Monday, June 30, 2014

Face Off s7Meet The Contestants

Face Off premiers on Tuesday, July 22nd at 9p on the SyFy channel.   Let's take a gander at the fresh crop of contestants.

Keaghlan Ashley • 24
Hometown & Residence: Oxnard, CA
Occupation: Freelance SFX Makeup Artist

From SyFy: "Keaghlan Ashley originally discovered special effects makeup when she was performing and designing for community theatre. She found character makeup an intriguing form of expression that she could use to push her own characters and performances further. Eager to learn all she could in sculpture and prosthetic application, this led to her attendance at the Tom Savini Special Makeup Effects Program. With that background in musical theatre, she gives intense scrutiny to how the makeup will appear in action. Her main short-term goal is to challenge herself with every new makeup she attempts. Her long-term goal is to share her art and designs with the world through her company Red Till Dead Design, and to eventually open an art gallery to showcase all forms of creative expression."

I see over on IMDB that she has worked on a couple of films.   I see some youtube work, but every subject ends up having her particular shade of blue hair.   Does that mean she has too narrow of an aesthetic?   Curious.

Dina Cimarusti • 28
Hometown: Lake Zurich, ILLINOIS      Residence: Chicago, ILLINOIS
Occupation: Cake Decorator
From SyFy: "An award winning cake decorator, Dina Cimarusti finally wants to be able to sculpt faces instead of cakes for a living. As a kid, her artistic talent was discovered by her parents, and they put her in every art class her school had to offer. Being an established cake decorator, she is attentive to detail and experienced in high-pressure environments having worked in busy kitchens her whole life. She was a makeup student of season four Face Off champion Anthony Kosar, who advised her to apply to season seven of Face Off. Dina loves to blend the characteristics of people and animals when creating creatures."

Now I want them to have an edible creation challenge.   Or, a character that actually gets eaten by a human model.    Tom Petty in Wonderland, indeed.

Gwen Crew • 25
Hometown: Cincinnati, OHIO      Residence: Swissvale, PENNSYLVANIA
Occupation: Dental Technician

From SyFy: "Growing up a horror movie fanatic, Gwen Crew began drawing creatures at an early age. Her talent was recognized by her mother, who motivated her to keep striving. Gwen later went on to an art school to hone and improve her skills. When creating new characters, she develops the presence of the creature along with a back story and personality behind it. If she wins the competition she will pay off her college loans and focus more on pursuing a career in the field."

I didn't see much of a presence on youtube or IMDB or just online in general.   Not sure what to make of that.   I know from past seasons that there is NO correlation between visible experience and success on the show.

Sasha Glassner • 22
Hometown: Irvine, CALIFORNIA      Residence: Los Angeles, CALIFORNIA
Occupation: Freelance SFX Makeup Artist

From SyFy: "Sasha's artistic talent was recognized at an early age by her mother, a children's book illustrator, who enrolled Sasha in several art classes to nurture her abilities. She went on to attend Orange County High School of the Arts where she was able to further dedicate herself to the arts. Her passion for special effects makeup began while creating monster heads in ceramics class, and later at Cinema Makeup School in Los Angeles. Under the mentorship of Bill Corso, she was able to further her skills while working on two feature films and then as a makeup head on five independent films. Sasha has an outgoing and quirky personality, and a boundless enthusiasm for everything."

Everything?   Bowel movements?   Okay, that was low.   I can't tell if she is merely a past student or if she is a teacher, too.   "Online Faculty & Student Support / Online Instructor" is all I could find online.  

Jason Hodge • 27
Hometown: Evans, GEORGIA      Residence: Atlanta, GEORGIA
Occupation: Kitchen Manager

From SyFy: "Jason Hodge's passion for special effects is so important he is able to balance this passion with his 50 hour a week regular job as a kitchen manager. He currently owns and operates Undead Forest Studios, where he sculpts his personal designs and commissioned pieces. Being self-taught using instructional videos, books and by watching other experience artists, Jason wants to be on Face Off to finally be able to solely focus on special effects. Jason loves working with silicone and creating realistic paint jobs with translucent paints."

Someone is living two lives, eh?   I mean, two complete lives, right?   I am curious as to how he will do, since he seems to have drive.   Well, I'm sure they ALL have drive, si?

Gabby Leithsceal • 42
Hometown: Perrysburg, OHIO      Residence: Loveland, OHIO
Occupation: Multimedia Director

From SyFy: "Gabby Leithsceal has sculpted on and off her entire life. Being self-taught has given her a unique perspective outside the influence of Hollywood. She was always interested in making creatures and every year, Halloween gave her the opportunity to experiment. When her creations became so elaborate that she was unrecognizable, her very supportive family and friends pressured her to audition for Face Off. Knowing she could no longer ignore her passion for special effects, she went for it."

Interesting work up on youtube.  Seems to be talented in many different art forms.   That can only be a blessing on the show.

Barry Mahoney • 33
Hometown & Residence: Southborough, MASSACHUSETTS
Occupation: Digital Dental Designer

From SyFy: "Barry Mahoney feels that his use of ZBrush and 3D printing for concept art and digital maquette will set him apart in the competition. He grew tired of sitting on the sidelines after watching several of his friends compete on previous seasons of Face Off, and decided to join the competition. His son Jake is the driving force in his life, and Barry is inspired to chase his dreams to make him proud. If he wins the competition, he plans to donate a portion of the winnings to start a charity creating realistic prosthetic limbs. "

After seeing Justin LeBlanc on PR12 work with 3D printing, I am yearning to see more.  My eyes are on ya, Barry.

Scott Mitchell • 48
Hometown & Residence: Chicago, ILLINOIS
Occupation: Graphic Artist & Freelance SFX MUA

From SyFy: "Scott Mitchell was introduced to horror movies and creature models at an early age to confront his fear of monsters and the unknown. He discovered his love for special effects makeup at the age of 10 while reading Dick Smith's Monster Makeup Handbook, but he did not have the resources to pursue it as a career. However, for the last three years he has been given a second chance by becoming a student of season 4 Face Off champion Anthony Kosar, who rekindled Scott's passion and hired him for several projects. Scott knows he will be older than other competitors but he believes with age comes wisdom. He is married and a proud father of two."

I'm sure working for s4 Anthony Kosar counts as pretty good preparation, eh?

Cig Neutron • 25
Hometown: New Castle, IN      Residence: Los Angeles, CA
Occupation: SFX MUA & Freelance Sculptor

From SyFy: "As the love child of 80's campiness and 50's sci-fi, Cig Neutron has been creating creatures from his imagination -- his "Cig Neutron Universe" -- since childhood. He crafts an elaborate story for all the creatures he designs in order to better realize his sculpts. He is currently a special effects make-up artist and a freelance sculptor, and co-founder of his company Bizarro Au Go-Go. He won the 2013 Son of Monsterpalooza costume contest with his Baphomet makeup. Cig and his girlfriend enjoy dressing up in full creature makeup and going out to karaoke bars. He believes that his unique and wacky personality will bring a lot of fun to the show."

From his youtube presence, I sense he is highly imaginative, creative, and I am eager to see what he does.

Vince Niebla • 42
Hometown & Residence: San Diego, CA
Occupation: Stereographer at Legend 3D

From SyFy: "As a child, Vince Niebla believed the creatures and monsters from horror movies were real. It wasn't until he saw articles in Fangoria magazine and realized the artistry behind it, that he began his pursuit to create monsters as believable as he imagined them. He started sculpting and painting in high school, and learned makeup skills from books and magazines and playing with mom's makeup. This self-taught artist eventually received an Emmy Award in 1993 for his work on Michael Westmore's team for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. He believes his passion and competitive spirit is a winning combination."

An Emmy Award winner is competing?   Surely Vince is in the final three, eh?

David "Doc" O'Connell • 26
Hometown: Coconut Creek, FL      Residence: Orlando, FL
Occupation: SFX Makeup Artist/Blue Man Group Deck Crew

From SyFy: "David O'Connell specializes in prosthetic application and painting, possessing skills that could potentially take his creations to a level never seen on Face Off.  During his time in ROTC during school, he learned that "on time is late" and this discipline allowed him to lead a team of 11 artists in completing makeup for 400 people in four hours nightly at Universal Studio's Halloween Horror Nights. For David, special effects, is a way of life – to the point where breakfast at grandma's can turn into an impromptu life-casting session."

Of course I am rooting for "Doc" since he is from Orlando.   Laura from s3 and s5 should approve, I would think.

Stella Sensel • 34
Hometown: Milwaukee, WI      Residence: Brooklyn, NY
Occupation: Freelance MUA, specializes in SFX

From SyFy: "After graduating from NYU, Stella Sensel worked at a costume shop for 12 years, but she later discovered her passion for art through makeup. She feels that her career started late, and is ready to kick it into high gear. Stella graduated from MUD NY in June 2012 and competed at IMATS London 2013, winning 2nd place in the character makeup competition. Stella balances her hard work ethic with a sassy sense of humor. She met her wife at an Amateur Female Jell-O Wrestling match, and lives at their recently purchased home with their dog."

Interested in seeing how a late-to-the-table contestant does.    I am thinking of Stacey Estrella and Bert from PR, of course.

Drew Talbot • 29
Hometown: Wood River, IL      Residence: Pittsburgh, PA
Occupation: Freelance Make-Up Artist

From SyFy: "Energetic and fun-loving, Drew Talbot is a graduate and former instructor at Tom Savini's Special Makeup Effects School where he taught a number of courses. He saw it as an opportunity to practice his craft, pass on his passion for makeup to others, and prepare for Face Off. He specializes in sculpting, prosthetics and application, and loves creating animal and human hybrids.  Drew focuses on creating rich, in-depth characters and stories and strives to create makeups that are realistic and film-ready."

Nice resume / portfolio web page.   I'm rooting for this one, he seems well rounded.  Uh-oh, that's the kiss of death with this show, eh?

George Troester III • 27
Hometown: Buffalo, NY      Residence: Panorama City, CA
Occupation: Freelance SFX Makeup Artist

From SyFy: "George Troester III's passion for special effects was first realized when he watched Evil Dead at the age of 15. Educated at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, George specializes in prosthetics, puppets and fabrication. When he designs a character, he first compares the base of his design to existing similar designs, then does the opposite so he can create something completely original. George admires SFX artist Rob Bottin and compares him to Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci."

I see a video online of him auditioning for season TWO, which is interesting.   That was indeed him, yes, not just someone else with the same name?   George worked on Snow White & The Huntsman, and and Ender's Game.   He seems sane and reasonable, even if he compares himself to LDV and Michelangelo.

Rachael Wagner • 24
Hometown: Chapel Hill, NC      Residence: Los Angeles, CA  
Occupation: SFX Makeup Artist

From SyFy: "Rachael Wagner fell in love with art in high school, and with her teacher’s motivation, she pursed Art Education in college. While in college she found the art of makeup and instantly fell in love with the new medium. She moved to New York to attend Makeup Designory in 2012 and pursue her new dream of becoming a special effects makeup artist. Rachael auditioned for Face Off season 5, and believes that she has become a more developed artist since then and is eager to showcase her skills on season 7. Outgoing and kind hearted, Rachael has Southern sensibilities with a New York edge."

For a moment I thought we weren't going to meet our quota of unnatural red heads.  Whew!

Damien Zimmerman • 25
Hometown & Residence Junction City, KANSAS
Occupation: Screen Printer

From SyFY: "Kansas native Damien Zimmerman was 100% self-taught by watching special effects instructional videos and talking to others online. He is one of the extremely few effects artists in his area. Supported by his mother and grandparents, Damien began constructing haunted houses at a very young age, which eventually carried over into makeup effects. He also was the 1st place winner of a costume contest that was featured on Syfy's Heroes of Cosplay in 2013. Besides makeup, he also builds sets, costumes, and props. His dream is to fully immerse himself into film and Halloween culture and thrive. As an outgoing and passionate artist, Damien believes he may become the loudest and most talkative contestant on season 7."

Well, talkative and loud should be entertaining, but will that translate to difficult to get along with others?   Uh-oh!

Last season the one with the best write-up and most experience noted went home first.  So, we know that there is no direct correlation between bio posted and success on the show.


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