He Took His Skin Off For Me is one of the best shorts of 2014. A sort of body horror poem, Ben Astons film is lyrical, grotesque, melancholic in its tone and images and utterly stunning in its use of FX. Now online in full, you can enjoy this terrific piece about a devoted spouse who quite literally peels away his outer shell.
As per director Astons description, He Took His Skin Off For Me is a practical SFX fairytale. No CGI whatsoever. Based on the short story by Maria Hummer, it is my grad film from the London Film School. It took us 2 years, 217 Kickstarter backers and a whole lot of fake blood to pull off. SFX legend Colin Arthur (NeverEnding Story, 2001: A Space Odyssey) helped us achieve the impossible, allowing SFX Supervisor Jen Cardno and her team set a new standard for anatomical practical effects. Actor Sebastian Armesto (Anonymous, Pirates of the Caribbean) spent as long as 8hrs in makeup each day to bring this story to life. Alongside Anna Maguire (Saving Private Ryan, Parade’s End) they both give us something wonderful, horrible and completely unique. I dont want to tell people what the film should be. Even finding a genre to describe it is difficult. I want people to come to this film just like I came to the original story, completely unprepared.
In a previous interview I conducted with Aston, he told me this of being inspired by Hummers short tale: She wrote an incredible short story that I simply couldnt get out of my mind! Reading the original He Took His Skin Off For Me the first time is an experience. The imagery and the language is at once haunting, dark, tragic and beautiful. When I read it I was surprised it didnt already exist, it sounds familiar yet its totally unique. Its one of those tales that that grabs you by the back of the neck and demands you make sense of it. As a writer Maria is elusive as to a singular interpretation, thus the power of the allegory is how multifaceted it is. Everyone comes out with something important and personal. I did when I read it, and to be honest the only way I could get that out of my head was to share it with the rest of the world. Some ideas you just have to make.
Find the fantastic He Took His Skin Off For Me, below.