Molly ShoreSteve Johnson loves his job because,...

Molly Shore

Steve Johnson loves his job because, as he puts it, “All I do is make


It’s actually a bit more complicated than that.


Johnson owns Edge FX, a Burbank-based special-effects company that

specializes in unusual makeup, prosthetics and robotic animatronics

for movies, television, advertising and theme parks, including

Disney’s Epcot Center.


If filming calls for a grotesque face, mangled limbs or any type

of over-the-edge makeup, Edge FX can do the job. Making an actor look

good is not what it’s about at Johnson’s 20,000-square-foot,

state-of-the-art facility.

“It’s always been about makeup to make people look worse,” he


In the upcoming “Spider-Man II” movie, actor Alfred Molina -- who

portrays the evil Dr. Octopus -- wears robotic tentacles created by


Johnson’s team of animatronics experts. In the upcoming release of

“Dr. Seuss’ Cat in the Hat,” Mike Myers is transformed into the

storybook feline through the artistry of Johnson’s special-effects


While growing up in Texas in the 1960s and ‘70s, Johnson was

fascinated with horror films.

“I tried to recreate the things I saw in the movies,” he said. “I

would get wigs, cut the hair off them and glue the hair on my


friends’ faces to create werewolves.”

In the early 1980s, Johnson came to Los Angeles, and worked on

special effects for the movie “American Werewolf in London.” He

eventually joined the creature department of Boss Film Corp. in 1984,

and helped create special effects for a number of movies, including


By the time he was 26, it became to clear that Johnson could “do

this myself.”

In 1986, he created Edge FX. Since then, Johnson has won two Emmys

for special effects on a pair of Stephen King mini-series: “The

Stand” in 1994 and “The Shining” in 1997.

“It’s fun to come to work in the morning,” he said. “I have a very

good team of people around me.”