes and publications. His work on film trailers has been featured in the documentary Movie Trailers: A Love Story (2020), on the BBC's Newsnight programme, and in articles in Wired, The Conversation and The Atlantic; his British Cinema research was featured on Blu-Ray releases for Dead of Night, The Ladykillers, The Go-Between and Don't Look Now; while his Science Fiction expertise has been featured in articles in The Guardian and BBC News, and on BBC Radio Norfolk.

Teaching Interests

Undergraduate Teaching

Analysing Film & Television

British Cinema since the 1960s

Film History

Film, Television and New Media

Science Fiction

Selling the Screen


MA Teaching

British Cinema: Realism and Spectacle

Key Research Interests

  1. British cinema history - with a particular focus on technology. Previous research has expored Eastmancolor's introduction to British cinema; British 3-D cinema in the 1950s, and Ealing Studios
  2. Amateur cinema history - with a particular focus on British women amateur filmmakers. Current research has uncovered hundreds of overlooked women filmmakers and made recommendations for changes in film archive practice
  3. Film trailers / film marketing - looking at both historical and modern examples of film promotion
  4. Science Fiction - including issues around special effects, but also key historical case studies

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, University of Kent

Award Date: 1 Jan 2008

Master of Arts, University of Kent

Award Date: 1 Jan 2004

Bachelor of Arts, University of Stirling

Award Date: 1 Jan 1995


  • British Cinema & Television
  • Film Studies