Brow Beat

Ben Aston’s He Took His Skin Off For Me Is a Marvel of Special Effects

Sebastian Armesto.

Still from Vimeo

The premise of Ben Aston’s latest short film, He Took His Skin Off For Me, is self-explanatory: to satisfy his girlfriend, a man peels off his epidermis and exposes the wet, gleaming blood-and-muscle mass beneath. The things we do for love! Needless to say, the peeling has some not-so-great effects on the couple’s relationship, but Aston and writer Maria Hummer make this more than a gimmick, developing the film’s conceit into a metaphor of real nuance and emotional heft.

Honestly, though, the short is worth watching just for the special effects, all of which were achieved 100% in-camera through makeup and other means. This analog wizardry lends an unnerving, tactile realism to the film; for a glimpse of the thousands of hours the crew spent on the effects, you can watch a “making of” documentary below.