Derek Wayne Johnson

Wanda Jones Hanszen

Derek Wayne Johnson is an award-winning director, writer, producer and editor born and raised in Carthage, TX. In his senior year of film school at Stephen F. Austin State University, Johnson directed his first feature film, "Within Us." After college, he tried his hand at acting, starring in independent films and appearing in small roles in theatrically released and made-for-TV movies. Deciding to forgo acting and focus solely on filmmaking, he directed three feature films in Texas and Louisiana, including "Broken Blood" and "Scrape."

Upon arriving in Hollywood, Johnson directed “John G. Avildsen: King of the Underdogs,” a documentary about the Academy Award-winning director whose credits include “Rocky” and “The Karate Kid.” The documentary features interviews with Sylvester Stallone, Ralph Macchio, Martin Scorsese, Burt Reynolds, Talia Shire and many more. Alongside John Avildsen and the cast and crew of “The Karate Kid,” Johnson received a Commendation by the City of Los Angeles for his documentary and its association with “The Karate Kid” legacy.

Sylvester Stallone hand-picked Johnson to direct “40 Years of Rocky: The Birth of a Classic." The documentary, narrated by Stallone, details the making of "Rocky" and was acquired by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). Johnson and his documentary were mentioned in the 2021 LIFE magazine special issue dedicated to the "Rocky" franchise.

Following the success of his first two documentaries, Johnson directed “STALLONE: Frank, That Is”, highlighting Grammy and Golden Globe nominated performer Frank Stallone, brother of Sylvester. The documentary features interviews with Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Billy Dee Williams, Geraldo Rivera, Frankie Avalon and more.

Appreciating Johnson's work, Sylvester Stallone once again hired him to edit "The Making of Rocky vs. Drago", directed by John Herzfeld. The documentary follows Stallone's journey in the editing room as he reworks his 1985 hit "Rocky IV" into a new version, titled "Rocky vs. Drago: The Ultimate Director's Cut." 

In the summer of 2021, Johnson wrapped production on his directorial return to feature films with "Blood Streams", a crime/drama/thriller starring Han Soto, Brad Maule, Hollin Haley and Yuji Okumoto. The film was shot entirely in Panola County, Texas and will see a worldwide release.

Aside from filmmaking, Johnson is a dedicated martial artist and 3rd Level Black Belt in the art of American Karate. He has been a proud member of the East Texas American Society of Karate since the age of 13 under instructor Robert LaMont. In 2020, Johnson was inducted into the American Martial Arts Alliance Hall of Fame alongside Chuck Norris, Benny Urquidez and other martial artists from around the world.

With no signs of slowing down, Johnson continues his path in the film industry in both feature films and documentaries.

Wanda is co-owner and comptroller of Hanszen Broadcasting Inc with its network of radio stations in Carthage, Marshall and Henderson, Texas. Wanda and her husband, Jerry, have two grown children. Kent is an attorney and managing partner of the Houston law firm, Hanszen-Laporte LLP. He and his wife, Theresa, have four children, Iris, Sam, Emily and Elizabeth. Daughter, Brooke Hanszen-Paddie, is Vice President of Marketing and Resource Development for the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Big Pines and son-in-law Chris is General Manager of KMHT/Hanszen Broadcast Group and serves as State Representative for District 9 of Texas. Brooke and Chris have two boys, Topher and Noah.

In addition to being an artist, Wanda has been a teacher and owned her own travel agency. She is also accomplished in dance choreography and is active in numerous civic and charitable organizations. She has served on the board of the Panola College Development Foundation, Texas Country Music Hall of Fame, Texas Main Street Advisory Board, the Marshall Regional Arts Council, the Panola County Historical Society Board and the Carthage Book Club. She has been on the Main Street Design committee and the ministry teams for decorating, flowers, hospitality, and building and grounds at Central Baptist Church of Carthage.

She has served on the Panola County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and was a charter member of the Chamber Ambassadors of Panola County. She was a part of the Texas First Lady Main Street tour, Panola College Systems Technology Advisory Board, Carthage ISD Campus Management team, and the SFASU Alumni Board. She has also been involved with the Beaumont Junior League, Civic Ballet, Women’s Symphony League and the alumni associations of Alpha Chi Omega Sorority, SFA Lumberjack Band and Timeless Twirl-O-Jacks.

*Wanda was born in Beaumont ,Texas, on November 22, 1942, to the marriage of Iris Borders McCauley and Vernon Melvin Jones. She graduated from Center High School in 1961 and from Stephen F. Austin State University in 1964. She married Jerry Tilton Hanszen on August 18, 1963. They lived in Many, Louisiana, White Oak, Beaumont, and Carthage, Texas. Wanda taught Art, English and Band in Zwolle and Florien, Louisiana. She owned and operated a Dance and Twirling Studio in Longview and taught dance and twirling at summer camps at SFA, Northwestern, and Lamar Universities for 20 years. She enjoys painting, interior design, landscaping and flower arranging.