It's hard to know what to expect when you are approaching a short movie entitled He Took His Skin Off For Me, but a touching love story about co-dependent relationships definitely wasn't my first thought!
This blood sodden, gory tale by Ben Aston was created using absolutely no CGI whatsoever and the skinless man was incredibly pieced together using only practical effects. The official synopsis for this moving movie short reads:
'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 don't 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.
If I can leave with one pearl of wisdom, though; if you take off your skin just to be with somebody? That's only ever going to end messy…
Below are some screenshots to give you a feel for the incredible practical SFX on offer.
Just Peeling My Own Skin Off, Nothing to See Here!
"I could see everything, he was beautiful"
Flesh on Flesh Action
Yeah... I think I'll pass on that steak dinner.
I think it might be time to get a cleaner, hun'.
"He Had Trouble Finding Clients"
Can't think why...
If you feel like experiencing a bizarre mixture of disgust and tenderness, you can watch the entire movie below.
For all of you budding SPX geniuses out there, Aston also created a behind the scenes video to give you a peek into how the incredible practical effects were created.
Behind the Scenes
The Full body suit was assembled in panels and it "folds and creases, just like a T-shirt" to allow fluid movement.
Artists carefully painted the areas in between the built up muscles to give full body coverage.
Cast moulds of the actor's face were used to ensure that the rubber muscular structures fit him perfectly.
It took hours to apply the carefully assembled anatomical jigsaw puzzle to the actor before filming could begin.
You can watch the whole behind the scenes video here.