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SyFy Face Off — “Dishonorable Proportions”

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Face Off 305, Dishonorable Proportions

The Face Off contestants tackled concept designs for a steampunk video game, Sarah explored Rule 34, and the judges mostly redeemed themselves by sending someone home who probably should have gone home weeks ago.

This week I suffered some kind of weird DVR malfunction, so I missed the first 15 minutes or so of the episode. There was a foundation challenge and Roy won it, earning immunity for the spotlight challenge. The contestants were asked to design characters from upcoming video game Dishonored. As much as I want to mock the egregious product placement, the game actually looks pretty cool – a first-person assassination game set in a fictional British city in the midst of the industrial revolution, replete with gadgetry and magic.

One of the key elements of the challenge was for the designs to include exaggerated human proportions, and some of the contestants got it. Some did not. Glenn stopped by to offer surly advice and even called a team meeting. He really wanted to emphasize the distorted proportions aspect, which makes sense. They were all designing off the same general character concepts, so without that touch we would have seen a lot of really similar designs.

Last week I laid into the contestants for not using references for their comic book designs, and an anonymous source informed me that, while they would indeed love to have better reference material, it’s not always available to them. Sometimes they’re forced to make their own references, which is why we saw Sarah running around photographing everyone’s forehead wrinkles, and why Roy seemed worried. “These better not show up on a forehead fetish site.” Rule 34, Roy. If it exists, there’s porn of it. Somewhere out there is someone whose heartbeat quickens every time you lift that cowboy hat from your furrowed brow.

Alana is my go-to girl for quote of the week. She avoided injuries this time, but at the end of day two she left the studio with a wistful, “I’ll miss you, deformity.” We had mold drama in abundance, Rod struggling with his injured tendons and a lot of everyone pulling together to help each other out (Tommy helping Sarah, Alana lending Rod a hand).

The bottom designs were Tommy and Sarah. Sarah’s aristocrat wasn’t the best work ever – I’d have focused more on the long, angular chin and nose and less on the weird bulgy head – but I didn’t think it was “send her home” bad. Tommy, though, has been doing pretty shoddy work for weeks now. He has cool ideas, but the execution just isn’t there. He gave his thug character a cool, vaguely Asian look with the giant Fu Manchu mustache, but the arms were bad and it didn’t really fit the Dishonored theme. I can’t argue with the judges’ decision to send him packing.

The top two looks were cool. Derek’s thug had real personality. The dude’s face just screamed “Victorian dockworker/bare-knuckle boxer” to me, and the really amazing thing was how flexible the face piece was. The model underneath had a lot of ability to shift the face’s expression. Rod’s aristocrat design was interesting – another of his giant heads, with the model peering through the nostrils. The glass was a different touch, though I wasn’t sure how it fit with the Dishonored story. What really sold this was when the model held his head, which really captured this sort of exasperated snob vibe.

The look I really want to focus on, though, is Laura’s weeper. She was named one of the middle designs and barely got discussed by the judges, but she should have won this week hands down. Her way of distorting the proportions – twisting the shape of the face – was different from everyone else’s goofy giant arms and big foreheads. The face was so expressive, and the functional tears of blood put it way over the top. For some reason Laura’s work gets overlooked week after week. She’s my sleeper pick to win the whole thing this season, but only if the judges open their eyes and see how amazing she is.

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Posted by on Tuesday, September 25th, 2012. Filed under Dark TV, Headline. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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