Patrick Tatopoulos

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Face Off Season 9 Finale Part 2: Short Film Frenzy!

Published October 29, 2015 by vfdpixie

After waiting a whole, long week, we finally got to see the second part of the finale.  A third character was added to the three short film scripts the artists chose from last week.  Along with the added character came extra help from former contestants Libby, Jason and Ricky.  The finalists were stressed but they were pumped to work on a film set and rose to the occasion.

Evan added Libby to his team, and Patrick added a mutated infected character to the film Quarantine Zone.  That meant Evan had to rework his infected captive so he wouldn’t look so far gone, and bump up the mutant so he looked grotesque.  Patrick liked the concept for the mutated infected, and they made giant mutant arms for the makeup.  Working on a film set was Evan’s dream, and this challenge was fulfilling it for him.

On set, Evan and his team worked well together to get the mutant painted and finish all the makeups.  When Patrick saw the wanderer, he wanted to remove the coat she was wearing, so Evan had to go in and cover her exposed skin with makeup to make her look dirty and camera-ready.  The judges said they loved the captive’s veins, the mutant arms and how on the ball they were as a team.  Glenn liked how well Evan worked with Patrick.  Ve loved the paint jobs and cohesive characters, and Neville liked that he rethought the characters and managed to pull off the looks.

The cast of Quarantine Zone

The cast of Quarantine Zone


Ben added Jason on his team and they had to create a sacrifice victim that seduces the creature.  She needed to be beautiful and more human-like.  They had lots of pieces to apply, but there was some trouble with the victim.  The edges around her mouth lifted, so they added blood to make the flaw look like a wound.  Ben pre-painted most of the pieces, and although Jason was freaking out about the female character, Ben was happy.  This night shoot was really dramatic by the light of a fire, and the priest and creature got a lot of praise for their cohesiveness and forms, but the judges did notice the issues with the female victim (no victim picture available).

A shot from Ben's short Resurrection

A shot from Ben’s short Resurrection


Nora added Ricky to her team.  She had to create a giant ally for the prey in order for them to trick the hunter.  Nora was really psyched to get her makeups done.  She did a great job controlling every detail, and drew the best out of her team. On set, she had to water proof the makeups due to a last-minute directing decision, but she took it in stride.  Neville loved the giant and thought he was badass, and Glenn loved how the mud and water worked well with the makeup.  It was a great shoot, and Nora got emotional over the whole experience.

The cast of The Prey

The cast of The Prey

The winner was Nora!!  They loved how she worked well on set and how cohesive the giant and prey were.  She wins a Fiat 500, $100,000, and a VIP trip to one of Kryolan’s international locations.

Hats off to all the finalists, and congratulations to Nora, winner of Face Off Season 9!  I’m sure she’ll blaze a trail in the movie makeup world.

I’ll see you here in January when Face Off comes back for a 10th season!

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 14: Werewolves Vs. Vamps!

Published April 17, 2014 by vfdpixie

As we continued on with the cliff hanger from last week, the guys were whisked off to another location.  They were still reeling at the fact that no one was eliminated!  A first time for Face Off!

They arrived at the Court of Miracles, on the back lot of Universal Studios.  This historical set was featured in films like The House of Dracula, The Mummy and The Wolf Man.  Once again, they were met by McKenzie and yummy production designer and director Patrick Tatopoulos for the second part of their challenge:  to create the vampire’s sworn enemy-the werewolf!  This nemesis had to come from the same world as their vampires in the previous challenge, and have a newly evolved feature that would take their vampire counterpart down.  Patrick’s advice was to create uncommon designs and to remember most of all, that the werewolves and vamps had to come from the same world.  At Elimination Day, the judges would consider BOTH creations to decide on the final 3 artists for the finale.  And as an added treat, Patrick was a guest judge.

George created a vampire that mutated into a werewolf.  He got to work and was advised by Mr. Westmore to make the face look more canine.  The massive head and neck mold took its toll on him physically again, as he had some bad wrist pain.  He had a last-minute issue when he found out his model was switched, so he had to rework the mouth to fit the new model’s face.  That modification ate up his time, so he scrambled in last looks to get all the details right.  The end result was a werewolf that was definitely from the same world as his vampire.  Even though Ve pointed out the paint job was rough up close, it looked great from afar.  they liked the creature’s profile, and the elegant shape which Neville thought looked bat-like.  He liked that the skin looked unique like shark skin.  Patrick really liked the ripped flesh effect and they thought both monsters looked similar and loved the back story.

Niko’s werewolf was a warrior that used spikes from its body to slay vampires.  Mr. Westmore told him to make the mouth bigger, and Niko took his advice.  He was scared because the judges didn’t like his vampire.  The ears on his werewolf had to be patched up and that took time on the last day, but he managed to create something original.  I thought the face was weird, but the judges appreciated his concept and originality.  Although they thought the ears were too flat, they liked the profile and thought the character was captivating.  It just scraped by looking like a werewolf, and the colour scheme was too limited, but they liked how the corners of the mouth were crafted.  Ve was impressed.

Tyler was happy he had a second chance.  His werewolf was a hunter that used an extension of bones in his arms to slay vamps.  He wanted to create a werewolf in mid-transformation but Mr. Westmore warned him to make sure the features were more dog-like, and to really bring his A game or else the werewolf would look too much like a vampire.  This threw Tyler for a loop.  He had to move away from the group to focus, and Mr. Westmore and McKenzie came back to assure him he was talented and to go for it.  This gave him the confidence to carry on and with a breakthrough, he created a new face even though his was short on time.  He was certain he made the right decision.  The finished makeup was an improvement from last week.  The judges thought it was more of a traditional werewolf, and the design of the skull transitioning to a human shape was beautiful for Glenn.  Ve thought he looked like he could kick ass, and they also liked the “superb” hair work and proportion.

Rashaad had a unique werewolf concept.  he created an Asian inspired werewolf with dragon qualities because his was bitten on a fire moon.  Mr. Westmore’s only comment was to make sure it wasn’t too dark so he wouldn’t lose detail.  Rashaad wanted to have finger extensions, and used his own hands to cast a mold.  Things were going well until he tried to open the molds and the broke.  This total disaster lead him to get crafty and use latex, hot glue and paper towel to make these fingertips…sounds like my last date…I kid, people, I kid…I actually don’t know what a date is these days, but I digress…he airbrushed hair onto his werewolf to create a beautiful makeup.  The judges thought it moved well on the model’s face, and liked the lower lip, but felt the chest could have used more treatment like paint or carrying the sculptural detail from the face down.  Glenn thought it was unorthodox in a good way and original but didn’t look like it could fight its vampire counterpart.  Neville thought it was a beautiful palette and liked how the ears were positioned to imply aggression.

The guys really went for it.  During their last days creating their werewolves, they reflected on their hard work and what it took to get to this moment.  George felt they were all doing this for their families, and Rashaad pointed out how they had become a little family of their own.  I really liked how they all became friends even though it was a competition.  Talk about decent guys with mature attitudes.  Take heed future contestants!  This final group is a lesson on how to go through stressful situations with confidence minus the ego, talent and courtesy.  Just goes to show you that one doesn’t have to be a jerk to succeed!

The judges had it tough but decided on George as the winner.  He was the first pick for the finale because of his terrific concept and both makeups looked like they came from the same world.  Tyler was next up because of his rebound from last week.  They loved his beautiful sculpt, paint job and hair work.  Last but not least was Rashaad.  They thought his werewolf was interesting but it was his vampire that put him over the top.  Unfortunately, Niko didn’t make the cut.  The judges appreciated his daring ideas but it was rough around the edges.  They thought he was a great concept artist and would do well.  He left the show with more confidence, creativity and hope for his career and future.  I loved Niko, not only for his talent but because he was so freakin’ adorable, but I think the right people in are in the finale.  I keep saying this but I mean it:  I can’t wait for 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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