From SyFy’s Face Off Comes “Hot Set”: New Movie Set Design Competition



With the success that SyFy has been having with their make-up reality special effects show, Face Off, it looks like they are testing the waters with another design competition series.

SyFy just announced Hot Set, a new six episode series featuring movie set design competition from the producers of Face Off.

The series, hosted by Ben Mankiewicz, premiers Tuesday, September 18th at 10pm ET following Face Off, and features “rival set designers attempting to make movie magic.”

The first episode sees a set based on a devastated alien world where an astronaut has crash landed and must investigate.

The two teams will each have 3 days and $15,000 to pull it off before having to film a 30 minute short to put forth in front of judges Curt Beech, Lilly Kilvert, and Barry Robison.

Up for grabs is the prize of $10,000.

Check out the full press release below for more as well as the following video:

Press Release



A Select Group of Hollywood’s Most Talented Production Designers Joins Host Ben Mankiewicz for a Visually Stunning Six-Episode Season of Movie Set Design Competition

Each Week, Award Winning Judges Curt Beech, Lilly Kilvert and Barry Robison Select Best Set Design



NEW YORK  – August 27, 2012 – From the producers of Syfy’s top-rated Face Off comes a visually stunning new competition series Hot Set, premiering Tuesday, September 18 at 10 p.m. ET/PT, immediately following an all-new episode of Face Off. Each week, two Hollywood production designers and their teams will compete in an extreme design challenge to create original movie sets inspired by the science fiction, fantasy and horror genres. Each episode is one complete competition, with new production designers introduced each week. The episode’s winning designer will be the one who creates the ultimate movie set that is able to transport the viewer into an immersive world based on creativity, technique and overall presentation. 

A member of an American movie family dynasty, radio and television personality Ben Mankiewicz hosts the series. Ben’s grandfather, Herman Mankiewicz, is an Oscar-winning screenwriter for Citizen Kane and his great uncle, Joseph Mankiewicz, is an Oscar-Winning writer and director for All About Eve and A Letter to Three Wives.

The contestants will reveal their completed sets and edited film scenes on the Hot Set sound stage to a panel of judges who are leaders in feature film production design — three-time Art Director’s Guild Award nominee Curt Beech (The Coup, The Man Who Shook the Hand of Vicente Fernandez); two-time Oscar nominee Lilly Kilvert (The Last SamuraiLegends of the Fall); and Art Director’s Guild Award nomineeBarry Robison (X- Men Origins, Wedding Crashers, The Chronicles of Narnia).

The production designers will each have two team members to help them execute the daunting challenges. In the premiere episode, production designers Abra and Craig have just three days and a budget of $15,000 to conceive and build a film-quality world — a devastated alien landscape to be explored by a crash-landed astronaut. The designers draw support from their skilled team of carpenters and scenic painters, the expansive Hot Set supply room, and many of the prop and set dressing houses located in Hollywood. When time is up, the production designers have 30 minutes to shoot a scene on their original set. In the second episode airing September 25, designers Carl Dove and Kim Tolman must build a film-ready throne room for a gorgeous but brutal alien queen. In the end, one production designer is determined to have that week’s Hot Set and leaves with a $10,000 prize. 

Following are the Hot Set contestants: 

Ӣ Greg Arnowitz, 42: Bayonne, New Jersey; resides in Los Angeles, CA

Ӣ Carlos Osorio, 40: Garzon, Columbia; resides in Los Angeles, CA

ӢAbra Brayman, 38: San Francisco, CA; resides in Los Angeles, CA

ӢCraig Pavilionis, 48: Ashland, Oregon; resides in Los Angeles, CA

ӢCharlotte Newman, 36: Auckland, New Zealand

ӢRoger Ambrose, 56: San Gabriel, CA and San Diego, CA; resides in Orange, CA

ӢThomas Brown, 58: Atlanta, Georgia; resides in Van Nuys, CA

ӢBrandy Alexander, 56: New York, NY; resides in Beverly Hills, CA

ӢCarol Clements, 61: Los Angeles, CA; resides in Glendale, CA

ӢTudor Boloni, 36: Queens, New York; resides in Los Angeles, CA

Hot Set is a production of Mission Control Media with Dwight D. Smith and Michael Agbabian serving as executive producers along with Aliyah Silverstein.

Syfy is a media destination for imagination-based entertainment. With year round acclaimed original series, events, blockbuster movies, classic science fiction and fantasy programming, a dynamic Web site (, and a portfolio of adjacent business (Syfy Ventures), Syfy is a passport to limitless possibilities. Originally launched in 1992 as SCI FI Channel, and currently in more than 98 million homes, Syfy is a network of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies. (Syfy. Imagine greater.)