cliff hanger

All posts tagged cliff hanger

Face Off Season 10 Episode 13: The Big Finale Part 1: “Sinister Showdown”

Published April 7, 2016 by vfdpixie

Season 10 would end with my kind of challenge!!  The 3 finalists found themselves in an oil field with a creepy looking house in the background.  It set the scene for the final challenge of the season.  McKenzie had special guest Jason Blum, creator of the production company Blumhouse that brought us all the latest horrors like The Purge and Insidious with her to bring them the challenge details.  They would have to create 2 characters to star in their own film. The film would be an adaptation of a short story taken from The Blumhouse Book of Nightmares: The Haunted City, a collection of short stories by writers, actors and directors like Eli Roth and Scott Derrickson.  The story, entitled “Hellhole” by Chris Denham, tells of a family that buys a house only to find that it’s a portal to Hell and that they have unleashed a demon.  The artists had to create a demon and a possessed family member according to a script from one of 3 new up-and-coming directors hand-picked for this challenge.  The artists would get a lighting and screen test, 2 helpers in the way of their former contestants, and  Jason Blum would also be a judge for the final looks in the film.  Another surprise was that Oscar-winning makeup artist Lois Burwell, one of the judges from season 7, would be there for the walk-through.

Rob picked Anna and Kaleb.  His script described a demon that came up from the oil fields.  The director, Bryce McGuire, wanted a molten, cracked and crusted skin on the demon.  Rob came up with a sun-baked demon and a possessed woman who would ooze oil.  He wanted to create a larger than life chest piece, face and cowl.  Anna would do the possession makeup and Rob would do the demon face. Lois warned him to avoid a leonine look to the nose and cheeks.  Rob was floundering a bit with the design of the face, but came up with a mole/rhino look that he was happy with.  He also wanted a unique horn shape that would add height.  Kaleb fabricated a back piece that looked like roots, and even though the mold stuck creating a huge split in the demon face, and the heavy cowl was making the demon face push forward, they came up with a great makeup.  During the screen test, Rob soon learned that his vision didn’t match the director’s.  Bryce wanted a paler, more powdery look, the horns placed further back on the head, and shovel-like hands.  He also wanted imbedded natural elements.  The possessed makeup was too extreme for him, and he wanted the possession to not manifest physically.  Um….sure.  Poor Rob had a tall order ahead of him and would have to do a whole new makeup.

Rob and his first demon draft,

Rob and his first demon draft.



Melissa had Yvonne and Johnny on her team.  Her script involved a cyclops-type demon so she wanted to make sure she didn’t recreate her last makeup and came up with a fleshy eye membrane instead of an actual eye.  She would be doing the face of the demon, Yvonne the demon cowl, and Johnny the possessed family member.  During the walk-through, they thought the possessed makeup was too subtle, and she had to shift his eye shape.  The demon needed a stronger jaw line, and they had to watch their time.  She let Johnny do the molds since that was his strength, and she created a diseased look emanating from the heart area for the possessed character.  She was stressed because they were running out of time. At the screen test, director John Wynn didn’t like the demon chest piece because it might look like he was lactating once the oil started to ooze.  He wanted oil oozing from the demon’s mouth and more redness in the eye area.  The possessed makeup needed more makeup on the shoulder and branches growing from his fingertips.  Melissa intended to step it up for a win.

Melissa and her demonic duo.

Melissa and her demonic duo.



Walter, Mel and Robert would avoid the typical demon look and create a simple possessed makeup.  Lois and Mr. Westmore suggested sculpting skin around the vines that would protrude from the possessed character’s face.  They loved the demon, but Lois advised him to pay attention to where the lighting would hit the makeup.  Walter went for an asymmetrical feel with vines on one side and a pumpkin like look on the other shoulder.  He created a set of teeth for his model and Robert used moss to cover edges and gave a great look to the demon.  Mel worked on the possessed makeup and although the edges were lifting on the face piece, they got the makeups to the soundstage.  Ryan Spindell seemed happy with the look but wanted the vines finished and Mr. Westmore suggested fixing spots on the nose and brow bone that reflected too much light.  Ryan also wanted to see more of the actor in the possessed makeup.  Walter was pleased that he didn’t have to redo the whole makeup.

Walter and his vined demons.

Walter and his vined demons.



All the artists had a lot of work to do before the final filming, and once again, Face Off left us hanging until the second part of the finale.  This is killing me!!

Face Off Season 9 Episode 13-The Finale Part 1

Published October 25, 2015 by vfdpixie

The finale finally arrived, and after some encouraging words from their loved ones, the three remaining artists got ready to do their best work yet in order to win the competition.

When they got to the lab, they were met by McKenzie and the Face Off TV crew.  It was a clue for their next challenge, which would have them work with a director and crew to create three short films on location. This was the challenge I was waiting for! the three finalists were excited, and even more so when they found out who the director would be-none other than Face Off royalty, director and special effects makeup artist Patrick Tatopoulos, my other TV crush.  The artists would pick from three scripts:  The Prey, Resurrection, and Quarantine Zone, and would have to create two drastically different characters.  Patrick would have cast, storyboards, and instructions for the different colours and textures of each film.  The artists would also get a film test before shooting, so Patrick could see what needed to be tweaked with the makeups, giving the contestants a chance to have a camera-ready look.  Like every finale challenge, they would have the help of former contestants.

Evan picked Stevie and Kevon.  They would work on the Quarantine Zone script.  His characters were infected with a virus.  The female wanderer character was to have a subtle makeup revealed slowly, and the male was to have a more advanced stage of infection.  Evan wanted to create an exoskeleton for the male character, but he realized the looks weren’t cohesive, so his team started over.  After worrying about a deep crack in his cowl which ended up being fine, he didn’t like what he had to offer.  When they went for the screen test, Patrick pointed out the colour of the female was too dark and she looked too healthy.  The male character needed some flesh toned paint and a more human appearance.  He also disliked a snuggle tooth and wanted some hair on the male infected.  Evan had some work to do but was glad he had a second chance.

Ben picked Resurrection.  He had Jordan and Scott on his team.  The story for his film was an alien priest who resurrects an ancient creature.  The contrast between the characters would be a sleek priest and Neanderthal version of him as the creature.  A fire would be the light source, so Ben wanted the priest to have a glowing look.  Scott would sculpt the creature and Ben took on the priest.  Jordan created a scarab that would tie the two characters together.  Ben was exhausted and ran out of time so they had to do a full paint job in last looks.  Patrick wanted the creature’s eyes lightened, and his back painted properly.  He also wanted something more for the priest’s mouth.

Nora worked on The Prey script, with Meg and Jasmine on her team.  She created a human prey and a big, organic tree-like hunter.  She had moments of doubt once again, but Meg supported her and they carried on.  The prey character was a full body paint job, and the hunter ended up being too red, so they had to fix the paint job.  On screen, she was told to bump up the hunter’s moss and green tones, and Patrick liked the prey.  She only had minor adjustments to make.

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After the screen tests, McKenzie revealed yet another twist for the finale challenge.  During a major production, there is always a chance for the script to change.  In their case, there would be a third character added, so once again, we are left with a cliff hanger as the last part of the finale gets under way next week!

Face Off Season 6 Episode 13: International Vamps

Published April 9, 2014 by vfdpixie

As Rashaad enjoyed the buzz of his first win, the guys were also all sad that Daran had to go home.  They realized how real the competition was getting as they closed in on the finale!

The next Spotlight Challenge took them to the beautiful, Taj Mahal inspired Angeles Abby Mausoleum where McKenzie and one of my favourite Face Off alumni, Patrick Tatopoulos, met them.  They had to open one of four coffins and choose a stake with the name of a vampire from a different part of the world on it in.  They guys had to not only create and enhance the characteristics of this international vamp, but introduce a new extreme ability not typical to this iconic monster.  With his heart-melting French accent, Patrick advised them to pay attention where the vampires were from.  He also let them know that the great Len Wiseman from Underworld fame was to be a guest judge on Elimination Day, which was pretty cool!  I don’t care what anyone says, those movies were slick and sexy!

Tyler chose the Sasabonsam from Ghana.  This vampire had 20 foot wings, small arms and horns.  His extreme feature was to put fangs on the tips of the creature’s wings.  Mr. Westmore advised him not to got too dark with the paint job as he would lose details of the sculpt.  Tyler decided on a big mold for the body, but that proved to be a time eater.  He had planned to create large wings, but instead created spandex folded wings that would imply largess.  This time, Tyler started to feel the pressure of how much he had planned for his creature, and the reality of what he could actually accomplish.  In the end, his vampire didn’t quite work.  I thought it was really busy looking, and the judges weren’t thrilled.  Len thought the paint was flat and Neville thought it was “visually muddy”.  Ve thought the proportions were not right, looking like “a tree trunk on a little person’s body”.  They liked the paint job on the face, the nose sculpt, and the detail on the back, but overall, it was, as Glenn called it “dreadful”.  Shockingly, Tyler was in the bottom looks.

George picked the Australian Aboriginal Yara Ma Yha Who, a creature with a big mouth, no teeth and fingers that sucked blood.  He went for a red skin tone that Mr. Westmore felt should be mottled to break up the colour.  He also created these sausage like fingers that he applied even though they looked terrible.  When the judges looked at the makeup up close, we heard a “Really?!”  from Glenn.  They felt the fingers looked like a last-minute addition, but Len liked the menacing presence that made it really look like a creature.  Glenn liked the vampire’s head, and after Ve made George take off the fingers and weird sash, Neville said the creature was beautiful and elegant.  He was in top looks.

Rashaad got the Jiang Shi from China.  This vampire was a reanimated zombie-like monster that sucks the chi out of its victims and captured them with vines that came out of his hands.  He took Mr. Westmore’s advice and stretched out the features of his vampire to create a more aged look, but his face prosthetic was torn at the eye and mouth.  Luckily, he had time to recast another face, and things smoothed out.  The judges loved this vamp!  They thought it was menacing and creepy, and Len felt it was camera ready and he also represented the culture well.  The makeup had a face that the actor could emote through, and the paint job accentuated the sculpt.  Even though Ve wanted rattier looking hair, and Neville hated the vine shooting hands, Rashaad was in top looks.

Niko got the Aswang from the Philippines.  I actually saw an episode of Grimm recently where there was an aswang wrecking havoc in Portland.  This vamp had a giant tongue that poisoned and drained its victims.  When Mr. Westmore asked him what his extreme ability was, Niko was genuinely stumped.  He eventually came up with claws on the head and fangs in the tail of the creature.  I thought the mouth was really gross.  The judges thought he missed some design opportunities, and the vampire needed to be more scary and intimidating.  Ve thought it was scary, and she had never seen a creature like his before, but Len thought the tongue was too clownish.  His “loose sketch of a good idea” and sloppy paint job put him in the bottoms looks.

The winner of the challenge was Rashaad!!  They thought he did a great job of melding elements of zombie and vampire.  So who went home?  As Niko and Tyler shook in their boots, McKenzie revealed that there was a second part to this challenge, so no one was leaving!  They were instructed to head to a van where they would find out the second part of the challenge, and the results of the second part would determine who would go home.  A cliff hanger?!  Seriously?! Jeez…


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