Who are you and what the hell do you do?
I am called Justin Johnson, technically I’m an Associate Producer at Next New Networks, but more precisely I head up our promos department and work in various capacities with our indie filmmaking show, Indy Mogul.
How did you get started in the New Media Business?
I’ve been in a ‘new media’ space since probably before it was called New Media. As a kid of eight, I would run around with our Pixelvision camcorder and record sci-fi epics involving snow and complex Lego space ships. In my late high school years, I started messing around with the edit bays at our local Public Access, and eventually got one of the early prosumer video capture cards. It was a piece of crap, but just to use a NLE system was like freakin’ devil magic compared to jury-rigged sets of VCRs and CD players.
I started putting up video blogs on the ‘net around 2001 / 2002. I called them “docutainment,” and gained a moderate following for a time before the powerhouses of Myspace and Youtube. I started email correspondence with fellow online filmmaker Jakob Lodwick and become one of the first original video creators for Collegehumor.com.
Fred Seibert, founder of Next New Networks along with a mess of other important things, was also friends with Jake. He was seeking a producer to make short ‘promo’ clips for his podcast Channel Frederator. Jake, busy making more money than I’ll ever see, turned down Fred’s request but suggested me.
Things went well, and a year later, I was driven in a limo down to Palo Alto to meet Tim Shey, Emil Rensing, and Fred for some breakfast. They offered me a job in NYC, and I took it!
Since you are part of the Indy Mogul crew, What is your bestest most favorite movie of all time?
(Editor’s Note: I made a comment in my questions to him about how I write very “flamboyant” questions and make them pretty later.)
My BESTEST, most FAVORITE movie of all time is … (see, now you’re stuck using your flamboyant question!) … “Rushmore.” I’m a big fan of early Wes Anderson work, and that movie is just so inspiring for people who see drive and ambition as the gold standard of indie creativity. Max Fischer is a badass, and I want his manbabies.
Just how indy is Indy Mogul?
Pretty frickin’ Indy. Erik just made a space helmet by Frankenstein’ing two bike helmets and a bunch of other thrift store junk. A perfect complement to the tape-affixed, painter’s suit space suit he crafted last week. The budgets are low, but the creativity is through the roof. A lot like it was for George Lucas before he got a magical green genie called “LOADS OF MONEY” to make his every stupid whim come true.
What new media content do you like?
I love Liam Lynch, I’m in awe of his ability to combine video editing, music recording, and 3d modeling into worlds that are so obviously true to the madness in his head. Then, of course, anything and everything that Next New Networks makes!
Do you have any advise for the people out there who are interested in making a show that is every bit as awesome as the stuff you work on?
As long as it’s something you give a crap about, and you’re passionate about making it, you should find an audience. That’s why I pushed the creation of Indy Mogul, I wasn’t so into all the car shows that NNN started out with, and wanted something closer to my interests. (I’m a greedy bastard). You can tell the folks who have the right to talk about a subject, and those who are just doing it for an endgame, like cashmoneyfameetc. Oh, and drop out of school. Yeah.
DAMN YOU JUSTIN JOHNSON!