Syfy’s ‘Face Off’ is a reality game show that revolves around a group of special effects makeup artists in competition against one another as each of them tries to create prostheses similar to those that are used and found in different genres of films, including science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Each episode features contestants going head-to-head in one or more challenges as they let their creative imaginations run wild.
The efforts of the contestants are rated and reviewed by a panel of judges, who must eliminate one or more artists each week until only one final winner remains and becomes the chosen one. With McKenzie Westmore as the host and its unique format, the show becomes all the more entertaining for the viewers. At the same time, the multitude of interesting locations present mostly in California raises questions regarding the Syfy show’s filming sites.
Face Off Shooting Details
‘Face Off’ was filmed primarily in Los Angeles County, California, with the shooting also taking place in Florida, Japan, Nevada, and Ontario, specifically in Orlando, Tokyo, Las Vegas, and Toronto, respectively. Although LA County served as the main filming site, the production team headed to different locations around the world.
Los Angeles County, California
The County of Los Angeles, in the Southern part of California, is the primary filming location of ‘Face Off.’ A significant portion of the shooting took place in the iconic Universal Studios Hollywood, located at 100 Universal City Plaza in Universal City in the San Fernando Valley region. Several well-equipped sound stages, as well as the backlot of the world-famous filming facility, served as a major production location for the game show. In particular, a few scenes from episode 4 of season 1 featuring Sean Cunningham were taped at the backlot at the ominous house from Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 cult classic horror film ‘Psycho.’ The contestants also visited a local Wig Shop during the filming of one of the episodes.
A warehouse at 590 South Santa Fe Avenue was also chosen for filming. However, it was reportedly demolished in 2016. The production team shot episode 2 of the second season at Aquarium of the Pacific on Rainbow Harbor, situated exactly at 100 Aquarium Way in Long Beach. For filming an episode of the same season, the cast and crew members visited the Linda Vista Community Hospital, located at 610-30 South St. Louis Street in the Boyle Heights neighborhood. Formerly called Santa Fe Coast Lines Hospital, the establishment was constructed in 1905 and shut down its operations in 1991. The now-defunct hospital was transformed into a housing complex for senior citizens in 2015.
A slice of season 2 was also taped at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. Situated at 900 Exposition Boulevard, it is reportedly the largest natural and historical museum in the country. For the filming of an episode of the fifth season, the team visited the world-renowned Laugh Factory lying at 8001 Sunset Boulevard in the center of the neighborhood of Hollywood. Episode 12 of season 5, featuring a dark elf character, was shot in the Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area at 4100 South La Cienega Boulevard in LA. Another episode of the same season was lensed at a local gothic church in the area.
Taping of an episode of season 6 likely took place at The Magic Castle, a historic members-only clubhouse for the Academy of Magical Arts, located at 7001 Franklin Avenue in Hollywood. Shooting of episode 11 of the sixth season was conducted at the prestigious Gnomon – School of Visual Effects, Games & Animation at 1015 N Cahuenga Boulevard. The title sequence of the sixth installment of the show was shot at Point Dume, a headland on the coast of Malibu, whereas the retired battleship called USS Iowa BB-61 moored at the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro is where the title sequence of season 7 lensed.
A slice of the show was also lensed at West Coast Customs, an auto body shop at 2101 Empire Avenue in Burbank. In addition, Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park doubled up as a filming site for episode 3 of the inaugural iteration of the show. Located at 10700 Escondido Canyon Road in Agua Dulce, the 932-acre park has also served as a shooting location for ‘Star Trek.’ The production team also shot an episode of season 11 at Mattel’s headquarters in El Segundo.
The city of Orlando, which is also the county seat of Orange County, served as yet another filming site for ‘Face Off.’ For instance, the production team seemingly set up camp in and around Skull Island: Reign of Kong at 6000 Universal Boulevard in Orlando. It is a trackless dark ride that is based on the 2005 movie ‘King Kong.’
For shooting some important scenes of season 6, the production team even traveled to Tokyo where the artists gathered several inspirations for their challenges. They took inspiration from the ancient culture and turned it into their respective art.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Additional portions of ‘Face Off’ were lensed in and around Las Vegas, a city situated in Nevada’s Clark County. In particular, the Wynn Hotel at 3131 Las Vegas Boulevard in Vegas reportedly hosted the production of the finals of season 4. Billed as the Entertainment Capital of the World, Las Vegas makes for a suitable filming site for such a project.
In the fourth season, the cast and crew members of ‘Face Off’ even paid a visit to the set of the epic Syfy series ‘Defiance’ in order to take inspiration from original alien creations made for the series. Thus, in the backdrop, you might be able to spot some local landmarks and attractions, such as the iconic CN Tower, Humber Bay Arch Bridge, the Toronto City Hall, and the Ontario Legislative Building.
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