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LOG LINE The  story  of  a  man  who  takes  his  skin  off  for  his  girlfriend,  and  why  it   probably  wasn't  the  best  idea...   SYNOPSIS In  this  twisted  modern-­‐day  fairy  tale,  a  man  removes  his  own  skin  for  the   woman  he  loves,  believing  it’s  what  she  wants  him  to  do.  And  she  does…  at   first.  But  his  action  soon  proves  to  have  dire  consequences.  Small  things,   things  like  stains.  Things  they  can  handle.  But  before  long  it  becomes  clear   their  relationship  will  never  be  the  same  again…      

ORIGINS

  ‘He  Took  His  Skin  Off  For  Me’  is  an  adaptation  of  the  original  flash-­‐fiction   story  by  award-­‐winning  writer  Maria  Hummer.  Its  vision  of  the  skinless  man   as  a  twisted  piece  of  domestic  magical-­‐realism  is  powerful,  evocative  and   beautiful.  Think  Margaret  Atwood  meets  David  Cronenberg.  


DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT   This  production  has  been  a  labor  of  love,  the  result  of  over  fifteen  months  dedication.  The  first   time  I  read  Maria’s  remarkable  story  I  knew  there  was  no  turning  back.  It’s  the  kind  of  idea   that  grabs  you  by  the  back  of  the  neck  and  doesn’t  let  go.  Her  unique  female  voice  demands   your  attention  yet  defies  your  expectation.  I  knew  I  had  to  make  it  into  a  film,  I  just  didn’t   know  quite  how  yet.       In  the  end  we  had  to  build  our  own  SFX  department  from  the  ground-­‐up  to  bring  the  story  to   life.  We  were  a  truly  independent  production,  raising  the  majority  of  our  financing  via   Kickstarter  after  most  deemed  it  too  risky  or  too  ambitious  to  pull  off.  The  makeup   achievements  are  the  result  of  thousands  of  hours  of  exceptional  craftsmanship  and  achieved   entirely  without  CGI.  It  is,  bizarrely,  also  a  student  production,  being  my  own  graduation  film   from  the  London  Film  School.       But  at  its  heart  it  is  a  simple,  tragic  love  story,  grounded  by  the  nuanced,  powerful   performances  of  Anna  Maguire  and  Sebastian  Armesto.  The  film  demands  you  make  sense  of   it;  in  constructing  an  interpretation  you  necessarily  draw  on  your  own  life  experience  and,  in  a   way,  become  a  part  of  the  story.  The  power  of  the  allegory  is  how  multifaceted  it  is.  Every   audience  member  has  their  own  take;  sympathies  and  meanings  seem  to  go  in  almost  all   directions.     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…  


A PRACTICAL SFX FAIRYTALE   From  the  beginning  we  knew  this  film  had  to  shot  practically.  The  story  required  a  tactile,   real  world  quality  that  only  physical  makeup  provides.  The  film  is  100%  in-­‐camera;  there  is   no  CGI  whatsoever.       Bringing  this  story  to  life  was  a  monumental  challenge.  We  began  by  reaching  out  to  Colin   Arthur  (NeverEnding  Story,  2001:  A  Space  Odyssey)  and  with  his  help  and  guidance  built   our  own  independent  team  of  sculptors,  makeup  artists  and  SFX  newbies  to  make  a  man   appear  to  have  no  skin.       Jen  Cardno  took  time  away  from  the  Royal  College  of  Art  to  run  the  team  as  SFX   Supervisor.  Given  the  resources  available  the  quality  and  realism  of  her  designs  is   unprecedented.  The  team  spent  over  8  weeks  creating  hundreds  of  individual  muscle   pieces  specifically  crafted  for  Sebastian’s  body.  Thousands  of  hours  went  into  its  creation.   We  have  always  said  we  needed  to  believe  in  the  effect  for  the  film  to  have  any  effect,   and  that  gamble  more  than  paid  off.  


Above: Early test work on a skinless arm

Below: Face pieces dry in the sun

Above: Sebastian bust map


Left: Sebastian has a moment with himself…

                 

Right: Colin Arthur (NeverEnding Story) helps chisel the face bust

Left: the body map comes to life


CAST    

SEBASTIAN ARMESTO as HIM   Sebastian  is  an  English  film,  television  and  theatre   actor  known  for  Pirates  of  the  Caribbean:  On   Stranger  Tides  (2011),  Marie  Antoinette  (2006)   and  for  playing  the  poet  and  playwright  Ben  Jonson   in  Roland  Emmerich’s  Anonymous  (2011).       Armesto  has  acted  in  high-­‐profile  theatre   productions  in  Britain,  including  three  shows  at  the   National  Theatre  and  one  at  the  Royal  Court.  He  is   currently  starring  as  Edgar  opposite  Frank  Langella   in  King  Lear.  He  also  writes  and  directs  theatre  with   company  Simple  8.  Most  recently,  he  co-­‐wrote  and   directed  a  play  based  on  William  Hogarth's  The  Four   Stages  of  Cruelty  and  new  versions  of  The  Cabinet  of   Dr.  Caligari  and  Moby-­‐Dick.    

ANNA MACGUIRE as HER   Anna  Maguire  started  her  career  in  Steven   Spielberg’s  Saving  Private  Ryan.  This  basically   meant  that  she  was  hooked  and  would  never  be  free   of  the  world  of  film.  She  continued  to  act  as  a  child   and  teenager  in  her  school  holidays,  appearing  in   various  film,  TV  and  theatre  roles,  including  work  for   20th  Century  Fox,  Hallmark,  the  BBC  and  the   Almeida  Theatre  in  London.  After  taking  a  sabbatical   to  study  English  Literature  at  Cambridge  University   she  has  returned  to  acting,  appearing  in  The  Hour   (BBC)  and  Parade’s  End  (HBO)  as  well  as   performing  in  various  stage  roles.  She  has  also   started  making  her  own  films,  the  first  of  which,   Don’t  forget  your  mittens,  premiered  at  The  London   Short  Film  Festival  in  2014.  


CREW   BEN ASTON – Director

 

Ben  is  a  27-­‐year-­‐old  London  born  filmmaker,  raised   in  Singapore,  Hong  Kong,  Shanghai,  Australia  and   Bath.  After  graduating  with  a  BA  in  Philosophy  from   Kings  College  London,  he  moved  on  to  the  London   Film  School;  this  will  be  his  graduation  film.  His  last   film  ‘Dinner  and  a  Movie’  was  officially  selected  for   the  Palm  Springs  Shortfest  2013,  the  London  Short   Film  Festival  2013  and  the  Edinburgh  Film  Festival   2013  which  named  him  a  'British  director  of   tomorrow'.  

FIONA LAMPTEY - Producer   Fiona  is  a  skilled  Production  Finance  Manager  with  8   solid  years  of  experience.  She  joined  Channel  4  in   2004  and  currently  works  for  their  feature  film   division,  Film4.  Her  credits  include  films  like  'Attack   the  Block',  'Four  Lions'  and  'Submarine'.  Fiona  has   produced  two  short  films:  'The  Prayer'  by  Shola   Amoo  and  Nosa  Nedion  and  'Close'  by  Geoffrey   Taylor.  

MARIA HUMMER - Writer   Maria  Hummer  was  born  and  raised  in  Toledo,  OH,   has  lived  in  Seoul,  Korea  and  currently  resides  in   London.  She  has  a  BFA  in  Creative  Writing  and  an  MA   in  Screenwriting.  She  is  a  jack  of  all  trades,  having   worked  as  a  professional  taste  tester,  youth  hostel   manager,  development  editor  and  British-­‐American   translator  (yes,  that's  a  thing  apparently).  This  is  her   second  collaboration  with  Ben  Aston  after  ‘Dinner   and  a  Movie’.  In  addition  to  working  on  short  and   feature  film  projects  she  has  a  flourishing  fiction   career,  with  five  short  stories  accepted  for   publication  this  quarter  alone.  She  is  currently   working  on  her  first  novel.  


JEN CARDNO – SFX Supervisor   Jen  spent  her  formative  years  scrabbling  around  in   the  dirt  collecting  insects,  and  not  an  awful  lot  has   changed.  After  finishing  her  two-­‐year  Fine  Art   National  Diploma  with  a  Triple  Award  Distinction,   she  went  on  to  study  illustration  at  the  UWE.   Experimenting  with  modelmaking  and  animation  at   the  end  of  the  third  year,  she  graduated  suddenly  in   2008,  and  went  straight  into  work  at  Bolex  Brothers   Studios.  After  freelancing  at  SFX  and  prop  houses  for   a  few  years,  she  decided  she  wanted  a  master's   degree,  and  is  currently  half  way  through  an  MA  in   animation  at  the  Royal  College  of  Art,  London.  

YIANNIS MANOLOPOULOS – Cinematographer

 

Yiannis  studied  Philosophy,  Economics  and  Project   Management  before  realising  he  had  to  make  films   instead.  He  hasn't  stopped  doing  so  since  and  does   not  intend  to.  Yiannis  studied  at  the  London  Film   School,  specialising  in  cinematography.  Since  then  he   has  been  involved  in  numerous  student  and   professional  productions  with  his  newly  founded   company  Filmstead,  in  the  effort  to  grow  as  a   cinematographer  and  do  what  he  does  best,  sharing   stories  through  the  creation  of  cinematic  images.  

Reza Jouze – Editor

 

Reza  was  a  stage  actor  and  director  in  Iran,  before   settling  in  the  UK.  He  has  acted  in  more  than  20  stage   plays  and  has  directed  5.  He  has  twice  won  the  best   Theatre  Actor  of  the  year  award  in  Iran.  After  moving   to  London  he  entered  The  London  Film  School  and  in   2013  graduated  with  MA  filmmaking.  He  has  edited   more  than  10  short  fiction  films  and  several   documentaries.  Reza  is  now  working  as  a  freelance   Editor.  


KATIE MACGREGOR – Production Designer   Katie  Macgregor  is  a  London  based  Art  Director.   Originally  from  Sydney  Australia,  she  moved  to   London  to  study  Foundation  Art  &  Design  at  Chelsea   University,  and  continuing  her  degree  in  Fine  Arts  at   UCA  in  Farnham.  Katie  has  worked  as  an  Art  Director   in  London  since  2011.  During  which,  she  has  worked   on  over  40  films,  music  videos  and  commercials.  She   has  worked  on  a  variety  of  projects  including  music   video  for  Emmy  the  Great,  Young  Rebel  Set  and  Dear   Reader  and  has  recently  Art  Directed  TV  Docudrama   'Miracle  Landing  on  the  Hudson'  which  was  aired  on   National  Geographic  Channel  in  2013.  

MARK SEYFRITZ – Composer   With  a  highly  eclectic  and  multiple  award  wining   career  as  a  composer,  producer  and  programmer  in   the  music  industry,  Mark  started  scoring  and  sound   designing  for  films  in  2005.    He  has  scored  several   features  recently  including  ‘Dark  Tide’  (Halle  Berry   /  Olivier  Martinez),  ‘Dead  Man  Running’  (50Cent  /   Brenda  Blethyn),  ‘Devil  you  Know’  (Jennifer   Lawrence  /  Rosamund  Pike  /  Lena  Olin)  and  ‘Jonah’,   that  has  just  been  nominated  for  ”  Best  British  Short   ”  at  the  BIFA’s  2013,  and  at  Sundance  for  “Best  Short   film  Grand  Jury  Prize”.  

SYUKRI JR – Executive Producer   Syukri  is  an  independent  producer  and  founder  of   CANDAS  CREATIVE  COMPANY.  Being  a  collaborative-­‐ driven  creative  company  and  film  foundation,  this   startup  seeks  to  champion  and  celebrate  cinematic   arts  through  spectacular  storytelling,  in  addition  to   developing  and  producing  shorts,  features  and   documentary  films;  such  as  ACT  ONE:  A   Documentary,  Crossing  West,  On  The  Bridge,  and   Siren.  CANDAS  CREATIVE  COMPANY  in  its  first  year   has  supported  over  8  projects  from  around  the   world.  Syukri  additionally  serves  as  Principal  Partner   of  CUNGKEEL  PICTURES,  a  private  film  financing  and   investment  firm.  


PRODUCTION INFORMATION TITLE He Took His Skin Off For Me GENRE Short, Drama, Magical-Realism, Horror DATE OF COMPLETION February 2014 COUNTRY OF PRODUCTION United Kingdom ASPECT RATIO 2.35:1 RUNNING TIME 11 minutes (11:22) LANGUAGE English SHOOTING FORMAT HD, Arri Alexa SCREENING FORMATS DCP, Blu-ray, HDCAM, DVD, QuickTime Pro-res 422


STILLS  


CONTACTS DIRECTOR Ben Aston 24 Alexandra Road, W41AX, London, UK Email: info@benastondirector.com Website: www.benastondirector.com

PRODUCER Fiona Lamptey Phone: +44 (0)7930629744 Email: fiona@fruittreemedia.co.uk

RIGHTS & SALES Fiona Lamptey & The London Film School 24 Shelton Street London WC2H 9UB WEBSITE www.hetookhisskinoffforme.com


He Took His Skin Off For Me presskit