Worthing-based film-maker Philip Deighton Maw – who works under the name Philip L Moore – is working with It Ain’t Half Hot Mum star Melvyn Hayes on his latest project.
Melvyn, who lives on the Isle of Wight, will play Myrtle, an 80-year-old transgender woman who is suffering from Alzheimer’s.
Philip is delighted with how quickly the project has taken off.
“The film is going to be called T I M (This Is Me), and I only wrote it about six weeks ago, and from the moment I wrote it, I just seemed to get an awful lot of interest in it. I put it out to a few different agents and said I was thinking about making a short clip and then going on to make the film. Within two weeks of writing it, Melvyn Hayes’ agent got in touch. I just forwarded it to lots of different agents, and Melvyn’s agent got in touch and said that Melvyn absolutely loved the script. We started communicating backwards and forwards and he invited me and my wife to stay with him to discuss the role he could play.
“He is playing the lead character Myrtle, a transgender woman with Alzheimer’s, and I think that is what made the script very interesting. I don’t think it is something that has really been covered before.
“Myrtle began life as a man, and the story is that her son is now middle-aged and has always known her as his mother. He knew there was a relationship break-up before he was born, and he always assumed that his father had left, leaving him to be brought up by his mother, but in fact he has been brought up by his father.
“It is not until his mother’s condition deteriorates that little snippets start to come out, like when she goes to the toilet, she doesn’t know whether to stand up or sit down, and she also becomes very homophobic. Her son is struggling with his sexuality, and because she had a very difficult time in her day, she becomes very hard on him.
“But as her condition becomes worse, she ends up having a stroke and goes into hospital where the doctors tell her son that his mother is in fact his father. Tim has never questioned it. He has always seen his mother in female clothes. It comes as quite a shock…
“The film is going to be 90 minutes, and we are going to make a trailer with Melvyn in May, and then we are going to try to raise funds to make the film, and hopefully we will go into full production in September. We have allowed three weeks for filming in September. We have only got two main locations for shooting. We will be filming in Brighton and on the Isle of Wight.
“Melvyn is an amazing character. He is very fit and active. When we were staying with him, he came around all the charity shops with us. It was hammering it down with snow, and we spent the whole day traipsing around the charity shops with Melvyn trying on ladies’ clothing. We had to keep saying it was for a film, but people recognised him. He is a very popular character on the Isle of Wight!”
Philip added: “We have set a budget of £50,000 for the film which is quite low, but we have got a great cast and crew who are working pretty much for nothing, for costs basically, and we have teamed up with the Alzheimer’s Society. We going to give ten per cent of any funds raised to Alzheimer’s.”
Anyone wishing to support the film should get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org or www.philiplmoore.com. See also: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/filmthisisme.
For other stories by Phil, see https://www.chichester.co.uk/author/Phil.Hewitt2