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Clayton Brown
Senior Lecturer

Annie May Swift Hall
1920 Campus Drive
Room 317
Evanston, IL 60208

Clayton Brown

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 Best Short film at the Albany and Lake Michigan Film Festivals, Subterranea, a narrative feature shot on 60,000 feet of intermediate film stock obtained for $900 from ebay, and four short films in post-production. He is a co-founder of 137 Films, a Chicago-based documentary production company committed to telling stories found in the world of science. With 137 Films he has co-directed three feature documentaries, includingThe Atom Smashers, an award-winning documentary about the search for the Higgs boson that was broadcast on Independent Lens and is in international distribution, The Believers, about the controversial 1989 announcement of Cold Fusion and winner of the Gold Hugo for best documentary at the Chicago International Film Festival and Best Documentary at the Maryland Film Festival, and We Believe in Dinosaurs, a film about creationists’ attempts to disprove evolution by building a full-scale replica of Noah’s Ark in Kentucky, set for premiere in the fall of 2018. Currently, Clayton is in development for The Darkening Sun, a feature-length screenplay about the first woman to photograph a solar eclipse in the Dakota Territory, in 1869.


MFANorthwestern University
MAEnglish, University of Missouri
BAWilliam Jewell College

Recent Awards, Honors and Grants

  • 2017 Faculty Research Grant, Northwestern University, The Darkening Sun
  • 2013 Best Narrative Short, Albany Film Festival, Galileo’s Grave
  • 2012 Best Short Film, East Lansing Film Festival, Galileo’s Grave
  • 2012 Gold Hugo for Best Documentary, Chicago International Film Festival, The Believers
  • 2012 Best Documentary, Maryland International Film Festival
  • 2009 Silver Award, Austin International Film Festival, The Atom Smashers
  • 2009 Grant, Arts Fund, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, 137 Films
  • 2009 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 476 Advanced Cinematography
RTVF 479 High Definition Cinematography
RTVF 379 Special Effects Cinematography
RTVF 372 Editing
RTVF 379 Color Correction
RTVF 379 Senior Directing
RTVF 378 Motion Graphics