Derek Wayne Johnson

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Derek Wayne Johnson
DWJ SBIFF.jpg
Born (1983-02-23) February 23, 1983 (age 35)
Carthage, Texas, United States
Alma materStephen F. Austin State University (B.A.)
OccupationDirector, Screenwriter, Producer
Notable work
  • John G. Avildsen: King of the Underdogs (2017)
  • 40 Years of Rocky: The Birth of a Classic (2019)
  • STALLONE: Frank, That Is (2019)

Derek Wayne Johnson (born February 23, 1983) is an American film director, screenwriter and film producer.[1]

Born and raised in Carthage, Texas, Johnson began making short films at an early age, winning several awards while still in high school. Johnson directed his first feature film, Within Us, in his senior year of film school. After college he broke into the movie business in Texas and Louisiana by directing independent films such as Broken Blood and Scrape, eventually making his way to Hollywood.[2]

In 2017, Johnson directed and produced a documentary about Academy Award-winning director John G. Avildsen whose credits include Rocky and The Karate Kid.[3] John G. Avildsen: King of the Underdogs examines Avildsen's life, career and films and features interviews with Sylvester Stallone, Ralph Macchio, Martin Scorsese, Talia Shire and Burt Reynolds, among others.[4] The documentary is an unofficial companion to the book The Films of John G. Avildsen: Rocky, The Karate Kid, and Other Underdogs written by Larry Powell and Tom Garrett.[5]

Sylvester Stallone asked Johnson to direct and produce a documentary on the making of the original Rocky, currently entitled 40 Years of Rocky: The Birth of a Classic, due for release in 2019. The documentary will feature Sylvester Stallone narrating behind-the-scenes footage from the making of the film.[6]

In 2017, Johnson began production on a documentary entitled STALLONE: Frank, That Is, about musician and actor Frank Stallone, brother of Sylvester Stallone, also due for release in 2019. The documentary will feature interviews with Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Billy Zane, Geraldo Rivera, Joe Mantegna and many others.[7]

Awards[edit]

  • Commendation by the City of Los Angeles for John G. Avildsen: King of the Underdogs (2017) and its association with The Karate Kid (1984) legacy.
  • Best Documentary - 2017 Beverly Hills Film Festival - John G. Avildsen: King of the Underdogs (2017).
  • Award of Excellence (Documentary Feature) - 2017 Impact DOCS Awards - John G. Avildsen: King of the Underdogs (2017).
  • Award of Excellence (Documentary Feature) - 2017 Accolade Global Film Competition - John G. Avildsen: King of the Underdogs (2017).
  • Best Actor in a Feature Film - 2014 Golden Door International Film Festival of Jersey City - Broken Blood (2013).
  • Best Actor in a Feature Film - 2013 Northeast Film Festival - Broken Blood (2013).[8]
  • Best Editor - 2014 Hoboken International Film Festival - Scrape (2013).
  • New York Post/HIFF Best Feature Film Trailer - 2013 Hoboken International Film Festival - Broken Blood (2013).
  • Best Louisiana Filmmaker Feature Film - 2013 Phenom Film Festival - Broken Blood (2013).

References[edit]

  1. ^ Barlish, Becky. "Carthage native's documentary honors legend", The Panola Watchman, Carthage, TX, 1 August 2017. Retrieved on 21 August 2018.
  2. ^ Goodrich, Robbie. "Underdog Comes Out on Top", Sawdust, Nacogdoches, TX, Winter 2017. Retrieved on 21 August 2018.
  3. ^ Kreps, Daniel. "John G. Avildsen, ‘Rocky,’ ‘The Karate Kid’ Director, Dead at 81", Rolling Stone, San Francisco, CA, 17 June 2017. Retrieved on 21 August 2018.
  4. ^ Farber, Stephen. "'John G. Avildsen: King of the Underdogs': Film Review|Santa Barbara 2017", The Hollywood Reporter, Los Angeles, CA, 2 February 2017. Retrieved on 21 August 2018.
  5. ^ Dagan, Carmel. "John G. Avildsen, Director of ‘Rocky,’ ‘Karate Kid’ Films, Dies at 81", Variety, Los Angeles, CA, 16 June 2017. Retrieved on 21 August 2018.
  6. ^ Drown, Michelle. "John G. Avildsen: King of the Underdogs Director Derek Wayne Johnson", The Santa Barbara Independent, Santa Barbara, CA, 26 January 2017. Retrieved on 16 February 2017.
  7. ^ Gonzalez, Bobby. "Spoken Dreams: Derek Wayne Johnson, Filmmaker", KTLA, Los Angeles, CA, 19 February 2018. Retrieved on 21 August 2018.
  8. ^ McLane, Rodger G. "Johnson’s films win three independent awards in 2013", The Panola Watchman, Carthage, TX, 24 September 2013. Retrieved on 20 November 2013.

External links[edit]