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September 3, 2015

Syfy's 'Face Off' Preview: Inside the Art of Making Monsters

by Mike Moody, posted Jan 26th 2011 11:10AM
face off syfyThere's really nothing unique or inventive about Syfy's new reality competition series 'Face Off' -- except for the monsters, of course.

'Face Off' pits 12 special effects makeup artists against each other in a series of timed challenges. The prize: $1,000,000 and a year's worth of professional makeup supplies.

In the series premiere, airing tonight at 10PM ET on Syfy, a mix of Hollywood pros and up-and-coming artists compete in two different challenges and reveal some spectacular work.

It may sound like every other reality show on the block, but 'Face Off' is full of imagination. The creativity springs from the demented minds and skilled hands of the show's contestants, who craft some of the strangest and creepiest creatures you'll ever see on TV.

In a matter of hours, the contestants transform run-of-the-mill models into eccentric elephant men, 6-foot bug boys and ballerina bird ladies.

'Face Off' boasts a panel of talented judges who are titans in the field of movie and TV makeup and special effects. Oscar-nominated make-up artist Ve Neill ('Pirates of the Caribbean,' 'Edward Scissorhands'), TV makeup pro Glenn Hetrick ('Heroes,' 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer,') and creature designer / filmmaker Patrick Tatopoulos ('Underworld,' 'Independence Day') use their experience and expertise to critique the contestants' work and inspire them to push their creativity to the next level:

Here's a sneak preview of tonight's premiere, featuring the contestants conceptualizing their designs for the night's big challenge:

The show's structure is pretty routine, generally adhering to the 'Project Runway' / ' Design Star' model. The judges are sharp and articulate, if not enormously entertaining, and the execution is a little sloppy (admittedly, I did screen a rough cut of the premiere), but 'Face Off' excels in depicting each artist's unique creative process and, of course, showing off their bloody-good creations.

Watch the full episode here:

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I just watched the first episode last night and I have to say Face Off is off to a great start! While the format is nothing new the subject matter is. And as a fan of the Horror and SciFi genres I certainly appreciate getting some insight into the hard work these people put in to ignite our imaginations. As a DISH Network employee and subscriber I try to watch as many of the new series as I can to stay up to date and this one made an impression. I am certainly glad I recently upgraded to HD though, as the added clarity really matters for a show that’s all about the details. With the price of flat panel HD TV’s coming down so much and DISH offering HD free for life on their top packages why not? I’m looking forward to the rest of this season and am excited to see where this show goes from here.

February 04 2011 at 2:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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