Don Johnson Is Not Your Man

Set in the late 80s in Ohio, this coming-of-age story follows a young teenage girl who observes her older brother’s obsession with the TV show Miami Vice and his descent from selling cookies at the mall to dealing cocaine.

  • Kathryn Lunte
  • Kathryn Lunte
  • Kara Vernor
  • Felicia Ferrara
    Close Ties to Home Country
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Genres:
  • Runtime:
    11 minutes 47 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    July 11, 2022
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Columbia College Chicago
Director Biography - Kathryn Lunte

Kathryn Lunte is a filmmaker and screenwriter. She has an MFA from Columbia College and has worked on numerous film projects across a variety of roles (from PD to AD to DP and everything in between). Never able to tie down her creative energy, she explores art across mediums but always finds herself coming back to the moving image. Kathryn’s artistry utilizes sociology and historical studies as a means to understand both herself and the world around her; her creativity a means of navigating and understanding the complexities of this human condition. Born alongside dial-up internet and raised in Lawrence, often cited as the ‘only Liberal town in Kansas’, Kathryn grew up slowly in the midst of a political oxymoron. Raised Catholic by two Chemists, nuance and complication have always been a part of Kathryn’s understanding of the world. Her cross-genre work explores the doublethink of our shared cultural consciousness through a personal, specific lens.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

"Don Johnson is Not Your Man" was adapted from a short story by Kara Vernor. When the film’s producer, Felicia Ferrara, introduced it to me, I was immediately on board. Vernor’s tone, her use of 80s iconography, and the instantly relatable sibling dynamic were all tied up in this coming-of-age tale that, to me, read equally as coming-of-disillusionment. I quickly went to work convincing Felicia I was right for the project and came on as writer, director, and (later) editor as well.

The project was filmed while Felicia and I were completing Masters programs at Columbia College. Like most small-budget short films, we faced our fair share of obstacles. The biggest was losing access to our white convertible the day of our shoot and miraculously gaining access to a replacement – a replacement that did not run. Undeterred, we pushed that beautiful car all over the suburbs of Illinois. During filming and especially during the edit, I had to be very mindful of incidental cameos from the crew popping up from behind the convertible as they pushed. (A top tier blooper reel for this one.)

Narratively, "Don Johnson is Not Your Man" explores the relationship of Chloe to her older brother, Stephan. The direction seeks to point the viewer to their environment to encourage connections between the sibling relationship and the society that surrounds them. A simple ‘day in the life’ structure ties the downfall of trust in their siblinghood to Chloe’s disillusionment with the cultural ideology her brother so proudly seeks to represent. Pop culture pastiche is used to invoke 80s Reaganism with its pseudo economic prosperity for middle-class white working class while Chloe’s realizations about her brother point to its ultimate shallowness. It is not a film that is meant to bring a tear to your eye but rather one that won’t let you forget your side of bitter when indulging in the sweetness of nostalgia.