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That magical time of year has finally arrived, when three hard-working special effects artists wander into the woods to meet Glenn Hetrick and McKenzie Westmore to learn about their final Face Off challenge.
The finales have been getting more and more fancy, so we’re not surprised when McKenzie and G-Dog inform us of all the stops being pulled out. They’ve lured the finalists to a creepy house in the middle of nowhere to tell them they’ll be creating creatures for a haunted house, but not just any haunted house – GLENN’S haunt! Considering the fact that that dude is scary just watching Grey’s Anatomy, we’re sure the haunt experience he’s designing is going to make us go all cartoony and pop right out of our skin. They’ll have one phase to test the looks, and another (after Glenn’s feedback) to refine them.
The finalists choose from three themes: Kierstin picks the Egyptian Hall for Summoning Demons, Andrew the Mad Scientist and his Monster, and KC goes for that old devil, Hell. They have to create two separate makeups, but of course they’ll be joined by their former competitors turned now teammates.
Glenn checks in with each team to make sure they’re on the right track and not overlooking any major logistical or conceptual pitfalls, and then it’s off to the lab where they have yet another special treat: Roy Wooley is going to lend his expertise to their fabrication elements. You may remember this genius from such looks as “Two Kids Dressing up as an Adult” (but it was really one model) and “Abstract Art Come to Life”. He’s a master with the L200, and he definitely boosts their looks to a grand scale.
Before you know it, phase one of the finale is upon us: the teams bring their looks to an undisclosed location where a test audience gets the daylights frighted out of them. In a mock run of the real haunt, Glenn and the artists watch a live feed of horror fans’ reactions as they interact with the fully fleshed, walking, talking creations.
Glenn gives feedback on what works and doesn’t work in person and on camera, and each team has some things they’ve done really well, and a BUNCH that needs work. With excitement and maybe a little teeth grinding, they prepare to make the edits… …until McKenzie and Glenn tell them that they’ll also need to create another character to round out their themes! These characters will wander in and out of the crowd, scaring and herding the unsuspecting audience. This. Changes. Everything. It’s a massive amount of work – but there’s no going back now. Each artist knows that this is the time to mine all of their creative resources, and win that championship.