LEHI — The Johnson family of Midway, Utah, loves movies.
They watch movies. They act in movies. They produce and direct movies. Sometimes, all seven siblings and their mother work in the same movie.
"A friend of mine called what we do the 'Johnson Family Productions,’ ” said Brad Johnson, the producer of the family's latest collaborative project, "Waffle Street," shot at the One Man Band diner in Lehi. "My brothers and I and my mom, it's all we do. It's a family passion."
Brad Johnson is hoping to get "Waffle Street" into the lineup of independent films at next year's Sundance Film Festival.
"It's an uplifting, inspirational dramedy," he said. "It's based on a story a friend, a kind of cousin of mine, found. I read it and said, 'This sounds like a movie,' so she wrote a script."
Charlene Johnson, the mother in the family, did hair on the set. She has dressed hair in the past on sets such as "Mork and Mindy," "The Brady Bunch" and "Charlie's Angels." She got her start on the television Western "The Virginian."
Charlene Johnson said it makes for a lively day-to-day existence. Most of the family lives part time in Los Angeles.
Charlene Johnson is a licensed cosmetologist and owned her own shop in California. She easily made the transition to being a movie hairdresser.
"I am so happy to go to work every day," said the 72-year-old mom. "We work hard, but I love the creativity part. You figure out what keeps the director happy."
Adam Johnson said he's a little surprised to be part of an acting family. He played the lead in "Waffle Street" while his brother Bart played a supporting role and his four sisters were extras.
"I was never really sure I wanted to be an actor," Adam Johnson said. "But my dad, he loved to entertain. Everybody loved my dad, and I guess I wanted to be like him."
Adam Johnson said he was pretty shy and quiet until he started doing stand-up comedy.
"I feel like I'm just now coming into my own," he said. "It's exciting. It's really fun. It fulfills a desire to be creative."
He likes to show what moviemaking is like behind the scenes.
Adam Johnson has several films coming out in the next little while in addition to "Waffle Street." Those include an adventure film, "Mythica"; a fantasy comedy akin to "The Princess Bride," titled "Dragon Warriors"; a science-fiction movie, "Cyborg X"; and a children's movie called "Christmas Dragon."
He's probably best known for his role as the New York boyfriend in "Charly." He plays the restaurant manager in "Waffle Street," a story of people who found their way out of a tough situation.
Bart Johnson is known for his role in "High School Musical" as coach Jack Bolton. He's married to actress Robyn Lively and is always juggling new projects.
The brothers grew up in a suburb of Los Angeles, moving to Midway in 1985.
The Johnson brothers previously made a short film, "The Run," and documented their adventures hitchhiking across Mexico with just a bottle of water and $6.
"Waffle Street" is based on a true story of a man who leaves Wall Street to wait tables. He befriends an ex-con who plays a big part in some of the movie's hard-learned lessons.
A release date is not yet scheduled.
"We're in the editing stage now," Brad Johnson said. "We're thinking in the spring."
Sharon Haddock is a professional writer with more than 35 years' experience, 17 at the Deseret News. Her personal blog is at sharonhaddock.blogspot.com.
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