School of Communication

Clayton Brown

Department of Radio/Television/Film

Clayton Brown

Louis Hall
1877 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL 60208


Clayton Brown is a documentary and narrative filmmaker interested in exploring the hidden stories and compelling characters that emerge when people pursue their passions.  Of particular interest are the ways in which science and storytelling intersect, both in fiction and non-fiction.  His fiction work includes Galileo’s Grave, winner of the Chicago IFP Production Fund, and Subterranea, a narrative feature shot on 60,000 feet of intermediate film stock obtained for $900 from ebay.  He is a co-founder of 137 Films, a Chicago-based documentary production company committed to telling stories found in the world of science, and co-director of The Atom Smashers, an award-winning documentary about the search for the Higgs boson that was broadcast on Independent Lens and is in international distribution.  Currently, Clayton is co-directing a documentary about the 1989 announcement of Cold Fusion and at work on a screenplay about the first woman to photograph a solar eclipse in Montana, 1869..


MFA Northwestern University
MA English, University of Missouri
BA William Jewell College

Recent Awards, Honors and Grants

2009 Silver Award, Austin International Film Festival, The Atom Smashers

2009 Grant, Arts Fund, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, 137 Films

2008 Audacity Award, Pariscience Film Festival, Paris, The Atom Smashers

2008 Grant, Illinois Arts Council, 137 Films

2006 IFP Production Fund Winner, Galileo’s Grave

2003 Finalist, IFP New York, I Will If You Will

2003 Marshall Filmmaker’s Award, Northwestern University

2003 Presidential Fellowship, Northwestern University


RTVF 380       Lighting and Cinematography
RTVF 476       Advanced Cinematography
RTVF 479       High Definition Cinematography
RTVF 379       Special Effects Cinematography
RTVF 383       Sound Production and Design
RTVF 372       Editing
RTVF 379       Color Correction