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We Recap: Syfy ‘Face Off’ Episode 408 – “It’s Better in the Dark”

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We Recap: Syfy 'Face Off' Episode 408 - "It's Better in the Dark"

Seven Artists remain to compete in this week’s ‘Illuminating’ Double Elimination challenge on ‘Face Off‘. Eric Z calls last week’s Werewolf Alien challenge “the most stressful one of his life.” He is relieved that his partner, Autumn, got eliminated and not him. “If I can survive two team challenges with Autumn,” he declares, I can survive anything!” We’ll see about that…

Spotlight Challenge

On what looks to be a day of glorious beach weather, MacKenzie meets the group at Leo Carrillo State Park, where many movies have been filmed. She starts talking about undiscovered species, which has to be a hint at what their challenge will be about, right? Yes! This week’s Spotlight Challenge is for them to create a new species that might live in any of Earth’s Eco systems; sea, mountains, dessert, what have you. But wait, there’s more. The artists must incorporate an element of bioluminescence! The final creation must contain two distinct characteristics, one that looks good under normal light and a second that becomes visible only under ultra violet light.

She leaves them to sketch out on the beach where the gorgeous ocean waves and hidden sea caves can inspire them. House immediately gets the idea for a prehistoric fish woman. She’ll be sexy and the bioluminescence will let her take on a whole different level of beauty. Kris creates a story about a fish person character that has been observing human life from afar and now the time has come to make contact. Anthony sketches an underwater warrior creature. The bioluminescence will be hidden, but also flowing with the striping on its chest. Wayne goes also with an aquatic theme, sketching a crab humanoid hybrid. He’s not sure yet where the luminescence will come in, but his sketch is very cool.

Everyone is excited to head back to the lab, where MacKenzie has promised them a ‘surprise’ is waiting. They should know that on this show, a surprise is never a good thing. In the lab, they walk into a lovely and lush jungle scene, in front of which where is a large button on top of a pedestal. Of course, someone gets the urge to press that button, and when Eric Z does the honors, the jungle glows under a UV light with a message that says it’s a Double Elimination Challenge! Oh no! Nice Surprise, MacKenzie!

Day one in the lab means five hours to work that will mostly be about sculpting. House will be working on gills as a primary characteristic for his creature. Meagan’s creature is a bat like humanoid with plant life incorporated. Eric F is doing an underlying face piece with a silicone overlap for his sea creature. The black light will illuminate her organs and bone structure through the silicone, similar to a jellyfish Lady. He knows his idea is very ‘out there,’ as usual. Anthony is also working on the back of his amphibious creation.

Wayne’s crab creature has a fantastic looking headpiece and he’ll make sure the jaw moves to articulate mandibles he’ll add to the face. Eric Z reveals that he actually saw the likeness of a human face in the rocks out at the beach, so he has incorporated that image into his sculpt and make up. He wants to let loose for this creature – a cavern-dwelling ‘tough guy’ that’s a cross between and amphibian and a reptile.

As everyone gets into their work, Meagan complains that she feels dehydrated and can’t focus on her work. She announces to the guys that she feels feverish and nauseated, and really looks like she’s fighting the urge to pass out, when she suddenly runs to the bathroom to throw up off camera (thanks, Meagan!). With a double elimination on the line, she realizes that this is the worst time to be sick. She heads off to the hospital; unsure if she’ll be returning to the lab. The guys feel bad for her.

But the show must go on. Eric Z works on the finishing facial details and decides to keep the make up simple rather than go too big. Kris wants to work a starfish into the center of his creature’s chest sculpt and to change up his colors with reds and oranges so that it won’t be so much green and yellow bioluminescent paint.

At the end of day one, Anthony feels stressed, especially coming off of two weeks in a row of being in the bottom looks. Oh, how the once mighty have fallen.

Day Two. Meagan is back in the lab, and it turns out she had food poisoning! Today she must get her creature’s face sculpted and molded, and she only feels ‘forty percent’ back to normal. That is understandable, because food poisoning is the worst!

Wayne needs to sculpt the cowl piece for his crab. He’s thinking about how to bring the sculpture to life and not be pushing it at the last minute. Eric Z is also working on a cowl and the chest piece for his creature. He decides to run a sample polyfoam sculpt of his face so he can get a better idea of how it will look.

And now it’s time for the Westmores to do their walkthrough and mentoring. For House’s fish-human hybrid, Michael says that it will be important to have a specific direction with the paint, so that the iridescent paint pops out the features and details. House admits that this is, ultimately, a “painting challenge.”

Eric Z points out that he took a lot of shapes for his head sculpt from the rocks at the beach. He has no idea how he will finish the back of the head, so Michael Westmore just tells him to keep the back simple.

Anthony’s creature comes from the waters of the rain forest, and is described as “a combination of an amphibious creature and a squid.” OK! Michael’s advice is to make sure, when the lights switch from light to dark, that the body paint really emphasizes the difference.

Meagan shows Westmore a photo of some rock crystals she found the beach that she wants to incorporate onto her creature’s body, because the look like they are from another planet. These rock forms will showcase the bioluminescent details of her creature. Michael likes the idea.

The mangroves of the swamp inspired Wayne’s crab creature. Michael calls it “very nice.” He, again, emphasizes doing a spotless initial paint job and letting the bioluminescent paint make everything pop.

Eric F says that his inspiration was the element of translucency, so what he did was create the creature’s inner workings to be viewed through a silicone overlay on the chest. In his sketch it looks amazing. Westmore must like it also, because we don’t see him give Eric even one word of advice.

Kris will also be using silicone for a translucent, luminescent quality. Michael loves everything he’s working on. The Westmores then leave the contestants to their tasks. I really wish that for one week they would have Michael Westmore on again as a judge. Maybe that is coming up.

In the molding phase, Kris admits his full chest and back piece will take some time to finish. House feels he has to rush to finish his hands, and confesses that they’re not as stylized as he would like. Eric F looks around at all of the impressive work being done by his competitors and starts to worry about his creature. His molding process is taking much longer than expected. Could this be the week that biting off more that he can chew finally bites him in the behind? “I find myself here every time,” he realizes. No kidding.

Meagan wants to incorporate a Venus Fly Trap element onto her creature’s face using nails for the teeth, but she feels exhausted and is barely hanging in there. She doesn’t even seem to understand what she wants to do or how to execute it.

Carrying paint chip samples on a tray, Kris takes a trip into the Black Light room that has been set up in the lab to check out the paint’s bioluminescent properties. He decides to use some of these special UV paints, because they look awesome.

At the end of day two, Eric F has all of his molds done but didn’t get the chance to test any of his paint. Pulling off the two paint jobs will be the trickiest part.

Day Three means four hours to finish everything in the lab and then one hour for last looks, as the models arrive for Applications. Eric F discovers that his foam headpiece has huge steam pockets caused by too much moisture in the molds. It will take him an extra hour to repair them. Eric Z is having an easy and fun time with the process of applying his make up. What a change from the stressed out mess he was last week.

House notes that his face looks fine, but that he has sculpted such large gills that they have not quite turned out. Some of the gills are stuck in the molds. Fixing this will eat into the time he needs to paint.

Kris has started stenciling the paint onto the body of his model and it already looks amazing. Amazing!

Meagan, who lost a entire day to food poisoning notes that her fellow artists all have three or four pieces to apply to their models but she has just one piece. She starts brainstorming on how to complete her look and not be eliminated.

In the black light room, Kris starts applying paint to his model in a spattering application; which is smart, because he has an idea of how the make up will present to the judges at the reveal. At last looks, Anthony immediately starts painting the legs of his model, adding all the highlight touches of red paint that are going to be integral in pulling the overall look together. Eric Z is testing his bioluminescent paint in the black light room and ‘gets ‘that his paint job is kind of underwhelming but, surprisingly, it’s Wayne who’s sweating it, as he has no bioluminescent paint applied at all at this point!

The Reveal

There is a guest judge tonight! In addition to Glenn, Ve and Neville, Oscar winning producer Jon Landau (Titanic, Avatar) joins the panel. For the Spotlight Challenge of creating a new species with a bioluminescent quality, here’s what the Artists came up with.

We Recap: Syfy 'Face Off' Episode 408 - "It's Better in the Dark" We Recap: Syfy 'Face Off' Episode 408 - "It's Better in the Dark"

House’s Sea Creature Lady stayed very true to his original sketch and she has a elegant quality to the way she moves. Unfortunately, under the black lights her bioluminescence gives the impression that she is under water. He feels that he let himself down, because the colors did not pop out as intended.

We Recap: Syfy 'Face Off' Episode 408 - "It's Better in the Dark" We Recap: Syfy 'Face Off' Episode 408 - "It's Better in the Dark"

Eric F’s creature’s “daylight view” is bad news right out of the box. The face looks like a unfinished Jason Voorhees mask and it looks like he’s tried to cover for his lack of completeness with an iridescent, filmy fabric cape draped over the creature’s arms. The black light effects are pretty special though, which may save him.

We Recap: Syfy 'Face Off' Episode 408 - "It's Better in the Dark" We Recap: Syfy 'Face Off' Episode 408 - "It's Better in the Dark"

I think Anthony got his groove back this week, because his creature is the complete deal. He’s achieved an original and wildly impressive facial sculpt, nice costuming and bioluminescence for days. It’s literally breathtaking to behold.

We Recap: Syfy 'Face Off' Episode 408 - "It's Better in the Dark" We Recap: Syfy 'Face Off' Episode 408 - "It's Better in the Dark"

Kris’s neon green sea nymph reminds me, in a good way, of a Sea Monkey. I love the silhouette and how it’s fully illuminated in the black light. He’s not 100 percent confident, but says “it is what it is.”

We Recap: Syfy 'Face Off' Episode 408 - "It's Better in the Dark" We Recap: Syfy 'Face Off' Episode 408 - "It's Better in the Dark"

Considering her illness, Meagan’s doesn’t look all that bad. I like the barnacle detailing and what looks like sea kelp accenting the head and body. Unfortunately the bioluminescence is rather spotty and blotchy. She worries that the judges will not understand the concept.

We Recap: Syfy 'Face Off' Episode 408 - "It's Better in the Dark" We Recap: Syfy 'Face Off' Episode 408 - "It's Better in the Dark"

Wayne’s Crab man looks so much like his original sketch that it’s instantly recognizable as his work. The bioluminescence accents mostly the arms and head but it looks like he neglected to work on the body at all, which is puzzling. He likes the way the fins look even though he realizes it is unfinished.

We Recap: Syfy 'Face Off' Episode 408 - "It's Better in the Dark" We Recap: Syfy 'Face Off' Episode 408 - "It's Better in the Dark"

Eric Z’s creature’s face lacks detail and just looks like big, blobby rock. Under the UV light the face and chest area has a few luminescent highlights but not much anywhere else. He notices all of the flaws and starts to worry.

On closer looks, Glenn wastes no time in declaring that House’s paint job looks even worse up close than from far away. Guest judge Jon says that the wardrobe is incongruous for an amphibious character.

Glenn and Ve also point out the splotchiness of Eric Z’s paint job and how the paint is rubbing off of the foam. Color Eric Z very nervous.

Anthony’s character is getting lots of praise for the fine detail and extensive amount of work that went into it. Ve calls it cool.

Neville calls Kris’s character very inventive, with impressive sculptural elements happening.

When Neville points out what he thinks are some interesting things happening on Meagan’s piece, Glenn just says “you’re on your own with that one.”

Ve, Glenn and Jon all love Wayne’s Crab Man and declare him to even better close up than from far away.

On to Eric F, for which Glenn surmises that (as we saw) for his creature, the challenge was all about the change to the bioluminescent stage. A risky decision!

We Recap: Syfy 'Face Off' Episode 408 - "It's Better in the Dark"

Kris is up first to be cross-examined about his lovely green sea creature. For his ‘humanoid from the deep’ he used a silicone prosthetic for the face and a foam latex chest, and then built up the concept with paint. Glenn says that the stylized 60s or 70s approach to the make up was brilliant. Neville likes the adventurous forms applied to the body, especially the belly and chest. Ve prefers the way it looks under the black light rather that in normal light. On the downside, Jon says that the fish-like mouth design makes it tough for the character to have much expression.

House says he was inspired by thinking of a race of ancient human fish people and that he wanted something familiar, yet beautiful. Ve say that she is familiar, but hardly beautiful. She was not impressed with the black light reveal and declares the hands to be “absolutely atrocious.” Neville says the graphics are really bad and do not even feel like “organized chaos.” Glenn does not like the colors and says he missed the “purposeful asymmetry of what mother nature does on a fish.”

Anthony is up next to explain that the bioluminescent qualities of his amphibious creature are attributed to its age and rank – nice! Neville likes the natural asymmetry of it and says it’s a beautiful piece. Jon loves that he tied the extremities together thematically and says it would fit right in on Pandora, the planet featured in the film Avatar. Ve loves the fact that the bioluminescence was green, which was very unexpected. He did an amazing job. And…Anthony is back!

Meagan explains to Jon that her concept was to create a Venus Fly Trap–ish creature that lived inside a cave. Jon admits he had no idea that’s what she was going for. She was trying to mix too many elements and she missed the mark. Ve does not understand why her leaf elements are not delineated with different colors of paint. Glenn then sets her up by asking how she thinks she did. She explains her bout with food poisoning, but feels OK with what she did, considering her circumstances. Glenn says that would be “easier to swallow” if she had done something that was great in any way. He is terribly disappointed.

Wayne explains that for his Crab creature he had intended to do more and to include vacu-formed claws, but ran out of time. Glenn says there is a lot of stuff he did tonight that he loves and points out that Wayne has really shown improvement over his previous work. Ve says that he really made the UV light half of the challenge come alive for her and she loves the gorgeous facial sculpt. Jon says it works better close up than far away, but that he did a great job on the detail of the face.

Eric Z explains that is creature is a tough guy – a “brawler” who lives in the caves along the beach. Ve says he looks like “the Cookie Monster” to her. She asks what happened with the bioluminescent paint job and he admits that some of the work he did on the face actually covered up the bioluminescent paint accents. Neville says that there is no way this creature could be put on film and Jon says he sees no originality in the creature.

Eric F is immediately told by Neville that he has a lot of explaining to do. Eric admits his creature is unfinished, and that his original concept was to do a translucent jellyfish approach, when he ran short of time. Neville says the concept was bold and the ideas all good, but she does look best under the bioluminescent reveal. Jon says that under the UV lights all of his ideas came together, and Ve says she did love the way the creature’s legs looked under the UV lights. So, Eric pulls it off once again, it seems!

Judgment Time

What they like about Anthony’s creature is the way an already strong design was totally transformed by the bioluminescence. Glenn says that of all the creatures, Anthony’s was the only one that achieved that goal, and calls it “genius.” Wayne is praised for his mature artistic sensibility when it comes to sculpture and form. Jon likes how so many details came in to play from many angles. Glenn says he’s never seen a chest sculpted in that way. He was impressed.

Looks that did not rate so high include House, for a design was too familiar and had a bad paint job over course sculpting. Glenn says that even if Meagan had not been sick, it likely would not have made a difference in her standing this week. Jon points out that she could not adequately articulate her concept. Eric Z gets slammed for his lack of thought in design and bad execution. Glenn says that the bioluminescent painting looked like “child’s finger painting.”

Eric F and Kris aren’t even discussed, so they must be in the “safe” zone and were edited out for time consideration.

When the artists come back out, Anthony takes the top prize for his creature that was a stand out in both lighting conditions. He and Wayne, plus Kris and Eric F, who hit the middle ground hard enough to be safe, all head back to the make up room.

This means that of House, Meagan and Eric Z, two of them will be gone after tonight.

The first person going home tonight is Meagan, due to bad ideas and poor time management, though Jon gives her props for creating the only land-based design.

Joining her on the walk of shame will be Eric Z, for many issues with every aspect of his creature.

House lives to sculpt another day!

Next week, with only one Eric left, I don’t have to type his last initial anymore!

Stay tuned ’til next week when we recap episode 8 of ‘Face Off’!




  • http://www.facebook.com/liv.bliss.1 Liv Bliss

    Well, at least we didn’t have to deal with a Man-Pig-Bear-Fish design from Autumn.

    • http://www.redesignrevolution.com/ Pamela Nguyen

      You have no idea how relieved I am that Autumn was eliminated last week. That would have been a nightmare to see.