The remaining artists realized how tight the competition was getting. They also realized that after all the women were eliminated, this boy’s club had to step up their game as the finale looms ahead.
For their Spotlight Challenge, they headed to the Gnomon School of Visual Effects, a state of the art facility where my favourite judge, Neville Page, serves as an advisor. He described the school as the “M.I.T. of visual effects” where films like The Avengers, Prometheus and The Wolverine had their effects created. The challenge this time took from Spider-Man and The Hulk: mutations. There were 6 snazzy looking monitors with 6 strands of DNA. The artists had to create an original mutant that physically manifested one of the DNA traits assigned to them. Neville advised them to really push themselves creatively as they manifested these traits. The coolest part? They had ZBrush artists from Pixilogic to help them create their mutants. It was really inspiring to see the digital artists bring concepts to life as the Face Off contestants described traits and features of their creations. On Elimination Day, they were joined once again by makeup artist Valli O’Reilly, who has worked on Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events and Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, as a guest judge.
George’s trait was Impenetrable Skin. He decided on an armadillo looking mutant. During the Westmore walk-through, he suggested that George concentrate on the mutant’s front features instead of wasting his time on the back. Unfortunately, his physical pain reared its ugly head again. His shoulder started to hurt and slow him down. As an aside, I hope he has since see a chiropractor. That was the single most helpful thing that got me standing and working out again after a back injury (from being a makeup artist). It is one of the main things, along with acupuncture, that is keeping me on my feet now during a hip injury (from being a runner). Anyway, he made it through and, despite the pain and worry, got his molds done. It was nice to see him and Rashaad discuss how much they missed their significant others, especially as George is about to be a father! These are really stand-up guys! George had to rework his design so it fit his model, and he managed to create a decent looking mutant with a neat profile. The judges felt he could have put more definition in the skin tone, but he ended up safe.
Daran worked on Panoramic Vision. His mutant was to have an interesting extension of her eyes by way of a mask-like growth on the face and the back of her head. He was told by Mr. Westmore to change his concept slightly so the judges would understand the makeup. He decided on L.E.D. lights to animate the mask so it would convey the panoramic aspect. He had all the lights lined up with the face appliance but they slid out when the model stood up. He lost time trying to fix it and had to scrap the whole idea, missing out on a better paint job. The end result was not that clear. The judges thought it looked like a blue turtle. They thought the shapes were cool but were not emphasized by the colours. They didn’t get the concept and thought that it didn’t look like it was panoramic. Ve told him that he couldn’t just throw out weird ideas and hope it sticks. He was in the bottom looks.
Rashaad got Elasticity. His design called for an octopus-like character. Mr. Westmore told him to accentuate the pulling aspect of his trait, so Rashaad pulled out the mutant’s features even more. During last looks, he had a suction cup scramble as he put on the final features, and came up with a creature that, to me, didn’t look too stretched out. I thought it was a good character, but it just didn’t fit the challenge. The judges liked the colours he used, and he was safe this week.
Graham’s DNA trait was Tunneling. He went for a subterranean mole man who wore a helmet. Mr. Westmore told him to paint the makeup well so that you could see the details and make it look dirty. Graham worried that the concept was too simple, but charged on, using horns as a mold for giant claws. He was hilarious as he put a voice to his character who was jealous of everyone else’s mutations. I didn’t mind the character, but the judges thought it was too obvious a choice for the trait, and they felt it didn’t play out. Technically, Ve didn’t like how the head and cowl lacked flow. Valli thought the teeth popped out too much, one of the claws was falling off, and the overall concept didn’t play out. He was in bottom looks.
Tyler got Wall Crawling. He created an insect-like criminal with big hands and hair protrusions resembling that of a fly. He decided to do a body suit to step it up. He had to alter the suit because it was too big for the model, and he fabricated each hair with foam noodles. He suffered with the time crunch this time around, and was fabricating those hairs right up to the last minute in last looks. This turned out to be a really interesting character. The judges liked the colour blending and the creepy eyes. Ve liked it better up close, and Neville pointed out the beauty in the nose and mouth. Glenn thought it was “superb” and felt he nailed the mutation challenge. The subtle layering of the paint job got Tyler a spot in top looks.
Niko worked with Magnetism. He created a mutant with coiled muscles with magnet hands. Mr. Westmore advised him to make the details look like actual coils. Niko took this to heart and despite the time crunch, made individual coils. He also sculpted the face and chest at the same time to make them cohesive. The end result was a great overall look with a great paint job. Glenn felt it was Giger-esque and they all thought it was a gorgeous and unique idea. Neville did say that it was a better costume design than makeup, but he still thought it was a good-looking character. Niko’s “meticulous application” also found him a spot in the top looks.
Out of the top looks, even though Niko was praised for his impressive detail and paint job, Tyler was the winner this week. The judges loved that his character showed that it was mid-transformation and evoked emotion. Glenn thought it was a rare thing to strike a balance between villainous and empathetic, and applauded Tyler for achieving this.
The person to go home this week was Graham. I was sad to see him go, because he has great ideas and is really fun, but the judges thought at this point in the competition, his concept was too conventional. They wished him well in his blossoming future. He had no regrets as he had a lot of fun and left the show feeling like he could actually succeed in this business. I totally agree and hope to see more of his work soon!