Face Off S2-7: Alien Interpreters

Alien Interpretations

SyFy’s Face Off is the competition to go for special effects makeup madness. We now have 8 artists all vying for the money, car, makeup and the title of Face Off Champion.

If you’re not interested in spoilers, then you should re-sculpt and try again!

We start the new episode with Jerry upset. He’s raging mad that even though he was on top the last challenge that the judges had critiques for him, but none for Sue. Not only does he think he should have won the last challenge, he was unimpressed with Sue’s sculpting ability.

Talking to her cohort, Sue feels that she has finally gotten her revenge by winning a challenge. She also thinks that will shut all of the naysayers in the house up. Suuure. Matt thinks that everyone has to up their game, or they’re going home.

Patrick and McKenzie next to the sketches.
Patrick and McKenzie next to the sketches.

Picture This

The artists enter the lab and see a police hover car next to a bunch of concept sketches of alien creatures. McKenzie tells the artists that their guest judge is the special effects artist behind scenes in the upcoming remake of Total Recall. That artist sketched the concept designs that they will use in their next Spotlight Challenge. And who is this guest judge extraordinaire? Regular judge Patrick Tatopoulos.

The artists are tasked to create an original alien from Patrick’s sketch, emphasizing what they bring to table on his idea. There are four designs and one by one the artists pick a design.

RJ's sketch
RJ's sketch
Ian's tablet sketch
Ian's tablet sketch
Ian's hand drawn sketch
Ian's hand drawn sketch

Design Phase

RJ starts by putting Patrick’s sketch on a tablet then altering it. He gets his ideas from one point and then manipulates it as he goes along.

Tara’s sketch has her guy in a t-shirt and jeans. The focus is a large arm extensions that are as big as his body.

Ian sketches a naked bat lady who is apparently a stripper for Nosferatu. Matt is designing a more sterile or albino variation of Patrick’s dark drawing. Beki really likes the tubing in the picture she chose, so she will emphasize that.

Sculpting Phase

Ian talks to Jerry about making his bat lady. Jerry says to make his the best/sexiest bat lady every. But, Ian doesn’t want a sexy bat lady; he wants a creepy bat lady. He should probably re-think his sketching then, because it was hard to see past the nips. If you don't believe me, click on the picture and check it out.

Jerry thinks his sketch is pretty similar to Patrick’s, but he’ll have layers of vacu-form which will make it look like you’re seeing through a layer of pectin.

Ian’s afraid he’s made his design too complicated and now he’s worrying up a storm.

Interrogation Time

Patrick arrives sans McKenzie to see what the artists are up to as well as to give them some pointers and insight. He is the client, so who better?

Matt: Patrick suggests adding more brown and sepia tones to Matt’s albino creature. The issue with something all white is that on camera, it looks too bright.

Ian: Patrick thinks Ian should emphasize the humpback part of his sketch and thinks the front shouldn’t be too tight.

Beki: She’s working on making the arms look like they’re being powered from the body. Patrick suggests adding bruising to give it a more realistic look.

Jerry: Patrick likes the way his ideas are going as well as the sketch.

Rayce: Patrick likes that the sketch is lean in the middle and the extremities have a lot of sculpted pieces.

Tara: She wants to use a plastic grab claw as her extended arm, but she’s concerned about the mean face since she doesn’t do many mean faces. Patrick likes the idea of the arm and the claws since the alien in his picture has very un human like hands.

Sue: She admits that she takes a long time with the sculpt, so she’s going to focus on the head and the hands. Patrick is concerned that an alien with the body that’s too human will look disconnected.

RJ: Patrick thinks that though RJ is keeping much of his design, RJ is also pushing the look forward.

Jerry feels a little insecure about his work, but he hopes he can get over that little part.

Drama Anyone? Yes, Please

In the molding room, Jerry is going off on Sue’s sculpture in the last challenge. He thinks her sculpting sucks as loud as he can, so lo and behold, cut to Sue looking like “again? I won the last challenge, so I thought he’d shut up”.

Beki has no idea why Jerry is going off on Sue. Maybe she’s forgotten why she went off on Brea, Miranda (remember her) and Sue in the past. Probably. Beki doesn’t think he should be degrading Sue because he’s feeling threatened.

Ah, maybe it’s not the same. Beki really hasn’t felt threatened by the women she’s butted heads against. Hmm, just noticed they were all chick and she gets along with the men, even Jerry, just fine. She really doesn’t feel threatened by anyone there, since she thinks she’s the best. I’ll give her one thing. She is complex.

Jerry, on the other hand, isn’t complex at all. He’s upset because he didn’t win the last challenge. That’s all. He has 20 years experience and Sue just graduated and he thinks he should be winning more. Boo hoo, Jerry, boo hoo.

Work Drama, Just To Balance It Out

Tara tries to pull out her extended arm mold, but it didn’t work. The problem seems to lie with the small crevices, since it didn’t fill up properly.

RJ’s head piece is cracked, so he has to switch up his method to poly foam instead of foam. The issue with poly foam is that it isn’t as flexible.

Tara tries another method to create a new arm. It seems to work out when until it collapses on the floor. Tara admits she lost the fight and her creature isn’t going to have arm extensions after all.

Ian’s ears don’t fill properly, leaving gaps. His edges are thick and his head piece has a huge tear in it. The guy just can’t seem to get a break.

RJ’s back head piece is so hard he has to add a strap for it to stay on. His biggest issue is that his face piece can’t go on until the back head piece is on and since he doesn’t want his model to have to wear this for 4 hours, it’s just going to have to wait until the very end.

Jerry goes to help Ian, who’s really struggling to get his piece together. Jerry suggests to make his cut look like a scar while Ian glues parts of the ear back in place.

LeVar Burton as Geordi LaForge
LeVar Burton as Geordi LaForge
Glen, Ve, Patrick and LeVar
Glen, Ve, Patrick and LeVar
Beki's creature
Beki's creature
Matt's creature
Matt's creature

It’s Geordi LeForge!

McKenzie announces the judges and guest judge LeVar Burton. All of the artists squee with seeing the Star Trek: The Next Generation actor and my cheeks hurt from smiling so much. They’re geeking out and so am I.

The Audition

The models come out one by one and try to sell the artist's masterpieces. Often it's to a comment or two by one artist or another. On this occasion, however, each artist made a comment or two about their work and how they perceived it.

Sue: She finally notices that the face of her being looks different from the rest of the body. All she did was the head and now she sees that it looks like she did nothing.

Beki: She’s proud of herself for doing something so elaborate in such a small period of time.

Rayce: He loves his paint job and how the red pops.

Jerry: If he had to grade himself, he would give his work a 7 considering the time given.

Ian: He’s afraid that so many points of the makeup were unsalvageable.

Matt: The look is exactly what he envisioned and he feels really great about that.

RJ: He’s really happy with the silhouette and delivered what he said he would to his client.

Tara: She was hoping her paint job would save her, but it’s looking really flat with no contrast at all.

Rayce with his model
Rayce with his model
Sue's creation
Sue's creation
Jerry's creation
Jerry's creation
Ian's creation
Ian's creation
RJ's creation
RJ's creation
Tara's creation
Tara's creation

The Close Up

McKenzie announces that Beki and Matt are safe with the rest of the artists making the top and the bottom for this challenge.

Rayce: Glen thought there was an impressive amount of sculpting with great symmetry in a short period of time. Ve thought the look was organic and had a superhero feel to it. Patrick thought his sketch had more parts, but felt that the much sleeker look was the way to go. LeVar was really impressed with the eyes and didn’t mind that the model couldn’t see out of it, because he could never see out of eyepiece on Star Trek: TNG.

Sue: Ve thought it was cleaver to use all of the fake fingernails to make them look like quills, but was disappointed that she didn’t do anything with the hands. Patrick thought there was a huge issue with her concentrating on one part of the look, because there is a bigger picture she just ignored. Glen felt that she missed the mark with the anatomy and that Patrick’s design didn’t read monkey.

Jerry: Ve asked him why he chose the colors he did. He answers because he likes them and she responds that’s not a good enough reason. To her, the head piece just looks like a Halloween mask. LeVar felt that the blue coloring, the fins gave the creature an aquatic look and screamed fish to him. Jerry didn’t think that blue = water and red = fire, so why be so clichéd? LaVar reminded Jerry that he must think of the audience’s frame of reference. Glen looked beside himself and told him that the makeup fails.

Ian: Glen asks his loaded from 1-10, how well did you think you did question. Ian says 5 or 6 and this time, Glen tells him he’s selling himself short. He thought the make up was stellar. Ve had 3 words: Awesome, bitchin’ and groovy. Patrick thought his art was inspiration and Ian made a creation that was 10 times better.

RJ: Patrick thought that he took the design to another place and that was great. The arms felt a little out of proportion, but overall a good job. LeVar was impressed with the head sculpture and the back of it reminded him of a Mayan temple.

Tara: Tara started her own critique by admitting that she made arm extensions that failed. LeVar asked about the mouth. She explained that she made teeth, but they weren’t fitting properly, so she just ripped them out. Glen told her she second guessed herself with her decision making process to much. Patrick told her that when you lose something iconic to the creature, you need to bring something else to replace it.

The Curtain Call

The Most Liked: Rayce had a slick, sparce, but detailed creature that was camera ready. The head on RJ’s creature stood out and was like a dinosaur ready to strike. Ian’s make up was well done and really cool.

The Least Liked: Sue started with great makeup and stopped. Her creature didn’t even resemble Patrick’s sketch at all. Tara lost the arm and jaw, but even worse she didn’t even fight. Jerry’s issue was that he was unable to deal with criticism of the client at all. He’s also not executing with the passion or level of detail or even worse he doesn’t care about the details or making something pristine at all.

The winner of the challenge gets a special gift: tickets to the premiere of the upcoming Total Recall. He proves that nice guys right out of special effects school can finish first. Ian takes the win and hopefully this will boost his confidence a little more.

Exit, Stage Left

Tara, Jerry and Sue are up on the block. Glen tells Tara that she has poor time management and lacks decision making skills. He tells Jerry that painting is his fatal flaw. Lastly, he tells Sue that her issue was for neglecting the rest of the body.

Leaving first is…Tara. She really is talented, but she needs to trust her gut. Ah, I remember episode one all to well, “I think I’m going to miss you most of all.

Who should have been the first one sent home?

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Now it’s between Sue and Jerry. The entire episode has been leading to this moment. Jerry hates Sue because she is inexperienced. Of course, he helps Ian who’s just as inexperienced, but he likes him, so whatevs. Sue just cries. No wait, she actually didn’t cry this episode. I feel like that’s a revelation in and of itself. I’m proud of her for that. The second artist to get the boot is Jerry, who made good choices, but had a really bad paint job.

Jerry feels that because of his background and portfolio the judges had certain expectations of him. Yeah, Jerry, they expected you to be good.

Who should have been the second person sent home?

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