Alice in Wonderland

All posts tagged Alice in Wonderland

Face Off Season 8 Episode 4: Whimsical Court of Royal Cards

Published February 4, 2015 by vfdpixie

This week the artists convened at the Normandie Casino.  It had the classic glitzy Las Vegas style in Los Angeles and where shows like The X-Files and Buffy the Vampire Slayer were filmed.  McKenzie gave the group their first individual Spotlight Challenge: to create their own stylized character from the royal course of playing cards:  the King, Queen, Jack and Joker.  They had to channel Tim Burton’s whimsy like in Alice in Wonderland as they were coming up with their concepts.  Each character had to have their suite-hearts, diamonds, clubs and spades- incorporated into the makeup, and had to be heavy on the whimsy.  Their guest judge was Robert Stromberg, director of Maleficent, and Oscar-winning production designer for Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland.  This was what I was waiting for!  We finally got to see each artist’s creativity on their own projects!

Ben took on the Jack of Diamonds.  His character was going to be old and decrepit but with the desired whimsy.  He did well with his time, got his hands and face painted well, and ended up with a colourful but slightly wonky character.  He was safe.

Stephanie got the King of Diamonds.  Her king would be sickly looking.  On application day, her original model wasn’t available, so she had to modify the appliances.  On the reveal stage, she thought it looked too much like a vampire, and I thought the edges were a little rough, but she was safe.

Darla picked the Jack of Hearts.  Her character was the advisor to the king, but was secretly in love with his queen.  She had a really strong concept from the start and sculpted the hair of her character for a great, impactful look.  The makeup was very clean, and had a great paint job.  Robert thought it was brilliant and Glenn loved the application.  The look was a great interpretation, especially with the sculpted hair and the thought the paint job was sophisticated.  She was the only artist to pull of a successfully pointed chin, and the character’s powerful presence and her technical skill put her in top looks.

Adam’s King of Clubs was supposed to be a Rat Pack type character, but he thought it looked more like a pimp, Kelly did a cool but more scary looking Queen of Spades and Logan did a Queen of Clubs that had to be revised from old to young, but they were all safe.

Daniel wanted to create a Queen of Diamonds with a jagged raw diamond look. Coach Anthony told him to start his sculpt over as the character was looking too scary.  Daniel really needed a concept and started by wanting to make the lips and face diamond-shaped.  Mr. Westmore suggested he elongate the face more.  He was also freaked out about doing a beauty makeup, and Emily was good enough to help him apply lashes in last looks.  The end result was actually better than I expected but still not good.  The judges felt the lips destroyed any beauty in the makeup and they could see his uncertainty in the design.  He was in the bottom.

Jaime got the King of Spades.  She wanted to go the David and Goliath route but all the male models were gone, so instead of a large manly character, she revised her design to make a fun and whimsical dandy of a king.  She had to switch the order in which she put on her cowl and face appliance, and the end result was a little rough.  Ve thought the dandy was not a good choice.  Neville thought there were some good overall shapes, but the molded hair looked like a Klingon and the paint was drab.  She should have used real hair, and this put her in the bottom.

Regina took on the Joker.  She wanted a double-faced character and wanted to have a face on the back of the model’s head, so she needed to go for a real fantasy look.  She copied her main face appliance in latex, figured out how to affix it to her model, an even thought she was a little behind, her makeup came out great!  With a colourful costume and interesting concept, she ended up safe.

Rob had the Jack of Spades.  He wanted to go for a musketeer character with an eye patch, and Mr. Westmore warned him to stay on the whimsy side of things or else it could look like a horror makeup.  He made a large spade-shaped hat, and the makeup just squeaked by into the whimsy category.  The judges thought the patch was too big, and the face appliance lifted off when Glenn examined it!  Rob was sure he was going home, but miraculously he was safe!

Julian picked the Jack of Clubs and his character led people into the underworld.  Laura saw a lot of potential in him and was excited to see his concept.  He made a gelatin piece to practice his painting, but it got stuck in the mold and he wasted some time removing it.  The judges really loved his unique vision and strong technical talent in sculpting and application.  It wasn’t a literal interpretation, but it got him into the top looks.

Emily created her own evil Queen of Hearts.  This queen would have human hearts surrounding her and an asymmetrical wig.  She used cotton and nylon to create an elaborate wig, and used pin curls on the model to secure the wig on her.  I love, love loved it!  it was beautiful, and the judges were wowed by the gorgeous profile, and Glenn hated that she was better than him at that age.  Robert loved the idea and that put her in top looks.

Anthony went with a grieving King of Hearts.  He wanted to do a broken bleeding heart, but realized it would look like a horror makeup.  He had to scrap the chest piece and just deal with a face appliance which made him have a slight panic attack!  He kept at it but his wig, the only one left, didn’t quite work.  The final look had a muddy and messy paint job and the judges didn’t see the story.  Ve said it wasn’t even passable as a clown makeup.  Ouch!  Robert called it kingly balls of spaghetti and that put him in the bottom looks.

The top look and winner went to Emily!  They loved her thoughtful and artistic makeup.  Daniel was the artist going home, and the second artist to leave Coach Anthony’s team.  His design suffered from technical flaws and it felt uninspired.  Robert told him to keep learning and keep trying, and after only 8 months in the business, Daniel has plenty of time in the big world of makeup effects!

Face Off Season 7 Episode 6: Wizard of Wonderland?!

Published August 28, 2014 by vfdpixie

This week Sasha was proud of her looks being in the top the last 3 challenges which gave her more confidence.  We shall Sasha, we shall see…

This Spotlight Challenge was most excellent.  They all went to Sony Picture Studios where they met under a giant, 94 ft rainbow made by Tony Tasset for the 75th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz.  McKenzie was amidst a whimsical tea party set, and she wanted them to bring characters of The Wizard of Oz to life but there was a twist (of course!).  They would have to pair up again to re-imagine the Oz characters as though they had fallen through the rabbit hole into the world of Alice of Wonderland!  This challenge had a lot of potential for creativity!

Jason and Sasha chose the Cowardly Lion.  Jason wanted to go for a creepy looking lion, which was not what the challenge called for.  Sasha hated the idea, and wanted to do something pretty and whimsical, but she didn’t speak up, which infuriated me!  COME ON GIRL!!  It was her ass on the line too!!  Mr. Westmore told him flat-out to get some whimsy going, and that it had to be up to par with the other concepts.  “Think happy and cheerful” he said.  Hear that Jason?  Happy and cheerful!!!  Mr. Westmore basically gave him a concept-The Cheshire Cat-and he still couldn’t, or wouldn’t, get to it.  Sasha pouted and that drove me crazy.  She came up with a way to create a fur look and painted it with stripes like the Cheshire Cat, but the colour scheme in general didn’t work.  The judges thought the face was too mask-like, the colours didn’t work, and they asked why there was no Cheshire Cat influence.  There was no direction and didn’t reflect anything involved with the challenge.  Sasha’s silence may have cost her this time because they were in the bottom.

George and Drew went for the Wicked Witch of the West.  Their concept involved the witch getting blown off her course in the tornado and ending up in Wonderland.  They wanted to create a twisted, tornado type hairstyle and were on the same page with their ideas.  Drew created a wrinkled texture skin for the back of her neck, and towards the end of their construction, decided not to create the hairstyle because they felt the hat would crush the hair, and the witch needed her hat for the look.  The judges loved the profile, but Glenn thought the head looked “eggy”.  They thought it was more Wizard of Oz than anything else, and didn’t like that the makeup abruptly ended where the wardrobe started.  Ve actually like the character but not the green colour they painted her.  They all wished that the hair idea wasn’t scrapped, with Lois telling them the hair could have told a story.  The judges thought the excuse for the lack of hair was lame, but they were safe.

Dina and Stella got the Winged Monkey.  Their monkey flew down the rabbit hole and became a jester for the Queen of Hearts.  Dina came up with a cool idea to sculpt the ears as a jester’s hat.  They worked well together, and both came up with a great face sculpt, with Stella perfecting a smirk on the monkey’s face.  They actually used a bit of Rachael’s purple hair for the monkey, and Stella made a great set of wings using playing cards.  The character was great and I loved the face!  The judges thought it was freaky, and liked that the model could give them a range of expressions through the makeup.  Glenn thought it was a ” wonderfully realized fusion” and applauded their teamwork.  They loved the colours and Ve thought it was devilish and mesmerizing all at once.  They felt it was a great idea, and that was well sculpted, painted and conceived.  They were in the top looks.

Cig and Damien created a patchwork Scarecrow.  They wanted to sew fabric into the face piece, so they didn’t need a lot of detail with the sculpt which saved them a lot of time.  Cig also built a shoulder gag that made it look like the scarecrow’s head fell off.  They ran into trouble when the sewn on patches limited the mobility of the face, so they had to cut into it to avoid a mask.  I thought it was a great idea, but too busy.  I was on the same page as the judges.  They couldn’t see the sculpt under all the fabric, and it was too dark.  They liked the colours but the face lacked a focal point, and Lois wished they had used more of the metal aspects hidden by the hat.  They were in the bottom looks as well.

Rachael and Keaghlan got the Tin Woodsman.  Their character was a part of the Queen’s army who took off heads, but realized he actually had a heart.  Mr. Westmore told them to sharpen the nose, and they really perfected the symmetry of the face.  Rachael created a really cool axe, and they painted him grey and silver, using black to make the colours pop. I though it was beautiful, and my favourite makeup so far this season.  They judges loved the profile and symmetry of the makeup.  For them it was well executed and a super clean, finished work.  Because of the amazing paint job that looked like metal and outstanding team work, they were in the top.

The winning makeup was created by Stella and Dina!  They loved the bounty of fantastic ideas that were perfectly synthesized.  Dina ended up as the winner because of her face and ear sculpt!  Yay!  The cake girl wins!  That was well deserved.

The Cowardly Lion concept was the bottom look.  There was no direction, and didn’t reflect the challenge.  Jason went home.  I am going to rant for a moment.  I am glad he is going home.   A part of this competition is listening.  You listen to the instructions of the challenge, your partners, the judges and Mr. Westmore.  End of story.  While I think having your own ideas and drive is great, Jason did not take any advice.  So go home bro.  And Sasha wants me to smack her!  That girl needs a back bone, like yesterday.  She is SO lucky she is still in the game, but for the love of all that is good, speak up, and grow a proverbial set!!  She may not have another chance.  Ok, my rant is over…until next week…


View From the Dark

Reviews and essays on genre film from a WOC perspective

Academic Hoodoo

a research blog on Africana Religions

Cinema Axis

Where All Things Film Converge


burke –verb (used with object), burked, burk·ing. to murder, as by suffocation, so as to sell the corpse to medical science

The Daily Post

The Art and Craft of Blogging

grotesque ground

Promoting the grotesque in cinema and literature.


Movies, thoughts, thoughts about movies.


A ranting woman's mind

The Tyranny of Tradition

Lamentations and Jeremiads 25 Years After The End Of History

What Are You Doing Here?

A Black Woman's Life and Liberation in Heavy Metal

The Blog

The latest news on and the WordPress community.