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Attack of the Staff: Derek Johnson, Associate Producer

Posted February 4, 2009 - By TylerColfax

Continuing on our promised trend of letting you get to know what's going on behind the big curtain of AOTS, we present our next staff profile.

Derek Johnson

Title: Master Chief of the Halo trilogy - most notably Halo 1
Hometown: Port Washington, WI
Position: Associate Producer
Favorite Season: 1st Season of West Wing

AOTB: What do you do on AOTS?

DJ: I am the associate producer for the Around the Net segment at the beginning of the show.  I get here early in the morning and search the internet for quality videos we as a staff have not yet seen.  And we've seen a lot, by a lot I mean we show 5 per day, 5 days a week. There are not that many weekdays during the year where there isn't a new show and for each ATN meeting we watch usually at least 15 - 20 videos not including the ones that we've all seen on our own that we don't feel are good enough to bring to the meeting.  Then at 8:45am I go to the ATN meeting in which the writers, executive producers, supervising producer, and the ATN segment producer decide what 5 videos to show.  Next I cut these videos down with an editor to their most warm and gooey innards.  And finally, once those are cut I try to assist the ATN segment producer with whatever he needs for day of stunts and comedy skits.

AOTB: Last week, in his Staff Profile, Luke Wahl called you a girl. How would you like to respond to those allegations?
DJ: Well once I found out who Luke Wahl was, I wasn't all that miffed.  Turns out he's the show puppeteer.  We use him about once every other month when we have a comedy bit that involves a puppet.  He has a closet somewhere in one of the stairwells where he makes puppets out of socks all day (I wouldn't walk in there without knocking).  I don't know how he conned his way into getting an interview for this blog. Oh well, the little people need a time to shine, too.

See the Luke Wahl rebuttal below the cut.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Luke has responded: "I would be bothered by this, but I'm too busy having Derek make copies for me."]

AOTB: You occasionally end up onscreen for comedy bits. What's your favorite appearance on the show so far?
DJ:  When I end up onscreen, it's usually because Jeremy Hache (segment producer for ATN) has asked me to be in a stunt or comedy bit.  His favorite is when he had me dress as an Italian Pizza chef and I tossed a pizza in the air in slow motion.  I would agree that that time was probably my favorite appearance.  My least favorite onscreen moments were dressing up as a gimp and the time I ate sushi that had been smashed between two sumo wrestlers.

AOTB: How much ya bench?

DJ: I've been known to frequently request that the gym downstairs order more 45 lb weights for the weightroom.  I tend to use more than they have for my workout.  So if that gives you an idea.  If that doesn't mean anything to you, take what Luke Wahl can bench press, write it down, laugh at it.  Hercules is half man half god right?  Well, use that as a guestimation.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Luke has also responded to this with: "It's just cuz my arms are tired from working out on top of his mother all day."]

AOTB: Did you go to school to work in television?
DJ:  I went to school to be rich and famous.  If television just happens to be the path that gets me to the summit, so be it.  So far though, I need to find a better Sherpa. Watching Entourage hasn't exactly got me out of basecamp yet.

AOTB: Which have you eaten more of in your life, grapes or Flintstone's push-ups?
DJ: Grapes.  I was more of a drumstick kid.  Push-ups are for ladies.

AOTB: Do you have a favorite web site?
DJ: Besides G4tv.com? Worstpreviews.com and Apple.com/trailers for movie stuff. MLGpro.com for my competitive Halo news updates. 

AOTB: Do you miss anything about Wisconsin?
DJ: I definitely miss being able to go to the grocery store and not feeling like I've aged two years.  The stress of traffic, near-miss potential accidents, angry shoppers, and not being able to find a 12 pack of beer that has all 12 bottles still in the box makes me miss the quaint rustic lifestyle of the northern midwest.  I don't miss the mosquitoes though.

AOTB: What upcoming movie are you most looking forward to seeing?
DJ: Transformers and Megan Fox should be entertaining.  Despite his publicity gaffs Christian Bale in Terminator: Salvation should be good.  The new sexy sleek Star Trek looks like it will be worth the movie theater watch as well.  Wolverine and G.I. Joe are two movies that I would love to see if they were well done, unfortunately they both look like they're going to be slightly better than Step Up to the Streets.

AOTB: What is your biggest regret from elementary school?
DJ: Not getting to second base with one of my baby-sitters.

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