Imagine sitting down in a stiff-backed chair, a make-up artist standing nearby, a desk and mirror wall in front of you. The desk is piled high with colors, brushes, dyes, and the artist is picking up a white paste. Now imagine that in sixteen hours, you will no longer look like yourself. You will no longer look human. That, is the job of the average special-effects make-up artist working in the field of filmography today. Creating you into something so strange, something so distant, you won’t even be able to register it as yourself in your own mirror.
The art behind your favorite alien characters on SyFy channel is being released in the form of a reality television show, where a group of aspiring special-effects make-up artists must fight against one another to win each judges heart, and become the champion of Face Off. The champion wins the grand prize – a launch of their career, $100,000, and a years worth of make-up from sponsor Alcone. But the show thrives on elimination and voting, and every episode someone gets sent home by call of Face Off’s three judges; Ve Neill (Edward Scissorhands, Beattlejuice, Pirates of the caribbean), Glen Hetrick (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Heroes, Legion), and Patrick Tatopoulos (Stargate, Independence Day, Godzilla).
SyFy has been bringing in a lot of new series to their channel recently, what with Being Human having premiered on January 9th or Face Off having premiered on the 26th, and the new seasons of Merlin and Fact or Fake, and they have been favoring everyone else’s new crave, bringing reality shows into their line-ups. A channel famous for low key science fiction movies, popular cult tv shows, and UFO fanatics has stepped it’s game up, and whether that’s good or bad – it’s certainly gaining them more viewers and attention.
Face Off looks like the doorway into seeing what goes behind the scenes of our favorite movies, series, and entertainment channels. Being able to change the very bone-structure of a person’s body through illusion of appearance looks tricky to me, but sneakpeaks on SyFy online has the twelve contestants for this new show performing far more advanced tricks in around thirty-five minutes or less! I for one need to see at least one episode – if only to figure out how they made the walking skeletal pirates for America’s favorite period films (and our favorite swashbuckler Johnny Depp of course).
If you want to be part of this new SyFy experiance, or just want to win one of five expensive prizes, join the Face Off Challenge. Find, research, or create your own strange new life form or depiction of creation, and do your own make-up. Send in a file or picture of your work becore Febuary 2nd at 11:59 PM eastern time, and you could just win the grand prize: a Macbook Pro loaded with special-effects software and the chance for your design to make headlines on SyFy’s new Face Off series. To learn more, head to syfy.com/faceoff/challenge to read the fine print.