Spotlight Challenge

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Face Off Season 11, Episode 1: Green Screen Aliens!

Published January 25, 2017 by rmpixie

 

And just like that, Face Off is back for season 11.

 

This time, it’s an all-star show, with artists from previous seasons coming together in teams of two to show their prosthetics prowess.

The gang waited by a seaside lighthouse as they waited on a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter that held the lovely host McKenzie Westmore. This season, she promised twists and turns, the first being that the contestants would win and lose as a team, meaning if they were eliminated, they would both go home. There would be plenty of chances to show their skill however, a team will be eliminated every other week. This means immunity for the winners and another chance for the bottom teams.

For the first Spotlight Challenge of the season, the teams would have to draw from The Abyss, War of the Worlds and unusual deep sea creatures to create their own alien beings. In order to give their creations that otherworldly look, they would incorporate green screen technology-a Face Off first-to remove any part of their model’s body in order to make a creature no one has seen before.

Michael Westmore would be back to mentor and advise. He looked amazing as ever, and seems to never age. Glenn Hetrick, Ve Neill and Neville Page were also back as the resident judges we know and love so much. Of course the grand prize would be a trip to one of Kryolan’s international locations, a spiffy new car and $100,000 cash.

Cig and George (Season 7). These self-professed “loveable goofballs” are friends and had a real bromance going. They used a Rough Back Batfish for their aristocratic alien.   They created extra skin with cling wrap to fill gaps that when the appliances didn’t match up and came out with a cool looking, whimsical alien that the judges liked. I thought the concept was great and loved the face along with the judges. They were safe.

Niko and Cat (Season 6): This cute couple are still together and going strong. They picked a Vampire Squid for their alien, and used George’s belly as a reference for their sculpt. As per usual, it was their turn for a mold got stuck, but they broke it to save time. The end result showed that they had a good concept but the judges thought the design could have been better. I liked the squid skirt they created, and the judges liked the paint. They were also safe.

Logan and Adam (Season 8): These guys created an alien from the Veined Octopus and worked really well together. Their great head sculpt got them a safe place too.

Ben and Evan (Season 9): Their alien Japanese Spider Crab would have a green screen effect to emphasize giant crab legs. The sculpt was so heavy with clay that it fell over, leaving them a bit of a mess and more time wasted fixing it. The alien looked cool but the giant legs put the judges off. Neville thought the creature was badly proportioned, and Ve thought the legs looked like totem poles painted by 3-year-old. Ouch! They were in the bottom.

Gage and Rachel (Season 1 and Season 7): Calling themselves Team Rage, these two picked a Skeleton Shrimp to build a bioluminescent alien from a water planet. They teamed up well with Rachel focusing on details for the sculpt and Gage good with large body work. Their design impressed the judges, leaving them thinking it was the best use of green screen to convey space and the fabricated claws were well done. Glenn thought the sculpt was a tad rough but it worked for the challenge. They were in the top looks.

Emily and Tyler (Season 8 and Season 6): Their Deep Sea Dragonfish was to become a seductive alien who lures her prey. Mr. Westmore told them to steer away from doing a beauty makeup as it would be too distracting. They ended up with a great paint job and I liked the face too. They were safe.

Jasmin and Stella (Season 9 and Season 7): Their alien would also have no legs and would be inspired by the Helmet Jellyfish. The final look was a little messy looking, and they also had proportion issues. Glenn didn’t like the way the arms kept crossing, taking away from the green screen effects. They were in the bottom looks.

Keaghlan and Melissa (Season 7 and Season 10): They wanted to take bold risks with the Flying Gurnard inspired alien. She would be a psychic alien queen with a large floating head. The judges loved the paint and face, graphic elements and design, and Ve just thought it was “bitchin”. They were in top looks.

 

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The winner was Keaghlan and Melissa for the gorgeous head and the background they chose to show their makeup. They have immunity for next week. Ben, Evan, Jasmine and Stella have another change to step up their game at the start of an interesting season!

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Face Off Season 10 Episode 12: Creatures from Skull Island!

Published March 31, 2016 by rmpixie

The final four artists had to pull out all the stops to make it to the finale, and this time, they would do it in the jungle.  They met in a green paradise with different dig sites surrounding them.  Their Spotlight Challenge would involve the legendary King Kong and his origins from Skull Island.  Executive producer for Universal Creative Mike West was their guest for the challenge intro because his newest project for Universal Orlando revolved around the giant simian.  Skull Island:  Reign of Kong, an interactive attraction where visitors get lost in an intense adventure and encounter different prehistoric species before they meet Kong would be the inspiration for the artists.  West explained that Skull Island was kept warm due to thermal winds, allowing prehistoric creatures to survive, evolve, and become more dangerous and intelligent.  Their challenge was to choose one creature from the dig sites and imagine how it would evolve if it had survived on Skull Island.  The winner of this challenge would get a trip for two to Universal Orlando Resorts and first dibs at a visit to Reign of Kong, as well be the first person picked for the finale.

Rob created an evolved V. Rex or Vastatosaurus, a giant dinosaur creature.  He made the evolved character smaller, adapting to the indigenous people to become a dinosaur/human hybrid.  He had trouble right from the start and felt the face was too cartoony.  He added teeth to cover a smiley mouth and give it a more fierce look.  Mr. Westmore told him to pick his detailing placements wisely.  He took a lot of time with the reptilian scales by drawing a grid and rounding out the edges of each little square.  It took a long time but he was happy with the result. He created a crocodile inspired back piece and had to work fast to save time, but quickly ran out when it came to painting.  He had to throw on hemp fibers to cover areas he didn’t paint and was panicked by the end of last looks.  I thought his head sculpt was amazing!  The judges thought so too, although they thought he should have covered the model’s shoulders and the paint should have enhanced the detailed sculpting.

Rob and his V. Rex

Rob and his V. Rex

 

 

Walter picked a bat-like creature called Terapusmordax.  He designed an evolved creature that had wings as well as arms for battle.  He added a lot of texture to the face and Mr. Westmore advised him to go tan with the colour and enhance it with lots of shading for a leathery look.  Walter fabricated wings, but broke a spring mechanism that would have made them unfold and had to settle for a static wing.  He used a thin layer of latex with holes in it for a war-worn look to the wing skin, and painted on veins.  The judges loved his character! They felt the facial forms were impressive, the paint job incorporated great tones, and he added great detail to the creature’s eyes.  They would have liked the wings to fold down, but they let that go because the character was definitely inspired by Skull Island.

Walter and his Terapusmordax

Walter and his Terapusmordax

 

 

Mel worked on a Decarnocimex .  It was an insect with a rounded exoskeleton.  She designed an upright hybrid with a hunched back.  She first came up with a multiple eyed creature, but Mr. Westmore felt it could look like a mask, so she started over again, using different bug references and geometrical shapes to map out the face.  She was also worried about fabrication, but with a little ingenuity and duct tape, she came up with a decent tail.  She pre-painted as much as she could, and used a crown to cover areas that were exposed.   The judges appreciated the amount of work she put into the character as well as the elegant look.  It was nice up close for them, and they loved the fabrication.

Mel and her Decarnocimex

Mel and her Decarnocimex

 

 

Melissa’s Arachnocidis or Arcachno-Claw, was a scavenger that set traps for food.  She wanted to go outside of her comfort zone and created mandibles in the face.  She made bumps in the face sculpt with pearls, and made sure every detail in the face sculpt was perfect before molding.  She fabricated pincers, chest armour, and mandibles, and did a ton of painting.  The judges loved the forms and paint job.  They felt there was a balance between fabrication and makeup, and it was a complete and aesthetically pleasing character.

Melissa and her Arachno-Claw

Melissa and her Arachno-Claw

 

 

The winner of this challenge and of the trip was Melissa!!  They loved her concept and felt it was the best realized character.  She was the first to get to the finale, and was really honoured.  She was also stoked to take her son to the Skull Island attraction.

The second person going to the finale was Walter.  His character was definitely of Skull Island stock and had some cool sculptural aspects.

The third person in the finale would be Rob for his incredibly detailed sculpting which is clearly his gift.

That meant Mel was going home.  The judges had a hard time picking her since she really delivered this challenge, and recognized her talent.  She felt privileged to be on the show and to have made it that far.

McKenzie would leave the 3 finalists in suspense, only revealing that there was something big in store next week with a special guest.  Bring on the finale!!

Face Off Season 10 Episode 9: Valkyrie Goddesses and Genies!

Published March 10, 2016 by rmpixie

This was another cool episode.  The show started right into a Foundation Challenge where the winner would walk away with immunity.  The artists found models with gorgeous wings waiting for them.  McKenzie told them they had to create a Valkyrie warrior Goddess and draw on Norse mythology.  Their guest judge would be Emmy-award winning makeup artist Douglas Noe, who worked on Thor and Pulp Fiction.  He wanted to see shapes, angles and a colour palette that wasn’t garish. He also wanted to see a story without using words.

Robert had an interesting concept.  Instead of a beauty makeup, he emphasized the warrior aspect and used blood splatter as on top of the warrior paint.  Walter used reds and blacks for his goddess who collected dead warriors that died by fire.  Melissa created a fallen warrior who transformed into a Valkyrie with a white forehead and ring detail.  Yvonne went for a mother Nature vibe.  Douglas like her use of colour, Melissa’s concept and clear vision, and wanted Walter to go further with his colour choices.  The winner was Melissa, who would now have immunity.  She’s been lucky with bypassing the gauntlet and this immunity win.

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For the Spotlight Challenge, genies were the dish of the day.  The gang had to choose from different vessels to create a mischievous genie character.  Bill Corso would be their next guest judge for this challenge, who worked on Deadpool, Star Wars:  The Force Awakens and Foxcatcher.

Rob chose a heavily carved vessel with Mayan details.  His concept involved a primitive culture that finds the vessel and releases a genie who becomes a deity.  Mr. Westmore told him to make the nose more prominent to mimic the Incan or Maya detailing.  Rob liked his concept but realized creating symmetry was really difficult.  He wanted perfection but was running out of time.  He ended up with a ton of details to finish in last looks, and didn’t get all of the body painted, but it was a great look regardless.  The judges thought it was unique and successful up close.  He made solid and daring decisions, and Neville thought the Mayan details and cultural references were great.  Bill thought the colour and design was smart and beautiful.  He was in top looks.

Mel’s gazelle covered vessel inspired her to create a human/gazelle hybrid.  She was having a hard time sculpting something that didn’t look like a cat.  Mr. Westmore suggested she use the patterns in the vessel which were a bit more obvious than the  animal concept.  This would eat some of her time up, but she used cups and plastic tubing to mimic the designs in the vessel.  She wasn’t thrilled, but it was something.   She used teal, bronze, gold and silver with black to give the paint finish an aged look.  Gluing on the lips was a bit of an issue, but she finally got the makeup finished.  The judges could see the rough application, and the arbitrary design.  Neville thought it wasn’t an attractive makeup, and Bill thought it wasn’t anatomically feasible.  She was in bottom looks.

Walter picked a vessel accented with dragons.  He wanted to do a reptilian-witch character.  He was in his element since he really loved the fantasy genre, and really wanted a win this challenge.  Mr. Westmore liked the witch nose he sculpted, and Walter was happy with his work.  He ran into some trouble when he was molding his cowl.  He had to rush it and with the help of the other artists, cracked it open but thankfully it came out nicely.  His paint job consisted of black and gold, and the makeup turned out amazing!  The judges loved the sculpting, consistent scaling and metallic paint.  Glenn thought it fulfilled the challenge with the mischievous genie and told a story.  He was in top looks.

Yvonne created an elephant genie to match the vibe of her vessel.  She didn’t really have any problems except for some patching on the cowl.  She did another amazing paint job with lots of highlight and contour to give the character a lot of dimension, but the judges didn’t think it read genie and it wasn’t appropriate for the challenge.  Melissa’s genie was just weird.  She had a metallic finish with what the judges thought looked like a disease detailing.  She was lucky she had immunity.  Yvonne was also in the safe zone this week.

Robert went weird again, and decided on a cat genie demon that partied a lot.  Mr. Westmore told him to go more fantasy instead of a literal cat, and Robert suggested to add horns to the face.  He didn’t do a cowl; focusing on the genie’s face.  He had some issues with the chin staying down, but was able to sort it out.  His genie was….interesting.  The judges thought it was inappropriate for the challenge, and too goofy.  Bill felt the ears were coming out of the eye sockets and wanted brighter colours.  Glenn thought it was a successful makeup but didn’t fulfill the challenge at all.  This put him in the bottom looks.

 

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The winner was Walter!  He finally got his win by proving he had talent with “successfully integrated references” and a fantastic paint job.  The person going home would be Robert.  They thought his humour sent him down the wrong path this time, but loved his uniqueness.  His final thought was that his final look was a symbol of creative freedom and a gift to us all.  Oh, and he says, “You’re so welcome” in advance.  Um, thanks Robert…I’ll miss that kooky dude!

Face Off Season 9 Episode 10: Sideshow Freaks!

Published September 30, 2015 by rmpixie

It was time for the artists to work for immunity again.  For this Foundation Challenge, they would have to create their own intimidating tribal warrior by mimicking scarification, tattoos, piercings and body paint.  The makeup would have to be applied to the model’s entire upper body instead of just the face, and they would use the unique and treacherous weapons each model carried as inspiration.  Their guest judge was makeup artist Robin Mathews, who won an Oscar for The Dallas Buyers Club.  She told them for that film they had a low budget, so she had to use “paint and powder” to highlight and contour the actors instead of facial prosthetics.  She would be looking for resourcefulness with their use of products. They all did some great warrior makeups, but the ones that stood out for Robin were Meg for her simple but detailed and realistic magenta warrior, and Scott for his organic, earthy cracked clay warrior.  The winner was Scott for his ingenious use of the clay.  He now had immunity for the Spotlight Challenge and was definitely relieved.

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The Big Top was the inspiration for the next challenge.  Like over the top carnival sideshows, the artists would have to create their own sideshow freaks, but with a more fantastical approach.  Their choices were put on a carnival wheel, and they spun it to get their characters.

Stevie got Icicle Irma.  She went with a woman who had a blue skin condition with a melting icicle face.  She realized the icicles would be tough to sculpt, and Mr. Westmore pointed out that her icicles looked more like boils.  He suggested that she do only half the face as well.  She revised the icicles by using dried hot glue drippings and added them to her face sculpt.  She had to apply them to the model’s face as well as paint and do a beauty makeup in last looks.  The judges liked the concept and she was safe.  Jordan did an Elephant Lady makeup.  To create this look, he used sheet foam, foam balls and spandex to create a lumpy elephant arm.  The judges thought he did a nice paint job, although Neville thought the finish looked more like stone than elephant hide.  He too was safe this week.

Scott created a look for Twisted Tom.  After Mr. Westmore tweaked his eye sculpt to look more twisted, he took his time with the makeup because he had immunity.  He sculpted an arm and chest piece, and used a freckling technique as he painted the makeup.  He went for details and even though the judges felt there could have been more skin disease used to cover his edges, they liked his vision.

Nora had Lobster Larry.  Once again, she needed a bit of time to figure out her concept.  She came up with a mobster lobster who was raised by the mob and had to hide out in the circus freak show.  Mr. Westmore told her to sell more lobster with her sculpt, and she created some cool lobster claws.  I loved this look!  The judges felt it was a clean application, excellent sculpt and good story.  Glenn thought it worked for the challenge, and even though Neville thought the face didn’t quite read lobster, he liked the gold grill on Larry’s teeth, calling him a “grilled lobster” which got some groans from the panel.

Meg got Inside-Out Oscar.  She wanted to create an exposed brain for her character who had a disease that made him shed his skin.  Mr. Westmore told her she needed a good muscle sculpt and muscle striation for the paint to stand out. After getting her stuck mold open with Scott’s help, Meg painted away, but felt it wasn’t the best representation of her work.  Her gooey character got no love from the judges.  Ve thought it was too simian looking, and there was no focus due to too many details.  They thought looked more like a ripped off skin instead of an inside-out character, and the skull sculpt didn’t quite make the cut.  She was in the bottom.

Evan worked on Moon Girl.  He went for a swollen acne/crater face with a piece of meteor in the head sculpt for some humour.  Mr. Westmore told him that the acne was too subtle and he needed a more aggressive sculpt.  Evan had to start over and unfortunately his face piece ripped.  He had to fix it as much as he could, and work out the rest with paint.  He was worried because it looked terrible to him up close.  His hillbilly Moon Girl missed the mark with the judges.  They thought it was rough, and although they liked the trailer trash beauty makeup, they thought his funny idea was a mess.  Evan agreed with them and he ended up in the bottom.

Ben’s concept for the Human Peacock was an M.C. for the freak show.  He sculpted a beak-like nose and created a collar with L2oo, warbla and layers of peacock feathers.  He also had to fix his face piece, and patched it in enough time to do a layered paint job.  The judges loved this makeup.  They thought it was the best thing he has done on the show.  Neville loved the texture, balance of the nose, lips and profile, and Ve loved the paint.  Glenn thought he captured the heart of the challenge which was to incorporate fantasy and human elements.

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The winner was Ben.  His was the only top look due to his clean makeup and blending of the traditional and fantastic.  He felt redeemed after a few bad spells.

Meg’s bad choices and improper anatomical sculpt sent her home.  She made it far into the challenge and she was proud of herself.  She did well and the judges could see only improvement from this point on.  Best of luck to her!

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