For its upcoming eleventh season, Syfy's fan favorite series Face Off is doing what a lot of shows do after they've been on the air awhile, and it's changing up the season's structure. But rather than relying on inconsequential gimmicks, Face Off: All-Stars is making a shift that will actually give the contestants an experience that is closer to working on a proper film than past years have done. Face Off judge Glenn Hetrick recently spoke to CinemaBlend about the upcoming season, and the effects maestro told me this season's big hook is all about the teamwork.
I think it's a new dynamic we haven't explored before, and it combines them into teams, so that they're working with the same people again and again. That's really interesting, because it usually switches back from double to single; you don't know who you're working with. So the nature of the relationships continues to change. Here, very much like in the real world, you get with a group and you have to work with them to complete your goal week after week. That's super cool. The dynamic is more accurately representative of what it's like to work on a film, you know, you're with the same team during the whole shooting of the show.
That's a pretty brilliant switcheroo to make with Face Off, which has largely kept to the same format of single contestants going for the win, with team challenges randomly assigned as the weeks go by. Other alterations have obviously been made to challenges and things, but perhaps it was that constant malleability of almost every element that was one of the show's signature aspects. With the all-star line-up, however, Glenn Hetrick hints at a season in which viewers will be able to not just root for their favorite singled-off contestants, but entire teams. And in the same way that film crews' skills generally increase after everyone grows comfortable working together, Face Off's returning contestants will get a taste of that life in a familiar setting.
The All-Stars season is a double non-whammy for fans, who not only get to see a lot of favorites back on the show bringing even more advanced skills to win top honors - I'm shooting for Rachael Wagner and Cig Neutron - but we will also (hopefully) see a revised approach to the personal drama and relationships among everyone, as combatting styles become more complementary. One of my favorite things about any Face Off team challenge is when the partners are on the same page and running on all cylinders, because that's when you'll always see the kind of make-up work that appears destined for Hollywood blockbusters. Or at least Syfy blockbusters.
Even though none of these returning contestants won their respective seasons, that definitely doesn't mean that everyone's time on the show was for naught. In our conversation, Glenn Hetrick told me that this is definitely a reality show competition where winning out isn't the only road to success in the industry.
A lot of contestants find work that didn't necessarily win a prize on the show; it still opens a door. Ultimately, the best prize is the exposure they get. It's an opportunity I wish I would have had when I was younger.
So if you want to work with Glenn Hetrick and his company Alchemy on future films, a good first step would be competing on Face Off. And that's the easy part.
Face Off: All-Stars will make its team-based debut on Syfy on Tuesday, January 24, at 9:00 p.m. ET. The episode, "Abstract Aliens," has some stellar creations going for it, too, so don't miss out. In the meantime, head to our midseason premiere schedule to see everything else coming to your TVs in the next few months.