One of the most imaginative aspects of science fiction is the creation of special effects from the genre’s wealth of fantastical possibilities. Making it to the top of this creative world requires a rare mix of exceptional qualities, most importantly an ingenious spirit that Syfy celebrates with the second season premiere of its acclaimed reality competition series Face Off on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 (10:00 – 11:00 PM ET/PT).
Face Off is an authentic depiction of the high creative standards necessary for a special effects make-up artist to succeed in their craft. The series debuted in January 2011 as a new reality competition program to critical and ratings success, earning the title of Syfy’s best unscripted franchise series launch ever among Adults 18-49 and Adults 25-54.
In its second season, Syfy introduces a new crop of the country’s most impressive rising special effects make-up artists, all wanting to follow in the footsteps of season one winner, Conor McCullagh, who recently wrapped work on the anticipated Lionsgate film The Hunger Games.
The aspiring artists have come all across the country and from all walks of life – a film and science high school teacher, a tattoo artist, a toy designer, and traditional sculptors and makeup effects artists, some with years of professional experience and others self-taught. The contestants are pitted against each other in a series of hands-on challenges that will test the limits of their imaginations.
The contestants are tasked with elaborate feature challenges, and for season two the creative expectations are even greater. This season, contestants will re-imagine iconic characters from the book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, create a waterproof sea creature, bring terrifying phobias to life, and design and build dinosaur human hybrids, among many other visually stunning creatures. There will also be the favorite genre-themed challenges that will showcase the incredible imaginations and skill of these special effects artists.
Each special effects make-up artist will do whatever it takes to prove that they have the right aesthetics to win. Competing against one another in a series of rigorous challenges, the show captures the inspiring creativity and high emotion typical in the atmosphere of a working special effects lab, while also exploring the relationship dynamics and rankings that are common in the tight-knit, collaborative world.
To view photos and complete bios of the cast of Face Off, visit www.syfy.com/faceoff. The Face Off season two contestants are:
- Athena Zhe – 25 – Resides in New York, NY; From Ukraine
- Beki Ingram – 30 – Resides in Crestline, OH; Hometown Phoenix, AZ
- Brea Joseph – 32 – San Diego, CA
- Gerald “Jerry” Macaluso – 43 – Resides in Northridge, CA; Hometown is Ft. Lauderdale, FL
- Greg Lightner – 35 – Resides in Pittsburgh, PA; Hometown is Coral Gables, Florida
- Heather Henry – 33 – Dallas, TX
- Ian Cromer – 22 – Resides in Staten Island, NY; Tampa, FL
- Matt Valentine – 33 – Austin, TX
- Miranda Jory – 21 – Resides in Los Angeles; Hometowns are Louisville, KY and Seattle, WA
- Nicholas “Nix” Herrera – 31 – Orlando, FL
- Rayce Bird – 29 – Shelley, Idaho
- Sue Lee – 26 – Resides in Jersey City, NJ; Hometown is Long Island, NY
- Tara Lang – 27 – Hometown is Littleton, CO; Resides West Hollywood, CA
This season Syfy let fans make the selection for the competition’s 14th special effects make-up artist. At the 2011 Comic Con in San Diego, Syfy staged a live make-up challenge in which imaginatively competed for a single spot on the second season, and viewers voted for their favorite via http://www.syfy.com. The Viewer’s Choice winner will be revealed on the second season premiere episode of Face Off.
The fourteen make-up artists will be whittled down to the three finalists who will face-off in the grand finale. The winning make up artist will receive $100,000 in seed money to help encourage their special effects career, a year’s supply of Alcone make up products, a Reinvented 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid and the coveted exposure to help launch a career.
As a member of the multi-generational family dynasty whose name is synonymous with the make-up effects field, actress McKenzie Westmore brings expertise to her role as host of the series, introducing the Foundation and Spotlight challenges to the contestants each week. Some of SFX world’s most celebrated figures return to judge the competition — multiple Academy-Award winner Ve Neill (The Hunger Games, Pirates of the Caribbean), industry veteran Glenn Hetrick (Heroes, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and renowned creature artist Patrick Tatopoulos (Underworld, Independence Day).
The season also features a number of guest appearances including actor LeVar Burton (Star Trek: The Next Generation), renowned makeup artist Greg Cannom (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), actress Vivica Fox (Independence Day), actress Catherine O’Hara (Waiting for Guffman, Nightmare Before Christmas), musical artist Asher Roth and noted horror makeup artist Tom Savini. Michael Westmore (Star Trek) also appears in an episode to serve as a mentor to the working contestants.