Keith M Johnston

Keith M Johnston


  • 2.20 Arts and Humanities Building

Accepting PhD Students

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 across Film Studies and Media Studies: British cinema, film trailers and marketing, amateur cinema, women filmmakers, media technologies, science fiction, and genre.

His British Cinema work has been published in two books: Colour Films in Britain: The Eastmancolor Revolution and Ealing Revisited; as well as articles on a range of topics: from 1950s British 3D film in Film History and special effects in 1940s British film to Transmedia storytelling in UK games and TV. He has appeared in special features for Blu-Ray releases of British Cinema classics Dead of Night, The Ladykillers, and Don't Look Now. He teaches on different aspects of British cinema in Undergraduate and Postgraduate modules such as 'British Film Since the 1960s' and 'British Cinema: Realism and Spectacle'.

His Science Fiction work includes the introductory textbook Science Fiction: A Critical Introduction, and the undergraduate module 'Science Fiction'. His Sci-Fi expertise has been featured in articles for The Guardian on space opera and real-world science; on villains in Sci-Fi for BBC Culture; and Doctor Who for BBC Radio Norfolk.

His work on Film Marketing has been published in Coming Soon: Film Trailers and the Selling of Hollywood Technology, and in journals such as Convergence, Participations, and the Historical Journal of Film, Radio & Television. He has been featured in the feature documentary Movie Trailers: A Love Story (2020) and articles in Wired, The Conversation and The Atlantic. He teaches aspects of film marketing across a number of undergraduate and postgraduate modules.

His Amateur Cinema research, focused particularly on British women amateur filmmakers, has been published in Gender and History, Invisible Innovators, and Women's History Review. The research is having an ongoing impact on UK & Irish film archive practice, including the production of richer metadata and cataloguing information.

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.

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