Shyne is a film about a literature teaching assistant, Philip Blair, 29, who is a school teacher by day, a drag queen by night. His struggle begins when he starts receiving abuse from his students because of what he does. Eventually, we find out that he was and still is physically abused on the street due to his art.
Shyne is a story about struggle, acceptance, learning to love yourself and last but not least, celebration. The film presents the events in a heightened reality which is shaped by Philip’s inner state of mind. The movie is a subtle character piece.
Philip is in a cycle of depression and apathy. The overwhelming events at school and on the street that happen in his life are consuming his emotional capacity to deal with the situation. The fact that he doesn’t have a clear perspective about how he can deal with his life makes it extremely hard for Philip to be brave and make a decision.
The change happens when Tom, one of Philip's students come into the story and breaks the cycle. He provokes Philip and takes him out of his "comfort zone" of being the victim, soaked in self-pity. The story resolves in a wave of bravery and celebration completely in the style of drag!
Shyne was my graduation project from the University of Gloucestershire. So far the biggest step for me as a director, this film involved a huge amount of pre-production and a real challenge for me as a director/writer.
With this film, I wanted to explore the culture of Drag and what it really means. The concept of putting a mask came out to be the main basis of the film. Drag is not just glitter, makeup and wigs. It is self-expression, it is a megaphone for ideas and messages. I feel blessed that I spent time immersing into this colourful culture surrounded by lots of talented drag queens who revealed their world for me!
Currently, the film is in post-production and after I've seen the footage I am really hopeful that the final result will be very satisfying.