life and death

All posts tagged life and death

Face Off Season 7 Finale: Life, Death and Battling Knights!

Published October 29, 2014 by vfdpixie

It was a long road, and many contestants later, we were left with Cig the monster lover, Dina the ex-cake decorator, and Drew the makeup teacher.  An eclectic trio that consistently improved as the show progressed, and that hard work earned them a coveted spot in the finale.

The previous episode gave a few hints at the surprises in store for Season 7’s last episode.  The final 3 artists were surrounded by swords, suits of armour and coats of arms.  McKenzie revealed the subject for their final spotlight challenge:  Knights!  Like Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones, good and bad knights ran amok.  In their final Life and Death challenge, the artists had to choose a unique coat of arms and create a good and evil fantasy knight that represented life and death.  The artists had a great time actually pulling a sword from a stone to pick their coat of arms.  They would also have a lot of help with an eliminated artist from this season and a randomly assigned past season’s winner!  The next surprise?  These life and death knights would fight it out in an actual jousting, sword fighting battle!

Drew picked George and was assigned Rayce, winner of Season 2.  His coat of arms included a stag, so he went for woodland, elven creatures inspired by satyrs.  They were to be two warring sets of satyrs.  He was really jazzed that he had Rayce on his team since he was an amazing sculptor.  Mr. Westmore advised Drew on the nose placement of his elven fawn people, and his team went at sculpting and building.  George did a lot of the molding because he was fast at it.  They were doing well until Drew noticed some of the colours Rayce was using on his dark knight.  He wanted the paint job to be a bit more flesh coloured, but in the end, decided to trust Rayce.  On the finale day, Drew carefully placed the antlers on so when the knights actually fought, they wouldn’t tear into any cowls.  In his rush during last looks, Drew started to paint some of the armour the wrong colours, so he had to scramble to fix it.  His final characters were my favourites.  The were definitely fantastical and beautiful.  The judges liked the nice natural makeup on the good knight, and great cheekbones to convey the stag reference.  They loved the “gorgeous” dark knight and felt the characters worked really well together; you could tell they were from the same world with the harmonious style and palette.  The only thing that put Glenn off a bit was the hair on the face.

Dina picked Stella and was assigned Season 3 winner Nicole.  She got the aquatic coat of arms.  She wanted to design her knights with found things from the sea:  a good fish knight who got his armour from a mermaid, and a the bad knight who was reanimated by electric eels.  When Mr. Westmore heard this concept, he was worried that she wasn’t using the octopus that was prominent in the coat of arms.  This freaked Dina out a bit, but luckily, Nicole came up with an octopus that controlled the brain of the crab-like knight.  They would extend the tentacles down onto the cowl.  Stella sculpted a lot of the armour, including a starfish that Dina finished off with her now famous piping bag.  They were scrambling to clean out the molds when Drew, George and Rayce came to their rescue at the last minute.  Nice guys!  The gals would have 15 pieces to apply to the knights.  During last looks, some arm pieces were lifting so they had to add moss to some of the areas in question and tie them down with rope.  Dina’s knights were truly beautiful!  The judges were wowed by the amount of detail and cohesiveness of the work.  Lois adored the dark knight, and Glenn thought the amount of detail was astounding.

Cig picked Sasha and was assigned Season 6 winner Rashaad.  The coat of arms they worked with was one with gargoyles.  His concept involved good knights who protected people from gargoyle-like knights.  Cig knew he wanted Rashaad to do fabrication, since he was a star at that.  Mr. Westmore cautioned Cig against having the knights look too dark, and after looking at his Life character, decided he needed to sleep on it because the sculpt didn’t look right.  The next day, he decided on a human looking knight and a gargoyle.  One look was going to be minimalistic and he knew it was a risk.  I thought his life knight looked a touch too red, but the death knight was amazing.  The judges liked the silicone used on the human life knight and that there were no edges to be seen.  They also liked the contrast between the hyper-real looking life knight and the monster, gargoyle knight.  They thought it was great conceptual work, but felt the good life knight didn’t push the character enough.

The battle was really cool!  With bagpipe players and horses thundering around the arena, the crowd cheered at the sheer spectacle.  Thankfully, all the makeups held up to some brutal sword play, leaps and tackles.  In the end, the judges picked Dina as the finale winner!!  She walked away with a new Fiat 500, $100,000 and a trip to one of Kryolan Professional Make-up international locations! I am so happy she won!  She is the little cake maker that could!  She quit her job to do this, and had little experience, but heaps of talent.  Nice to see someone following their dreams. Congrats Dina, you deserve the win!

Face Off Season 7: Life and Death!!

Published July 23, 2014 by vfdpixie

So season 7 started out with a bang with host McKenzie Westmore announcing a “never been seen before, Life and Death” Season.  16 eager contestants were ushered into the Vibiana Event Space which was a Cathedral in the past where baptisms and funerals took place, illustrated by a lavish light and dark set.  What better place to stage a Sudden Death Challenge!  McKenzie (looking fabulous as always!) told the group that they were not actually on the show yet.  This challenge would be a final audition to determine who the final 14 contestants would be, meaning  2 people would go home.  They were all floored but jumped to the challenge as they scrambled to work stations representing Life and Death with boxes containing an item they had to use in the makeups.  The artists had to create characters that showed their personality as an artist and the subject matter of the challenge.  As they tried to overcome nerves and work with what was provided, they were stopped mid-way by McKenzie so she could introduce a second part to the challenge…and ROBERT ENGLUND, the actor behind legendary character Freddy Krueger!  Everyone was floored once again as he offered them advice, and I think he made even McKenzie blush as he kissed her hand!  What a charmer!  They had to incorporated a new item into their makeups as many times in the industry, directors and producers will often change things at a moment’s notice as the scripts change.  Mr. Englund told them to pay attention to and use their models’ features in order to create a successful makeup.  He said Freddy’s claw inspired him as an actor to bring the character to life, so the props were also important.

When the 4 hours were up, Neville Page and Glenn Hetrick came out to do a preliminary judging on their looks.  The standouts for me were Dina, a cake decorator who changed careers.  She created a forest nymph that was really beautiful, and Cig, who has been working in the industry for several years who created a great paint job on his “life warrior”.

The next day, they reconvened on the Reveal Stage, where they were joined by Neville, Glenn and Ve Neill, who had been absent the previous day due to her work on The Hunger Games set.  She would not be around too much on the show because she was to be working, so they had Lois Burwell, Oscar-winning artist for Braveheart, join the Face Off team.  The final contestants would be lucky to have such incredible judges!

They were split up into 2 groups:  Group 1 would be safe and Group 2 would be the best and the worst for this challenge.  Group 1 consisted of Cig, Rachelle, Stella, Damien, George, Drew, Barry and Doc.  The second group included Keaghlan, Scott, Sasha, Jason, Dina, Gabby, Gwen, and Vince.  In the middle of their critiques, the judges decided to call out the first person to go home.  It was a unanimous decision to ask Scott to leave.  He had used a neck prosthetic as a face piece which went against the challenge, and the judges thought his skill set wasn’t up to par for the competition.  Disappointed but not defeated, this late bloomer who started makeup classes with his son, left the show determined to continue his passion.

As the judges continued on, they chose Dina with her forest nymph, Vince who created a unique mutated zombie demon and made good use of rib bones on the face of his character, Sasha and her “Raven Maven” graveyard dweller which was a complete character even though she ignored a key prosthetic, and Keaghlan with her creative muse with had a great colour scheme as the top in Group 2.  The bottom consisted of Gwen who created a death character that looked good from afar but was muddy.  They felt she didn’t make bold decisions.  Jason’s well creature was “buried” in makeup and had a muddy paint job, and Gabby, who admitted that her makeup was sub par, didn’t design around the piece she was given.  In the end, Gabby, a self-taught makeup artist, was sent home.  She too would not give up her passion and was fueled to carry on.

The remaining artists breathed a sigh of relief as the realized they were the 14 contestants for season 7 of Face Off!  I am very interested to see how Vince performs.  He was an Emmy award winner and worked under Mr. Westmore on Star Trek:  Deep Space Nine.  This artist took a 15 year break to raise a family, so I can’t wait to see how he does this season.  Dina has also peaked my interest.  Her innovative use of a piping bag to create veins for her forest nymph shows she has untapped creativity that I think will blossom as the show progresses.  Cig has great painting skills, so I think he will deliver.  And finally, Gwen looks like she has promise, but must build her confidence if she wants to survive on the show.   This should be an exciting and more intense season as the challenges get crazier!

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