As Alex in Wonderland celebrates our 10th year providing special effects and specialty costumes to the film and television industry we continue to create innovative solutions to the unique requirements that come with each new project. With Mike and Alexandra’s over 40 years combined experience in special effects, no job is too large or too small for us.
Having worked on feature films, music videos as well as responding to the demands for special effects for 3 weekly television shows at the same time, we can respond to a production’s ever-changing requirements. Whether its imaginative concept design or the newest armored superhero costume, an alien creature, a cutting edge special makeup effects problem or the latest in animatronic effects we have the capabilities to help producers and directors realize their unique vision for their latest production.
In our 5000 square foot facility located in Burbank, California, we have the artisans on staff to full fill your every need. We have conference rooms, design studios as well as separate sewing, fabrication, sculpting and molding areas. We also offer costume and prop rentals: including Sci-fi and medieval armor; Sci-fi, modern and historical weaponry as well as creatures including a Bigfoot/Sasquatch, chimpanzee and gorilla suits.
We hope you will take a few moments to explore our website and begin the creative process with us. Please feel free to give us a call so that we can help you make vision a reality.
Alexandra began exploring her artistic interests at an early age. By age six she was already impressing family and friends with her intricate painted renderings. As a teenager Alexandra was studying painting, drawing, ceramics as well as photography with a passion. During this time she also began to show her work at local Los Angeles galleries and club fashion shows. Often using her sisters and friends as fashion “guinea pigs”. Upon entering college she was already the recipient of numerous awards for fashion design.
Alexandra received an Associate of Arts degree in Fashion Design from Brooks College and a Bachelor of Science Degree, also in Fashion Design from Woodbury University. While in college she began to pursue another lifelong interest, make-up. Throughout those years she earned extra money working as a freelance make-up artist.
Although she always loved fashion design, Alexandra would soon discover a new area of design that would cause a profound change in her professional expectations.
In order to earn her degree she had to intern for a professional company or individual. By a stroke of luck she had the opportunity to complete her internship at a costume company called Custom Characters. Alexandra immediately realized she had a knack for this new discipline and soon developed a passion for specialty costume fabrication. She began to develop her skill in the areas of dyeing, airbrushing, foam sculpting and character “pod” creation. Finally Alexandra had found the culmination of her artistic pursuits. At Custom Characters she also had the good fortune of working under tight dead lines and uncompromising quality control for clients such as the Walt Disney and its many satellites in Anaheim, Orlando, Japan and Europe. Other clients include; Universal Studios, DIC, Hanna Barbera, Seaworld, Dole, the NFL and many more. Their stringent standards established the high standards that she maintains today.
Alexandra later went on to work at Shafton, Inc. as Head Designer, pattern maker, figure finisher and painter. There she has further perfected her character-suit-making skills, having the responsibility to complete each new project from a concept drawing to a fully animated “character costume”. As always she enjoys the challenge of working with prestigious clients like; Dreamworks, Legoland, Sony, Sesame Street Workshop, Universal Studios Hollywood, Florida, and Japan, as well as many others.
Presently, Alexandra has been freelancing at various Special effects companies, independent film and television productions, utilizing her supervisory skills in specialty costume design and foam fabrication, as well as special make-up effects.
From an early age Mike was a tremendous fan of movies. The late 60’s and early 70’s was an exciting time! Planet of the Apes and 2001 a Space Odyssey respectively were very influential on him. Astounded by these otherworldly visions, Mike’s older brother eventually convinced him with some difficulty (he was after all five) that the amazing visuals he was experiencing on the big screen were in fact special effects. Mike was hooked. He began to research. At first he canvassed the elementary school library, later all of the high school libraries and book fairs.
Ultimately by age ten he had scoured the local college library. (His mother was a teacher so this gave him unusual access.) His mother’s profession would prove to be a boon in other ways; Mike’s first experiences in casting, molding, sculpting and life casting were done in her summer camp art classes. It was also during summer camp that his mother had Movie Day once a week. This was before videotape, 16mm film was the distribution format of choice. His mother rented films from the National Film Exchange. The films ranged from silent classics to the most recent Disney releases. He enjoyed them all! It was after one such foray into the world of celluloid that Mike was inspired by a GIANT of a film star KING KONG. He spent days trying to recreate Kong ‘s immortal adventures on Skull Island. At ten years old one has few resources to mount such a daunting task. Gathering everything at hand including a generous dose of courage inspired by his Mother and Fathers; own strong work ethic. They have always told him “You can do any thing you set your mind to.” Also it doesn’t hurt that they own a BELL & HOWELL 8MM Camera. Many days of arduous labor passed. Mysteriously, this happened to coincide with the disappearance of his mothers’ coats fur collar. At last Mike had fashioned a pair of King Kong feet. Drafting his 3-year-old brother to be cameraman. Mike set up location in a huge pile of construction sand near his house. This would double nicely for the shifting sands of the Sahara desert. Mike was ready to begin filming his first epic ” KING KONG VS THE GERMAN ARMYMEN” Although it only consisted of a few shots and is now lost to the sands of time. KK VS THE G-MEN as it is more commonly known to its audience, Mike’s family. The film still elicits many fond memories from the McGee family, although more for Mike’s spanking (the fur coat collar) than for his cinematic imagery.
Throughout high school, the army and college Mike never lost sight of his dream to make movies. For the last 16 years Mike has worked professionally in many capacities (producer, director, cinematographer, effects artist) in the film and television industry. Whether as volunteer on the set of Dirty Dancing or as special effects artist on Minority Report, Mike always brings the same degree of dedication, professionalism and enthusiasm to every project.