'Face Off' Recap: 'Movie Magic - Part One'

All photos courtesy Syfy.

This is it, Part One of the Season Nine finale. We've our final three: Ben, Nora, and Evan. Who will be crowned the champion? It's Lights! Camera! Makeup... so let's do this.

It's virtual family visit day! Evan is so thrilled to see his dad and girlfriend he cries. Ben is super excited to see his dog Quincy and Nora and her girlfriend Mary are so freaking adorable. For the record, I'm pretty sure my cat wouldn't care. At least until I returned and then she'd pee in my shoes. Anyway, thus fortified, off they head to the lab for the final challenge.

The lab is empty but for McKenzie and the crew which is unusual as the surroundings generally lend a clue as to the theme of the challenge. Well actually, the crew is the theme as for their final challenge, they will work with a director and production crew to create three stunning short films. The director is none other than Patrick Tatopoulos, helmer of "Batman vs Superman"...and McKenzie's husband. They will be creating two characters to star in a short film which has already been scripted and story-boarded. You all want to work in TV and movie make up? Here you go!

The scripts are:
The Prey - Nora
Resurrection - Ben
Quarantine Zone - Evan

Patrick has already cast the movie, their job will be to present the finished make ups for camera testing, get his feedback and make adjustments as necessary. This is where Evan excels, in getting and maximizing second chances. Do I smell a set-up?

Fear not though, help is on the way in form of Jasmine and Meg (Team Nora), Jordan and Scott (Team Ben) and Kevon and Stevie (Team Evan.)

Design Phase
Using the scripts, they get to work creating the characters. Nora's hunted girl will be close to human form so it reads scarier but the Hunter will be a big, organic guy who blends into his surroundings. Patrick advises that he'll be backlit so keep that in mind that there will be shadows.

Evan's script involves the girl having a virus which gives him mad doubts so we drink our drinks.

Ben's creating a Priest and a Creature and Patrick tells them that this will be shot at night with fire as the main source of lighting. I like the fact that they are getting a lot of information up front to help guide them in the design process.

Ben probably has the most straight-up 'talented' team. His 'plan,' though, is to have the best version of the characters for the camera test which is a good goal not terribly actionable. Nora is proving herself to be a solid team leader, dividing responsibilities but keeping a hand in all as it's her challenge to win or lose. She also makes practical decisions for the make up, like considering how long the actors will be wearing the make up and making it comfortable and natural for them. Evan is stressing out and seems pretty lost. As usual.

Day 2
Ben's team is still sculpting. Guys, you need to get it in gear. Team Nora has the Prey character finished, now they're onto sculpting the Hunter. Ben has a work plan now: as he finishes the sculpts, he hands them off the Scott and Jordan for the molding which is smart as they are both good with the molds and fabrications. Evan continues to have doubts and I picked a helluva day to stop sniffing glue. It's not a challenge until Nora has a panic attack but fortunately Meg is there to talk her down and take over, freeing her up to direct her attention elsewhere. It had to happen to someone so when a mold cracks, of course it's Evan. C'mon, universe; give the man a break already. Of the three teams, only Team Nora accomplished all that they set out to do for the day, putting them in a very good spot going into Application and Last Looks.

Application Phase
Ben has huge seam on his cowl with fat edges but he's taking it in stride: roll with the punches and polish the turd. Evan's prosthetic came out nice even though the cowl cracked. Ben's losing a lot of time fixing the cowl which comes out of paint time meaning he'll have to do the full paint job in Last Looks. . Finalists painting, helpers appliying protshteictsc. Jasomin doing body paint base coast. Evan stressing. Ben can't do any painting before last looks. Has to do full paint job in an hour.

Team Nora
Last Looks
Nora's paint job aims to make the guy look like a tree and not so red. The Prey character needs scrapes and bruises from running through the woods. This team has worked so well together and they're in a very good spot.

Camera Test
The full crew. Patrick wants to start with the Hunter and the monitor is in high contrast. Everything looks good. Mr. Westmore advises covering more of the spine but Patrick is pleased overall. The Prey character is looking sweaty and slimy and all Patrick suggests is making the make up more aggressive so that it reads better on camera. They don't have to redo any of the characters so they are in a very good place.

Team Ben
Last Looks
They are trying to do a full paint job but he's moving slow on the priest, trying not to go too crazy with the paint. Going fast and good and get as much detail on it as possible

Camera Test
Starting with the priest it looks cool in the fire lighting but needs more emphasis around the mouth. Only half of the creature's back was painted so that needs to be finished up and lighten up his eyes to avoid looking like a raccoon. Some refining is necessary but no complete overhauls so Team Ben is in a good way.

Team Evan
Last Looks
This is just a hot mess, no focal point, no confidence, no direction. Moving on.

Camera Test
The hot-messness continues as it's not the best sculpting or concept and is lacking in cohesion. Starting with the girl, the saturation is crazy on the costume and she looks much too military. The guy's cowl is wrinkling and his snaggletooth is disruptive. At the very least they'll need to bring back some flesh tone but Evan has shown that he's adept at making the most out of second chances so rest assured that he'll be able to salvage this.

It's the finale and just like in the movies themselves, sometimes things change. Such as the script. Each will need to add a new character for the other two to react to and the sound you just head was Evan's remaining sanity splintering into thousands of pieces. Your updated scripts are back at the lab so good luck.