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Steve Johnson (special effects artist)

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Nationality  American
Role  Make-up artist
Name  Steve Johnson
Known for  special effects
Years active  1980–present

Steve Johnson (special effects artist) httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediaenthumb1

Full Name  Steven Marcus Jacobs
Born  February 7, 1960 (age 63) (1960-02-07) Houston, Texas, U.S.
Residence  Los Angeles, California, United States
Movies  Innocent Blood, Everloving
Spouse  Constance Zimmer (m. 1999–2001), Linnea Quigley (m. 1990–1992)
Awards  Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Makeup - Miniseries, Movie Or A Special
Nominations  Gemini Award for Best Achievement in Make-Up
Similar People  Linnea Quigley, Bill Corso, Joel Harlow, Ashlee Petersen, Ve Neill

Steve johnson monster maker interview with the mad scientist of creature effects

Steve Johnson (born Steven Marcus Jacobs; February 7, 1960) is an American special effects artist whose career has spanned more than thirty years. His work has appeared in over 200 films, countless television shows, theme parks, commercials, and music videos. Some of his best-known creations include "Slimer" for Ghostbusters, the alien seductress "Sil" for Species, the multi-tentacled "Doc Ock" for Spider-Man 2, and Robin Williams' robotics for Bicentennial Man.


Steve Johnson (special effects artist) httpsiytimgcomvixuTzpcH458hqdefaultjpg

Steve johnson special effects makeup effects writer

Early life

Steve Johnson (special effects artist) Steve Johnson Monster Maker Interview with the Mad Scientist of

Johnson was born in Houston, Texas. As a child, Johnson watched Universal monster films and the Hammer films. These films inspired him to become a special effects artist. Johnson's biggest influences are Jack Pierce, Dick Smith and Rick Baker. While he was still attending high school, Johnson met one of his idols, Rick Baker, and showed him his portfolio. Baker acknowledged Johnson's problem-solving talent and later helped him get a job working with effects creator Rob Bottin.

Early career in film

Steve Johnson (special effects artist) Steve Johnson An Interview with the Mad Scientist Iconoclast

Johnson's first job was with four-time Oscar winner Greg Cannom on The Galactic Connection, though the film was not released. He then worked on The Howling (1981) and two other films with Rob Bottin, after which Rick Baker hired Johnson as a member of the special makeup effects crew for the John Landis blockbuster, An American Werewolf in London (1981). In 1982, Johnson worked on Ivan Reitman's new project, Ghostbusters, where he created "Slimer" and the "librarian ghost". In 1982, he and visual effects artist Randall William Cook were brought in by Richard Edlund to create and run the special makeup effects studio at Boss Films, where they created characters for films like Poltergeist II (1986), Fright Night (1985), and Big Trouble in Little China (1986).

XFX and Edge FX

Steve Johnson (special effects artist) Steve Johnson IMATS

Johnson started his own effects company in 1986 called "Steve Johnson's XFX." It was later renamed Edge FX. In 1989 Johnson worked on The Abyss, directed by James Cameron, which became one of the biggest blockbusters of the year. He created the "alien" creatures for the film's climax.

Steve Johnson (special effects artist) Steve Johnson An Interview with the Mad Scientist Iconoclast

For the 1995 film Species, the filmmakers wished to create a half-human, half-alien character named Sil that was unlike any that had been seen on screen before. They brought in artist H.R. Giger to create the creature on paper, Richard Edlund for motion-capture visual effects (an art form that was still in early stages), and Johnson to design and create animatronics for the scenes that required Sil to be physical rather than digital. Sil's alien form had to have both a full-body animatronic version with replaceable arms, heads and torsos, as well as a rubber body suit that could be worn by actress Natasha Henstridge.

Steve Johnson (special effects artist) Steve Johnson An Interview with the Mad Scientist Iconoclast

During the XFX and Edge FX years, Johnson also worked on two Stephen King mini-series: The Stand (1994) and The Shining (1997), for which he won Emmy Awards. In addition, his company did four seasons of the TV show Outer Limits, three seasons of Stargate SG-1, and ultimately opened a studio in Vancouver called Pacific Effects Group. He also created earth-shattering illusions for several seasons of magician Criss Angel’s A&E television show, Mindfreak. In 2003, Johnson wrote, produced, and directed a short called Everloving, which played as part of the Brooklyn Film Festival.


Steve Johnson (special effects artist) Steve Johnson An Interview with the Mad Scientist Iconoclast

For the film Innocent Blood (1992), Johnson innovated contact lenses that could glow and change color on command without digital after-effects. They were scleral lenses coated with silicone glass and Scotchlite, so that when lights, such as those from a color wheel were projected on them, the colors would bounce back toward the camera.

For Lord of Illusions (1995), horror master Clive Barker required Johnson to create an organic-looking creature with skin that could pulse, move, and morph without the use of stop motion photography or other techniques such as mold-casting that were industry standards at the time. Thus Johnson innovated a monster-making technique with Bill Bryan that employed plastic bags, old yogurt containers, colored methyl cellulose "slime", and used gravity and liquid as a propellant. This technique is one that he modified time and again, such as for making slimy tentacles out of plastic and goop for the embryonic pods in Species (1995).

Personal life

Johnson was married to actress Linnea Quigley from 1990 to 1992, and to Constance Zimmer from 1999 to 2001. During Johnson's eight-year hiatus from the film industry, he spent a year living in the remote jungles of Costa Rica, as well as living in Austin, Louisiana, and the Smoky Mountains. During this time he wrote three books, and his effects were profiled in several other publications. Johnson's career in effects has been featured in books written by Anthony Timpone, Thomas Morawetz, and Rama Venkatasawmy. Johnson is also an instructor at the Stan Winston School of Character Arts. On May 1, 2015, the documentary, The Death of "Superman Lives": What Happened? directed by Jon Schnepp, about Tim Burton's canceled film Superman Lives was released. Johnson was featured in the documentary, as he was a principal special effects artist on the film working primarily on Superman's "light up" regeneration suit. In Fall 2016, he currently is promoting a special effects/biography book called Rubberhead: Sex, Drugs and Special FX on

Awards and nominations

  • 1992, nominated – 19th annual Saturn Awards for 'Best Make-Up' for Highway to Hell (1991) by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films
  • 1993, co-nominated – 20th annual Saturn Awards for 'Best Make-Up' for Freaked (1993) by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films
  • 1994, won (shared) – Primetime Emmy Award for 'Outstanding Individual Achievement in Makeup' for The Stand (1994)
  • 1995, won (shared) – 'Best Special Effects' for Species (1995) from Sitges - Catalan International Film Festival
  • 1995, won – Universe Reader's Choice Award for 'Best Make-up in a Genre Motion Picture' for Species (1995) from Sci-Fi Universe Magazine
  • 1995, co-nominated – 22nd annual Saturn Awards for both 'Best Make-Up' and for 'Best Special Effects' for Species (1995) by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films
  • 1997, won (shared) – Primetime Emmy Award for 'Outstanding Individual Achievement in Makeup' for The Shining (1997)
  • 2003, won – Fangoria Chainsaw Award for 'Best Makeup/Creature FX' for Blade II (2002)
  • 2004, co-nominated – 'Best Special Makeup Effects' by Hollywood Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist Guild Award for Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat (2003)
  • Partial filmography

    Johnson has worked on the following films:


    Steve Johnson (special effects artist) Wikipedia