Face Off Season 9: The Reality Of Movie Make Up (Part 2)

When we last left our final three, they had just gotten the updated script rewrites for the finale and learned they had to make a third make up design for their finale presentation. I was not all that surprised by the add a third make up twist, though I was impressed by the script rewrite. That means Patrick Tatopoulos didn’t just write three short film scripts for this finale, he wrote six. That is a huge amount of extra work for him to have done. So I don’t want to hear the designers whine about the huge amount of extra work they have to do in inventing a third character, especially since this is the show brings back more of our former contestants to assist. Jason, Libby and Ricky are back, and find themselves heading to Teams Ben, Evan and Nora respectively.

With a third set of hands per team,  the contestants consider their added creature. Team Evan, who has the “Slightly Infected Wanderer” and the “Very Infected,” just learned they now have the “Fully Infected Mutant” to add to their looks, and the “Very Infected” is now a prisoner. That’s rather unfortunate, since their “Very Infected” was already way too mutated, and they were planning on scaling back to “Middling Infected.” Now they have to keep a “Fully Infected Mutant” look and make it look believable this time.


Nora has it easier–her “Prey” character is really setting her “Hunter” up to be ambushed by a new larger predator type, so she just had to make a dominant “Giant Predator” male counterpart to her “Prey” female. Ben’s new character, “Victim” seems to be the least defined of the three, but his alien characters were the least defined anyway.

Last week we didn’t get a Westmore Walkthrough during sculpting, instead holding him back for the camera test. This week, Westmore will walk through while they sculpt their third character (and in the case of Evan, rethink his original characters.) But he’s not being accompanied by McKenzie this time. Instead Patrick is with him, who is, after all, the director of these final short films they’ll be submitting. Perhaps that’s why Michael; seems more like the person walking Patrick around for critiquing, and not being in charge of the Walkthrough himself.


  • Ben: His team is doing some redesign on the alien “Priest” character to match up with their character. Since Ben had two male characters, Patrick pushes him to make the newest addition “Victim” very feminine. Westmore suggests in order to up the sexy factor to keep it very human as well.
  • Evan: He’s got the most redesigning to do. Patrick is encouraging with his direction for the “Middling Infected Prisoner” redesign, but slightly dismissive of the “Fully Infected Mutant”, which is telling. Westmore seems a bit sympathetic.
  • Nora: She’s in the best shape of the three. I worried that they might push her to do redesigns on the first two characters, since she’s focusing all her energy on the new “Giant Predator” character, but Patrick doesn’t. He just nods and tells her she’s doing great.

The schedule is much like a regular episode with two full days of work in the lab before Application and Filming Day. Day Two sees Teams Ben and Nora doing a lot of pre-painting. It is a sign of how much more behind them Evan is that he’s spending most of his time in the mold room instead.


Application Day does not happen at the lab, but in trailers on set. Noted that Nora is really on top of everyone else and not really focusing on something she assigns herself. Ben on the other hand, spends all his time on applying the “Priest,” leaving the others on his team to focus on the other two characters. Evan is more like Nora in the paying attention to all the make up . When they arrive at the trailer his team are pulling their pieces off the molds, with zero prepaint work.

Let’s see the results.


Each group is also working and filming separately, I assume in a staggered schedule, since our sets not only have Patrick at each to direct, but our series judges on hand. Glenn, Ve and Neville are off to the side, watching the dailies in a producer’s tent. Each of the shorts are dialogue-less, which is probably for the best, because it forces the actors to emote through the make up.

Since the finale isn’t made up of still presentations, but rather judged on the short films, our top picture for each group are stills from each film. Click through the links to see close ups of the make ups.

Evan Film

Evan: Quarantine Zone They did too little to their “Slightly Infected Wanderer” character, focusing on her face, and have to add more makeup to her body when they realize it will be seen on camera. Interestingly, the scaled back “Middling Infected Prisoner” character that they redesigned is the one that looks best in the film. The “Slightly Infected Wanderer” is still too vein-y in the face and too little anything else everywhere else. The third add on “Fully Infected Mutant” character is still too much. Though at least now instead of looking like a bad Halloween mask, it just looks like Toxie the Toxic Avenger. Glenn and Neville is impressed to learn how much they redid between camera test and final product. All three compliment how well they work as a team on set as well.

Nora Film

Nora: The Prey On set, Nora is very much the One In Charge, with her assistants trailing behind her, while she preps her characters for filming. There’s a lot of work in a stream, and making make up look wet while waterproofing, as well as adding cuts and bruises. Ve notes the wounds on her “Prey” look a little rushed. Her “Hunter” does well in the water, despite not having been originally designed to go through it. The third “Giant Predator” character they added is only on camera for a split second, but has a huge impact. As Neville notes, he comes across like a huge bad ass creature. And though he’s no fan of “Tree” creatures in general, he has to admit, Nora’s “Hunter” was so well done, by the end of the film, he’d accepted it. Glenn says the “Giant Predator” felt so of a piece with the “Prey” character, he never would have known it was added on in a secondary phase. Ve calls the “Giant Predator” “spectacular.”

Ben Film

Ben: Resurrection Partly because this is the least defined of the three scripts, it’s not that surprising that I find the set the most dramatic part of the shoot. Unlike last week, Ben’s “Priest” and “Resurrected” characters look a lot more finished. The “Priest” is still pale, but not an unpainted pale; and the “Resurrected” character’s blending looks a lot more muted and realistic. Unfortunately, Ben’s focus on the priest left the “Victim” added character to lesser hands, and the chin application is a disaster. The first two creatures look amazing on camera. The third one, not so much. The judges are impressed with the level of detail on the original creatures, but not so much the additional one. And it’s hard to get around that the only defining characteristic of the “Victim” character is “beautiful,” when her prosthesis are melty, her face looks more “moony” than “pretty” and her beauty makeup not nearly delicate enough.

It’s obvious before the judges even sit down to discuss that Ben is out of the running. He focused too much on improving and finishing his original characters and failed at the added one completely. This puts it down to Evan who improved dramatically from the first half to the second, and Nora, who basically aced the challenge all the way through. I was pretty down on Evan getting to the finale, but his turn around with these characters was remarkable.


But Nora was so far ahead at the end of part one, she had the time to really make her extra character feel like a seamless design with the other two. She is the winner of Face Off, Season 9.


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