Last week’s episode of Face Off was the first half of the finale, where we learned that the show, having figured out they can in fact do a finale challenge where the contestants design looks for a short film, are sticking with that format. The upshot of the camera test showed both Walter and Melissa in relatively decent shape, while Rob, who barely squeaked into the finale in the first place, having crashed and burned out on his last few challenges, has to redesign from the ground up.
This being the last hour of the season, we get the usual “contestants see their families and weep” segment–though for the first time the show has sprung to fly them in person instead of having weepy Skype commercials. Another surprise–that there is no surprise twist. Last year, the finale introduced “script changes” halfway through the process, so the designers had to make a third look–essentially hosing the two contestants who were in bad shape already. This year, they seem to have thought better of this.
With no extra make up looks to develop, the contestants find themselves being thrown on set earlier than usual, leaving Melissa to wind up doing a polyfoam run of shame right there on set. On the other hand, not having a third look helps Rob enormously–if he had to design yet another look on top of redesigning his first two, I think his would have been a train wreck.
Instead, we’re already on set and doing our first takes before the commercial break for Melissa. Walter’s is definitely the most impressive when it arrives on set–partly because his actor is so tall, and then the prosthesis he added to make the damn thing even bigger.
Rob’s is probably the most interesting of the three recording sessions, since his make up underwent a total redesign. If the director is not happy with the new looks, he’s not going to let on in front of Glenn, Ve and Neville. (They, like last year, watch the filming takes from the comfort of their own tent. ) Rob’s pumping oil effect out of his demon works really well, which it didn’t last week.
It’s a fun process to watch, but it’s unfortunately obvious that the young directors who are making the movies have been told the make up is the star of the process instead of their filmmaking. That’s one thing Patrick did not do last season when he directed all three shorts. Make up was merely one element, and the movie itself was the star. But one improvement over last year–there’s actual dialogue–it’s not an overly simple silent film with only a few actions by the actors involved that tell the whole story.
Let’s see the final products and which designer earns the win.