Syfy shows how chills are created with season finale and premiere
The special effects makeup competition
"It's a very interesting place for me," says "Face Off" host McKenzie Westmore, who hails from Hollywood's most famous family of movie makeup artists. "This season, they've really let me have a voice. They let me speak up, not just as somebody who's been there and knows what's good or bad but also from a viewer standpoint. Sometimes, what you see in person is different from what's seen on TV, so I love that I get to have more of a say.
"At the same time, I'm still the host," she continues, "so I have to play it
So are guest judges who have appeared on "Face Off," including actors
"Monster Man" showcases Cleve Hall -- whose SOTA FX special effects company has serviced the "Ghoulies" and "Troll" series -- and his associates, including his daughters and his ex-wife, as they devise figures for horror movies. Their boss in the first episode is Sean S. Cunningham, director of the original "Friday the 13th" thriller, who enlists them to "build" conjoined twins that will separate rather graphically.
"I don't know how I feel about it," Hall admits of having his efforts spotlighted by television. "After 34 years of working in anonymity, I'm not sure what's going to happen the first time I hear somebody yell, 'Hey! "Monster Man" ' on the street. It's new, so we'll see. So far, I don't feel any different."
Still, making "Monster Man" requires Hall to alter his usual business approach. "I don't like dealing with clients most of the time," he says. "I'd rather let somebody else handle that. When I do it, it takes so much time away from the creativity that I end up doing the part I was most looking forward to late at night. Unfortunately, much of the time, other people will take credit for my work. My name's nowhere on it."
Thus, "Monster Man" provides Hall with something of a guarantee that the credit will go where it's due. "If there's a chance of being recognized for what I do, I might as well take it," he reasons. "Up to now, the people who have known me are the fans, the ones who are really into this stuff. They can tell what my work is."
Indeed, such avid attention to how effects are created has impacted Hall's business.
"In the old days," he reflects, "a lot of the guys kept their techniques to themselves. I don't mind sharing how I do things. A lot of the time, I'll stick to simpler techniques, especially since I work on lower-budgeted films. You don't have a lot of time, and you don't have the budget, to redo things. You have to get it together fast, and it has to work on the first try."
Also known for playing Sheridan Crane Lopez-Fitzgerald on the now-defunct
"I'd go to my dad's lab at Paramount Studios," she recalls, "and I'd be playing with clay and rubber. That was my childhood. When I was 3 years old,
"My dad would be in his home lab, my mom would be in the kitchen or whatever, and Robert would be hanging out in the living room playing with me and my toys. It was almost like he was baby-sitting me. He went to my parents and said, 'I love your daughter. We get along. Can she play my daughter in the movie?' And that's how I got bitten by the acting bug."
As "Face Off" wraps up its second season, Westmore is thrilled to have the third one to look forward to, particularly since it promises more innovation-by-necessity.
"There are those newcomers who make you think, 'Well, they haven't been doing this that long,' " she says. "but in some respects, that's what makes this great. It's a passion of mine, so I love doing this."