London Shorts: He Took His Skin Off For Me

By Ioanna Karavela Last edited 33 months ago
London Shorts: He Took His Skin Off For Me

He Took His Skin Off For Me from Ben Aston on Vimeo.

With Friday 13th stumbling into Valentine's Day this week, we thought we'd give you this gloriously gooey short film, which perfectly melds the two together. It's a meaty treat and under the epidermis it also has a lot to say about modern relationships and what sharing life and love in London can be like. Director Ben Aston told Londonist:

“I was lucky enough to be the first ever person to read Maria Hummer's remarkable short story on which the film is based. The only thing I made sure of was that we made the friendliest version possible, lest it become completely unbearable. Tonally it's all there on the page, she cracked that and I just had the far easier job of turning it into a movie.

“We filmed in my shared student house in Acton Town, shooting during the last week of my tenancy, so we knew we had to paint the walls anyway. Our wonderful landlord was very cool about the whole thing, but he didn't really know what the film was about, as far as he knew it was just some love story. We actually had possible future tenants come in for tours the day before we started filming, thank God we hadn't put the blood up yet.

“The skinless effect was achieved entirely through SFX makeup — no computers. Jen Cardno and her team of young SFX designers turned an abandoned old-folks home in Chiswick into their de-facto body factory, turning out hundreds of individual muscle pieces that were applied to our lead actor. Some days it would take up to 8 hours to apply.”

The film was directed by Aston, who also co-wrote with Maria Hummer on whose original short story it's based — and it stars Sebastian Armesto and Anna Maguire. It was produced by a team including Fiona Lamptey, Syukri Jumin and Andrew Morrison with the London Film School and was recently screened at the BFI London Film Festival.

Want to be featured? If you have a London-themed short film that you’d like us to consider for this series, send an email with the subject “London Shorts” to Stu Black and Ioanna Karavela via our email: londonshorts@londonist.com

To see other London Shorts click here (but please note, links may not always work if the filmmakers are showing their shorts in competition).

Last Updated 13 February 2015