I agree with the decision to use a face mask, although I don't use one currently. I expect to switch over to one after completing the "on camera" kayak segments of Savage Snow.
There seem to be limited good options for helmets that don't come down over the ears.
I have seen some people wearing an Itech hockey face cage that attaches at 2 points on top and seats against the chin with a padded chin cup. One wearer I spoke with liked it a lot. The chin contact was disconcerting to me, but if it is good for a 60 mile per hour heavy hockey puck...
Their website is painfully inefficient.
Here are some links for immediate gratification showing the Itechs and competing brands.
There is a photo of an interesting (no chin contact) cage used for kayak polo if you scroll down on this page.
This place in Ft. Collins says they sell kayak polo face masks, but I could not pull up any images.
The simple 2 bar cages that attach to ear coverage Pro-Tec helmets look like a good start if you are comfortable with a plastic helmet. I have been told that some rig those cages at an odd angle to attach to carbon fiber, earless helmets. I wonder how that works.
Here are some other products for Cascade ear protection helmets.
The chin bar option looks interesting to me.
And last but not least...
Here is another interesting item with a Darth Vader Theme. Check out the Stormtrooper model on this website.
As you can see, I have been accumulating data on this subject. I will definitely paddle with face protecton eventually. But for the film, it obscures identity too much. Unlike a kayaking movie, the narrative of Savage Snow requires a lot of closeups during the water scenes.
I haven't had any face damage yet in my short kayaking career, but an event described here caused me to think more seriously about face protection.