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Face Off S2-8: Burtonesque

Updated on March 3, 2012


SyFy’s Face Off is the competition to go for special effects makeup madness. We now have 6 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!

With only 6 artists left, the show is winding down quickly and coming down to the wire. All of the artists are starting to see the end of the journey, but they are also starting to miss their families.

Rayce seems especially homesick and really just wants to tuck his kids in. Instead of letting it get to him, which is does in the talking head, he wants to turn all of his emotions into his character to finally win something.

At the Watt's Towers
At the Watt's Towers
Rj's sketch
Rj's sketch
Sue and Matt sketch
Sue and Matt sketch

Spotlight Challenge

The artists arrive at the Watts towers where they find themselves awed by the urban artistic oasis. McKenzie tells them that the towers show how people can take ordinary things and make them extraordinary and that’s what director Tim Burton does.

Their next challenge will be to create a whimsical character inspired by an ordinary people that is worthy of being featured in a Tim Burton film. By the looks on the artists’ face, you’d think that McKenzie just said that their looks would actually be featured in one of his movies. It won’t be, it just needs to look like it should be.

McKenzie turns around a board with a bunch of professions and picks names out of a hat to see who gets to pick first. Sue picks toy maker, Beki picks baker, Rayce picks cellist, Matt picks ice cream man, Ian picks plumber and RJ gets bellhop.

Everyone is a little excited and anxious because head judge, Ve, has worked on 5 Tim Burton films. Um, the number's a little off. Want to know how many Burton films she’s worked on and which ones? Here you go: Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, Batman Returns, Ed Wood, Mars Attacks! and Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Not too far off, but she’s worked on 6 Burton films, including several of his classics.

While sketching, Beki, Rayce, Ian and RJ talk about how subtle the makeup work on Burton’s movies really are. Beki’s inspiration is Alice in Wonderland and that one is about as subtle as you can get in the Burton world.

Steampunk picture
Steampunk picture
The cabinet of Dr. Caligari from the German Expressionist movement
The cabinet of Dr. Caligari from the German Expressionist movement

Day 1

Ian decides to go fabrication heavy and subtler on appliances. He says that Tim Burton is steampunk, he’s going to go in that direction*. His plumber will be mechanically inclined and have a plunger and a metal backpack.

RJ grabs all of the dense foam since his bellhop has become a part of the luggage. He’s going to create drawers that open and be able to pull out clothing.

*Burton, Steampunk and A Rant From Me

When I heard Ian say that Tim Burton does a lot of steampunk, my first reaction was, “Huh?” Burton is known for his gothic look which is taken from the German Expressionist Movement from the 1920’s.

It’s highly stylized with a copious amount of shading, loads of black and white while taking something beautiful and pure and giving it a darker, more sinister look all the while keeping the purity of character. It also warps proportion as well and distorts angles. This would mean that instead of having a rectangular door it would be a trapezoid instead. Instead of having a regular hallway, it would get proportionately smaller the further you venture in.

Burton does work a lot with metal, but steampunk it is not. He has modernized expressionism inserting vibrant colors to juxtapose against the black and white he uses in scenery. He has done it with care, precision and so beautifully I think the directors of that era, like Robert Weine and Fritz Lang, would be proud. Phew, sorry I had to let that out, but a gal's gotta do what a gal's gotta do.

Sculpting Phase

Rayce’s idea is to have his cellist morph into a cello while having the cello morph into a human. He has a lot of ideas, but finally settles on this one.

Sue’s idea about a toymaker is that he exists in a town with no children, so he makes marionettes to become children. Where have I heard this before? Oh yeah, Pinocchio. Except Sue’s version has two puppets with their brains out. The only problem is that she’s never made a marionette before.

Sue and her sculpt eyepiece
Sue and her sculpt eyepiece

Ian sees that both he and Sue are doing pieces with one eye covered. He starts to panic. Finally, Sue decides to take hers off. She tells Ian that she’ll just attach her eye piece to her head mechanism instead. Oddly, she’s not panicking at all.

Day 2

Ian takes a good look at his edges and sees that they’re too thick. He’s bummed that he probably has to redo the whole thing now.

RJ’s shocked how well he’s managing his time. For this reason, he’s now able to work on the small details of his bellhop’s outfit.

Sue’s wondering why Beki’s only working on a cupcake. Beki has decided not to do a bunch to her baker’s face. Instead, she’s just going to hide the model’s eyebrows and add dental, all of which can be done on application day.

Chat and Smile

I hate to call it an interrogate and sneer with Ve, because she’s just so happy and encouraging with the artists unlike that other judge who isn’t Patrick, but will still be left unnamed.

RJ tells Ve that he’s going to mimic her process of applying makeup in the manner in which she did the Penguin in Batman and Robin. She tells him that it helps that the piece is the same color of the skin so that when you have it on you’ll still be working from a blank canvas.

Matt’s going for a tragic villain and Ve seems amused with the direction he’s going.

Ian shows Ve his prosthetic and she immediately notices how thick it is. He says that he’ll re-sculpt it if it doesn’t look good.

Rayce went through a lot of sketches, but thinks he’s just going to do a face prosthetic and a cello. Ve tells him that sometimes less really is more.

Sue goes on and on and on explaining her demented toymaker back story. She’s also doing a fat suit. Ve thinks that it’s a lot of work. Sue thinks that the judges just want to see her to a full on look, so she’s going for it.

Beki is going for a minimalist look with great paint, stripes and bright colors.

Ve likes Rayce’s character. She’s concerned about Ian and thinks Sue is biting off a lot and not budgeting her time well. She sees that Beki isn’t doing prosthetics, so she must do a fabulous paint job.

Day 2 Cont.

RJ sees that Sue seems to be doing another old age makeup and that’s the wrong way to go. He tells Beki that Sue’s look is really off the mark, but Beki says that at least she’s doing something.

Beki finally takes a look around and sees that everyone is sculpting a lot and second guesses herself. She thinks maybe she should be doing more sculpting.

Ian says that Burton has a lot of different looks to his films and he really doesn’t know which direction he should go.

Molding Phase

Matt molded his waffle shape and is using latex for the skin and poly foam for the waffle cone. He only has one waffle mold so he has to spend a lot of time drying and pouring the latex over and over again.

Sue has too much to do and she has finally realized that she has to edit. She’s removing one of the puppets and hopes that’s enough.

Drama Anyone? Hmmm, Maybe Not

Sue and Beki are having a little worry bonding session. Sue thinks that guys are bringing out the big guns for this challenge. Beki agrees and while they’re bringing out the big guns, her model’s just bringing out a cupcake.

Sue wants to prove herself. Beki thinks she’s skating on thin ice and if she doesn’t pull it together, she’s got some real problems ahead.

Beki and her model
Beki and her model

Application Day

Sue is so behind she puts her model to work. RJ wonders about Sue’s sweatshop, but it could be the smartest thing she’s done all season since when they call time, her model doesn’t even have his makeup on.

While Rayce wants that first win, Beki is just concerned if she's done enough.

Glen, Ve, Patrick and Catherine O'Hara
Glen, Ve, Patrick and Catherine O'Hara
Ian's plumber, Beki's baker, Matt's Ice cream man, Sue's toymaker, Rayce's cellist and RJ's bellhop
Ian's plumber, Beki's baker, Matt's Ice cream man, Sue's toymaker, Rayce's cellist and RJ's bellhop

The Audition

McKenzie introduces the regular judges, Glen, Ve and Patrick as well as guest judge Catherine O’Hara whose worked on three Tim Burton films: Beetlejuice as Delia Deetz, Nightmare Before Christmas a the voice of Sally and Shock and the upcoming Frankenweenie as the voice of Edgar and Gym Teacher.

Ian: He thinks his model looks damn cook and like an after life plumber.

Beki: She loves her character. It’s colorful, striking and is exactly what she wanted it to be.

Matt: He loves the look. The model looks so colorful, so delicious looking and is a feast for the eyes.

Sue: She’s really proud of her work and can’t believe that she pulled it off.

Rayce: He can see his character in a Burton movie. He’s really tired of being the runner up and wants that win.

RJ: He’s ‘just loving’ what he’s done this challenge.

Matt's model offering icecream
Matt's model offering icecream
Rayce and his model
Rayce and his model
Ian and his model
Ian and his model
RJ and his model
RJ and his model

The Close Up

As the judges take a close up look at the models Ian is concerned as Glen pokes at his model’s backpack. Catherine sees that he’s made it by hand, but Ian’s just concerned it’s going to fall apart.

Matt’s ice cream man is selling his outfit and the huge ice cream he’s holding, offering it to Catherine. She seems amused answering “no thanks. I ate before.”

As the judges has her model open and close his mouth, Sue finally realizes that her look isn’t the most Burtonesque. Ve does notice the nice movement around the mouth.

Ve thinks Rayce’s cello is really cool, while RJ’s bellhop slaps a purple bra around Ve’s neck. The best thing about that is RJ’s face, which is a look of amusement and abject horror rolled into one. Ve’s pretty amused by it.

Overall, Catherine is impressed. When she thinks of Tim Burton, she thinks of the balance between dark and light and creepy and funny.

Matt: Glen tells Matt that this is what he’s been looking for in him. The balance of the makeup is wise. Ve loves the costume and makeup. She thinks that if Burton did a horror, this is how he’d do it. Catherine didn’t think the look was too scary. She thinks that the character just didn’t know how scary he would look to children and the overall impression is very Beetlejuice.

Beki: Catherine asks her what the hell she was thinking? After seeing the mortified look on Beki’s face, she modifies it to asking what her story was. After Beki responds that it a baker who fell in love with The Mad Hatter and he left her, Catherine responds that she did get the Burton stripes down. Glen thinks the look just echoes Burton’s look and doesn’t add anything to it. Ve is really disappointed how the look turned out. She thinks Beki spent so much time on the cupcake and it didn’t turn out as good as she thought. She was also hoping for a great paintjob and the whole thing was sloppy. Patrick thinks Beki has a great sense of shape and proportion, but a big mistake is that the teeth don’t belong to that character.

Rayce: Patrick thinks the look is very impressive and likes the way it curves. Catherine thinks the look is soulful and romantic. Glen applauds Rayce for doing something completely different. This look doesn’t look like Rayce’s signature looks that he’s done so far. Ve says the airbrush was great and loves how it homogenizes the whole look.

Sue: Ve doesn’t think the model looks like a Burton character at all. She even wonders if Sue even knows who Tim Burton is. Patrick thinks the most Burtonesque thing about the whole look is the marionette. Glen thinks the look is a hodge-podge of ideas and none of them went together. He did think that the silicone appliance was nice, however it kind of looked like the old age makeup she did.

Ian: Glen thinks the look was very Burtonesque, but his issue is that it doesn’t look like Ian’s work. Ve doesn’t think the look is a ‘total flunk’ and at least he understood that it was a Burton character. Patrick thinks he played it a lot safer than everyone else.

RJ: Ve says he did a great job on the chest piece with the curly cues and hat. She can see this is a Burton movie. Patrick is completely impressed. The attention to detail was very organic and architectural. Catherine thinks it was a really strong character. Glen thinks every facet of the character screams Burton, but yet RJ managed to make it his own.

The Curtain Call

The top group was Matt, Rayce and RJ. Matt had a look that was well balanced and captures the essence of Tim Burton. Rayce did a great job of integrating the props of the character into the makeup. RJ had a complete vision realized and the stylistic elements shined.

The winner is Rayce, who is overjoyed about his first win.

Who had to top look this week?

See results

Exit, Stage Left

The bottom group was Sue, Beki and Ian. Sue misfired and her look would have been better on a different challenge. Beki spent too much time on props and the makeup was poorly executed. Ian’s makeup was anemic and the whole look was lacking in creativity.

Who’s going home? Beki. Color me shocked and oddly disappointed. To quote Flo Evans from Good Times, “Damn, Damn, DAMN!”

Ve tells Beki that she has a lot of potential, but she has to out there and do more.

Who had the worst look?

See results


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      Eddy 3 years ago

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