Over the weekend, Shock Till You Drop came face-to-face with a collection of oddities featured in “Face Off – In the Flesh,” one of the many scare zones that pepper the streets of Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights Orlando. Attendees walk through this ominous, fog-enshrouded block of the theme park and feast their eyes on various creatures that were featured on SyFy’s hit reality series Face Off.
During a mini-press day at the theme park with creative director Mike Aiello, I spoke with Face Off season 5 winner Laura Tyler whose history with Universal Studios goes back well over a decade.
Here is Tyler’s introduction in the video you see here. Our one-on-one conversation can be found below. We talk briefly about Halloween Horror Nights, her career path and more.
Also scroll through our photo gallery featuring some of the monstrosities that are on display at HHN this season.
Ryan Turek: How has your experience working with Universal been?
Laura Tyler: Great! I started working here back in 2001. This was my first job, so it comes full circle. I love the environment, the people I work with and all of the departments. I do this for fun.
Turek: Do you feel things would be different if you focused more on production. Here, people can come face-to-face with what you’re creating. There’s tangibility there…
Tyler: Good question. I grew up here in Orlando. As a matter of fact, I went to the high school across the street [from Universal Studios]. So I feel it was my destiny. There was no other option. If I wanted to get into production, I had to work for the theme parks. But, production-wise, if I could go back and do it all over again, I wouldn’t do it any other way. This was a great boot camp and it really prepare me for Face Off. I’ve gone on to more films now and I’m enjoying that process as well because it’s different. As artists I think we’re always finding new things to absorb like a sponge and the day I stop absorbing is the day I stop growing as an artist.
Turek: In the ’80s, FX artists were rock stars of the horror world in a way. They put makeup FX in your face and paved the way for a future generation of FX artists. Today, I feel like Face Off is doing a fantastic job of keeping that alive, reminding people that this craft is alive and well. Do you agree? And do you feel you have a responsibility to serve as a role model for aspiring artists?
Tyler: Absolutely. It is a new wave. It used to be about movies and TV. Today, it’s YouTube and the Internet and that has to be accessible. I think there’s a new generation coming up that’s turning to Face Off and looking on the Internet and being inspired. Inspiration is important and it’s hard work. On the show, things movie quickly, of course, but I think people realize if they dedicate themselves to the work they can create some amazing things. I think it’s a good lesson in patience and workmanship.
Turek: Totally. I just think it’s good to put faces to the creation and Face Off does that. Today, there are a lot of hard working folks in the CGI realm, but you never know who they are…
Tyler: And makeup FX has been getting just as good as CGI and has made great strides. Guardians of the Galaxy is a great example of that. There’s so much great stuff there. And it’s high quality. That tangibility…CGI can never get rid of that.
Turek: What’s your dream project?
Tyler: Something like Buffy the Vampire Slayer. A TV show where I’m doing weekly demons, aliens or something fantasy-oriented definitely.