Last week one of my favorite tv shows returned for its 11th season. Face Off is an american reality tv competition show which a group of prosthetic makeup artists compete against each other to create makeups such as those found in science fiction, fantasy and horror films.
The show is hosted by the actress McKenzie Westmore, whose family have been on the Hollywood makeup industry since 1917. The judges are:
- Ve Neil – Academy Award winning makeup artist (Ed Wood, Beetlejuice, The Hunger Games Saga, The Amazing Spider-man 1 & 2)
- Glenn Hetrick – Special make-up effects artist/designer (Heroes, The Hunger Games Saga, Extant, Costume designer for Lady Gaga)
- Neville Page – Creature designer and concept artist (Watchmen, Cloverfield, Terra Nova, Prometheus, Falling Skies)
So, this season is an All-Stars one, which mean instead of new contestants, they bring makeup artist from the past seasons to compete again for a new price. I didn’t know it was going to be this way (since it’s not called Face Off All Stars, has it does on Project Runway – Lifetime produces it as a diferent show), but was okay with that. But then, McKenzie anounced another change – this season, the contestants will compete in teams of two. When they win immunity, it’s for the both of them; when they lose, the two artist go home. For them to have a second chance, they will be judged on a two weeks schedule, instead of the one week tradition. One week they will compete for the immunity, the other week they will compete for the spot to stay on the show and be safe from elimination.
On this week’s Spotlight Challenge, the designers have to create an alien inspired by a deep sea creature and, for the first time ever on the show, they could add green screen technology to the makeup. I think that’s amazing and could make some designs become really realistic! This weeks, the winning team will win immunity and there will be no elimination. Here’s the teams and the inspirational sea creature!
(I couldn’t find the oficial sketches, so I took a print screen from the episode to show!)
Emily Serpico & Tyler Green (Season 8)
Deep Sea Dragon Fish
I loved this interpretation. She’s so deadly and elegant, her pose is so fashion model! they painted her waist with green, so on the screen she should look skinny as a snake (or on this case, as a dragon fish). Really loved the feeling of this make up, the dryness of the character and the claws on the shoulders.
Ben Ploughman & Evan Hedges (Season 9)
Japanese Spider Crab
This was a good idea with a terrible paint job. When they were constructing the crab suit it almost seemed that it would be amazing. They should have embraced the legs, added more to it and made a better paint job – the head looks from another creature and almost seems out of context, like if it was put there instead of being part of the crab. I love Ben and Evan and hope they do a better job next time!
Stella Sensel (Season 7) & Jasmine Ringo (Season 9)
Despite the final result, this was a very cohesive design – from the inspirational photo, the sketch to the final make-up. The green underneath the suit didn’t work out as much as in other designs, but it was a good efford. Another construction/model problem, is that they painted the hands green so they could be invisible on screen but still control the ther arms throug a transparent string. This was an awesome idea, the problem was when the model moved her arms to swing the fake ones and her arms cross in front of her, that space would disappear due to the green screen technology. This was their fault either way because they should have instructed (at least train with her) the model on how to present the make-up. Better luck next time!
Keaghlan Ashley (Season 7) & Melissa Ebbe (Season 10)
This was the winner look – Keaghland and Melissa did a fantastic job. They didn’t want to make a bat like wing and be totally literal, so they found a beautiful and strong way for the model to look like the flying gurnard- they painted her half green, letting only the spine, the head and the fins uncovered. Their model presented it beautifully, dancing like if she was swimming on the deep water. They head was so detailed the judges were impressed by the skills of high concept art these designers showed with his work. It really looked like a real creature and it was worth the win!
Gage Hubbard (Season 1) & Rachael Wagner (Season 7)
One of my favorite looks, the skeleton shrimp. For me they did the most use of the technology. They painted the hole suit with green spots so shrimp could be translucid and it turned amazing. The hands, for me, was the best work – they did the claws with the vaccum plastic machine, painted the model’s hands green and put leds inside so it could seem bioluminescent. The result was gorgeous!
Niko Gonzalez & Cat Paschen (Season 6)
They had a lot of problems on the constuction phase – they almost broke the cast and ruined the hole suit, for that they got behind on schedual but all turned out fine. It was a good sketch, the did a perfectly inspired look and managed to bring it to life. The only critique I have is that you can still see the green legs behind the tentacle skirt.
Logan Long & Adam Milicevic (Season 8)
Meh. Bad approach (as an obvious one), the design on the sketch was okay but not really appealing on “real life” and the result was just boring for me. Safe bet, I guess.
Cig Neutron & George Troester (Season 7)
This was my 2nd favorite! I liked Gage and Rachael’s work for the realness of it – here, I loved it for the cartoonish aspect of the creature! I really like when the designers decide to go on a totally opposite direction from the others but can still do a wonderful job. Cig and George (I loved their work on the 7th season) took inspiration on the batfish face and decided to make an almost realist aristocratic monster. They did a good construction job on the body of the monster, the legs and arms were really funny and the hole characterization was really joyful!
I hope you liked this episode!
What was your favorite look? Let me know on the comments!
Tomorrow I’ll bring you the review of the 2nd episode, which airs tonight!
See you soon*