I love going to the movies where I get to escape inside a film that is filled with adventure and enhanced with special effects and creatures (if watching a horror or fantasy film). I find myself asking “How the heck did they do that?” It’s amazing! What magic tricks do they use to create these landscapes and creatures that seem so real to me? With the wide use of CGI (computer generated images) the unbelievable is now possible on the screen. Yes, a good story plot is important, but so are the creatures. When a movie has both a good story and special effects, then we are transported to another place and time and for a few hours we get to live in an alternate universe. How is the magic accomplished? Well thanks to the SyFy Channel, I’m finding out. More after the jump.
I guess I should thank my oldest granddaughter (the fashion designer/ Steampunk sidekick) for getting me hooked on reality shows. She was the one who urged me to watch “Project Runway,” a show which allowed budding designers a chance to compete with other young designers for the big prize of 100,000 dollars and a chance to create their own line of clothing. I learned a lot about the world of fashion and what my granddaughter hopes to achieve, but I would only watch once in a great while. Then Syfy came up with its own version of a “Project Runway” and I was hooked, clay, paint and prosthesis. Instead of high fashion clothing intended for the catwalk, “Face Off,” which premiered on SyFy in January of 2011, required its young designers to create a full make-up character from either a horror, fantasy or science fiction theme. Actress McKenzie Westmore, who is the daughter of Michael Westmore, is the show’s host.
I really need to learn how to sew and work with clay because the grand prize for “Face Off” is $100,000 cash, a 2013 Fiat 500, and a position as a guest lecturer at the Make Up For Ever Academy in New York and Paris. Each week a contestant is eliminated until there is only one left to win the prize.
The judges for the show are Ve Neill who has 30 years in the special make-up business, Glenn Hetrick owner of Optic Nerve Studio, with his own long list of accomplishments with shows like Buffy, Angel, X-Files, and Neville Page whose love of Stars Wars and Science Fiction led him into designing lush futuristic landscapes. John Rhys-Davies acclaimed British actor who starred in movies like Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and as Gimli the Dwarf in the Lord of the Rings films, was the guest judge this past week, and as an added treat, Michael Westmore will be mentoring this season’s contestants.
The talented contenders for season four are Alam Park, Alexandra McCoy, Anthony Kosar, Autumn Cook, David Greathouse, Eric Fox, Eric Zapata, Jenna Green, Katherine Machaiek, Kristian Kobzina, Meagan Hester, Michael Faust, Troy Rivers and Wayne Anderson.
In Season Four’s first episode, the contestants had to create a Goblin King from seven different environments which included mountain, jungle, desert, swamp, volcanic,forest, and arctic. It was amazing to watch how they put together their characters. Sculpting clay, paint, cloth, and all kinds of prosthetics were flying every which way, as the group rushed to beat the deadline. The group, which was broken up into teams only had three days to create their king. Three days! It takes me that long to thread a needle! On the last day, the models arrived and the whole place went into overdrive as the artists rushed to apply the makeup and prosthesis to their models.
Winners and Losers
After the contestants and their characters came out onto the stage, the judges reviewed all the costumes and declared that Alam, Katherine, Greathouse,and Kristian were safe, which meant for this round they could not be sent home. Meagan and Anthony were the top team with their Mountain Goblin King, but since there can only be one winner, Anthony was it. Eric Z and Autumn’s Jungle Goblin King, and Eric F and Jenna’s Desert Goblin King, were picked by the judges for best looking characters. Unfortunately for Troy and Michael who had designed the Volcanic Goblin King and Alexandra and Wayne, who had designed the Swamp Goblin King, the judges picked them for the worst looking characters. But there can only be one loser, so, Troy who
worked on the Volcanic Goblin King, was eliminated from the show. The judges didn’t seem at all happy with his work on the Volcanic Goblin King’s face make-up or for the volcanic crown.
If you like decent reality shows and you’re not busy on Tuesday nights, take some time to watch “Face Off” which airs at 9 PM EST on the Syfy Channel. If you’re like me and want to know how they make some of the creatures you see in the movies… then this is the show for you.