STOLEN tells a story about risking everything to get what you want when the odds are stacked against you. MAGGIE (Amanda Leighton) waits in line at her local bank. She nervously checks her watch. Is she waiting for the gunmen outside to burst in? Or something altogether different?

  • Peter D. Johnston
  • Peter D. Johnston
  • Amanda Leighton
    Key Cast
    The Fosters, Make It or Break It
  • Alex Best
    Key Cast
    American Dreamz, Vicious Circle
  • E. Gustavo Petersen
    Hercules Reborn, The Ghostmaker
  • Michael Benni Pierce
    The Trouble with the Truth, Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Romance, Comedy
  • Runtime:
    6 minutes 18 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 1, 2015
  • Production Budget:
    25,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Peter D. Johnston

From an early age Peter fell in love with storytelling by watching the endemic adventure films of the early 80's and 90's, running convoluted role-playing games for friends, and acting & directing on stages at Utah Valley State College and Southern Utah University.

MONSTRUM was Peter’s directorial debut and premiered at the ITSA Film Festival in Sonora, CA in November 2013. Produced by Cynthia Graner (STRANDED IN PARADISE) and shot by Sandra Valde-Hansen (WHITE BIRD IN A BLIZZARD) the dark 15 minute film blended elements of classical tragedy with horror and a dash of quirky humor. STOLEN is his second short film.

Peter continues to direct independent films and web content. When not crafting a project he’s the Product Manager for Ease Scenechronize, cloud-based production software, and regularly supports the product at NBCU, HBO, and other major studios.

Peter is currently seeking representation. You can learn more at

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

The theme of going after what we truly desire no matter the consequences has been the true motivation in creating STOLEN from day one. Despite some on-set quips to the contrary, I’m not a Maggie seeking a kiss from the handsome James (sorry Alex!) but I can relate to wanting something, and having to overcome barriers to get it. Any audience member can relate.

The story of STOLEN came to me as something of a daydream about someone on the floor in a bank robbery to whom the ongoing disaster was just another brief roadblock. I’d been hoping to make something of a romantic comedy and this felt like it could be twisted to fit in a really fun way. What’s more I was really attracted to the idea of a strong but silent female lead.

A script followed shortly thereafter and in early 2014 I had the good fortune to welcome the talented Amanda Leighton to the project. Casting for additional roles was easier than expected given how exquisitely each performer fit their character. The only other roadblock was then a lack of a location. It’s surprisingly hard to find a suitable bank to film in Los Angeles!

We were very lucky to eventually find the Citizen’s Business Bank which looked amazing and had just been used (briefly) in HBO’s Silicon Valley pilot. One brief Sunday in April, 2014 was all we had to shoot the entire film, and although we would have loved more time the crew did a marvelous job. I was thrilled to work with editor Michael Benni Pierce again, and the end result is a fun, quirky rom-com. With guns.

I’m very grateful that my second short film has been a challenging, team-driven, and ultimately positive experience. Being able to tell stories like this one is the goal I’m going after, and (at least so far) I haven’t had to overcome bank robbers to do so!