Thursday, January 28, 2016

'Face Off' Recap: 'Lost Languages'

All photos courtesy Syfy.
BY DAWN FEAKES

Last time on "Face Off," Jennifer of Team 'Jaundiced Tin Man' was eliminated, thus ensuring the wrath of the 501st upon the judges' heads but the ladies keep up the winning streak with Mel taking the top honors for the Watch Man. Anna was a bridesmaid for the second challenge in a row; can she pull off the win this time? We're weeding the talent from the chaff so let's do this.
Field trip! The gang heads out to the desert ruins and comes upon a special guest - language creator David Peterson who has created the Dothraki tongue for "Game of Thrones" and the alien languages of "Defiance." In the cave of wonders, six sets of artifacts correspond to a 'long-lost race' and David has created a language for each one. To develop the language, he figures out the people. For this Spotlight Challenge, the artists working in teams (again) will figure out the language to develop the people. His advice (which will surely fall on deaf ears) is to find the phonetic clue and design to that clue. Oh, and the models will have to speak this language so please, make sure their mouths can move.

Teams
Kaleb/Mel - They select a snake helmet which makes them think of a terrifying inhale/exhale like a reptilian Darth Vader.
Yvonne/Anna - Their artifact and language evokes human barking, almost like a person who has declared himself a god.
Melissa/Katie - The language has long speaking tones, almost prayer-like so they decide on a priestess design.
Njoroge/Ant - They hear a limited vocal grid and immediately envision a reptilian race with large eyes and ears holding an anciently futuristic ray gun. Naturally.
Walter/Rob - Their artifact resembles an animal skull and coupled with a 'clicking' type language, agree that it's evocative of a Nordic cat.
Johnny/Robert - They end up with a tea pot/vase thing that put together with the aggressive-sounding language suggests to them a deep sea creature.

Design Phase
Mel struggles with the ears on her sculpt but wisely decides to wait for Mr. Westmore's critique. She's one of the smartest to ever be on the show.  Johnny and Robert appear to be mostly using their artifact and forgetting the language piece. Whatever you do, just don't make it look like a bird, okay? Mr. Westmore reassures Mel about her ears but is less approving of Ant and Njoroge's eyes as he doesn't 'see' the point as they're too cartoony. Anna and Yvonne are counseled to stay away from a caricature of an old man and is cautiously optimistic about Melissa and Katie's design. Yvonne's initial plan to add beads to the headdress sculpt, pop them out, then add back in after molding is nipped by Anna but undaunted, she creates a diamond pattern using popsicle sticks which looks really, really good. For the moment, a crisis is averted.

Mel and Kaleb get to the mold room first while Njoroge and Ant rethink their sculpture. To give their cat creature the big feet, Walter is pressed into service as the positive foot model so it's nice to have a back up career should this one not pan out. Robert works on the face of the deep sea creature sculpt, dubbing him 'Octoman'. Or 'Sushi' to his friends. I say 'Surprise Party Cthulhu but tomatoes/tomahtoes. Johnny better not get Robert kicked off is all I'm saying.  Johnny's cowl is too heavy and is drooping so rather than fixing in, he shoves popsicle sticks in it to shore it up. Giving up on the cowl, he turns his attention to the tentacles and can't get that plan to come together either. Guys, there are just too many jokes here. Johnny sulks, Robert helps, and we carry on.

Application Day
Walter works on making the wolf head hat of the Nordic Cat appear realistic while Anna and Yvonne work well in tandem to finalize their paint palette. Kaleb and Mel rig up a bladder for the 'hocking' sound of their character's language and Ant and Njoroge's creation unfortunately resembles a tree frog. The polyfoam tentacles Johnny and Robert threw together didn't set up correctly so that gets scrapped too. Things are looking grim for Octoman.

Last Looks
Everyone scrambles to finish with Johnny taking his stress out on Robert, Njorogoe seeing 'cartoony' which Mr. Westemore said not to do and Anna having trouble with the teeth fitting correctly so they ditch them for the model to be able to speak properly. Solid decision there ladies.

Reveal Stage
David Peterson joins the judges to score the creations based on his languages so I hope that part of the speaking part of the challenge wasn't neglected.

Walter/Rob - Lion-O, the hunter
Yvonne/ Anna - The gods must be an angry cadaver
Melissa/Katie - Roller Derby Princess
Mel/Kaleb - Alien lizard
Njoroge/Ant - Biker Tree Frog
Robert/Johnny - Spastic Moss Man (I might have legit laughed out loud when this came out.)

The judges liked Yvonne and Anna's creation, particularly the intricate headdress and Mel and Kaleb's snake pattern sculpt. They are mighty confused by the vibrant green in the praying frog mantis and Octoman is a muddled, tentacle-less mess.

Safe
Melissa, Rob, Katie, Walter

Top
Anna/Yvonne - They nailed the parameters of the challenge and nothing impeded the model's speaking of the language so well executed all around.


Mel/Kaleb - Theirs was a great cohesive character who was the physical embodiment of the language.



Bottom
Johnny/Robert - It was if two people worked on different projects decided to put them together at the end. Glenn, have you been spying on them? And seriously guys, the squid was a metaphor; they really weren't looking for him to wear one as his head.
Njoroge/Ant - It was poorly executed and a very flat paint job.

Winner
Yvonne. Her headdress was symmetrical, artistic and framed the makeup perfectly.

Eliminated
Ant. His cowl lacked texture, finesse or areas of interest. But don't give up man, you have a future in this business. Not strong enough to use the save but still.

Next week the artists will design their creations inspired by SyFy's new series "Hunters." Will it be the first individual challenge? Join us on Syfy next Wednesday, February 3 at 9 p.m. ET for 'Hunters.'

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