JC Calciano brings his film, eCupid, to Baltimore’s Queer Film Fest at the Creative Alliance, Saturday, January 21. Calciano talked with Gay Life about his movie and his life:
Hi JC. Nice to meet you. On behalf of the GLCCB of Baltimore, and its publication, Gay Life, I want to say thank you for taking some time to speak with us. First of all, have you been to Baltimore before?
I’ve never been to Baltimore, I would love to walk the same streets as John Waters.
Good answer. What’s your favorite John Waters film? Is it Pecker?
You know, I would have to say Desperate Living, I also love Pink Flamingos. I really like his early stuff. In fact, I met John Waters when I was still in film school in the early ‘80’s. John Waters is a big inspiration to me. Meeting John Waters in the 80’s for me was like, a Star Wars fan meeting George Lucas.
About your name…who is and what is JC?
Well, I grew up in Long Island and first started working in the film business as a teenager [when] I lived with my family. When the phone rang (before cell phones) my parents would answer the phone and take messages for me, and mostly get the messages wrong. JC was always a “code” we had, whereas, if someone rang me up and asked for “JC” then they knew it was a work related call and to take a careful message. Now everyone calls me “JC.” The nice thing about all this now is that if the phone rings and someone asks for “James” I know that they don’t personally know me and are probably soliciting something. [Chuckles.]
What do you expect Baltimore to be like, considering you have never been here?
I feel like it will be similar to the town I grew up in. A hard-working, honest, blue collar town. I expect it to be a cross between Brooklyn, NY and Long Island. You know, small family-oriented neighborhoods, hardworking, the salt-of-the-earth people. I envision Baltimore City to be very “say what they want to say, mean what they mean.” I can’t wait to travel around Baltimore to find some of the fun hideouts. I find that local neighborhoods have the coolest places to hang out and the best restaurants to eat in.
Sweet. I’m not too artsy, but I know my hipster friends like a couple spots… You might like the 24 hour diner, “The Sip N Bite”…You’d probably get a good feel of Baltimore just by walking up and down Charles St. and maybe ending up at the literally underground part of Brewer’s Art. You’d probably like the Alewife restaurant across from the Hippodrome too.
So let’s talk about eCupid a little. If you could build your own “app” to sort of change the world, what would it be, and would it be like the app that the movie wraps around?
Well, currently we’ve created a real eCupid app for the iPhone that is a fun “love-tester” app that helps you find your soul mate. It’s really cool because it features Morgan Fairchild as the voice of the app, just like in the film. The app is a great ice-breaker in a bar and has a lot of special features about the movie build in to it. But as far as me being able to program my “dream app” that could do anything I’d want it to, I would have to say that I’d go with the app that’s in the movie and what that does in the film. That app teaches the main character in the movie a lesson about love and who he really is as a person. The app has a very “fairy g-d mother” feel to it, with Morgan Fairchild being the voice of that very app. The inspiration for the film comes from the character “Clarence” from the movie It’s a Wonderful Life. There’s a very similar learn-a-lesson theme in this film and the main character comes out a better person for having gone through the journey.
That sounds almost magical.
Yeah it is, and Morgan Fairchild takes it to another level. She’s sassy and somewhat campy…and……Does that mean the GLBT community will be able to relate to her?
Is there an element of free will/destiny that comes up with the app and the characters? Do you believe in either, or, do you believe in a combo of both? And what do the characters believe?
Well, I believe in free will, but I also believe there is a touch of destiny that comes into play in our lives. That’s how it is in the movie. The main character has free will but when he’s about to make a disastrous decision in his love life, then destiny steps in to help him out and guide him back to the correct path. I’d like to believe that we are in control of our own lives but sometimes when we really need it, there’s a divine hand that steps in to help us figure out which direction we should be heading in.
Let’s talk about the plot of eCupid just a tiny bit so as not to spoil it for any of our readers. Tell me, JC, what happens in eCupid?
Marshall (the main character) is in the perfect relationship with an awesome guy, however, they’ve both got caught up in their own lives and their respective technologies and have started to drift apart. Marshall goes on line looking for something better and stumbles upon an app named, eCupid, that promises to help him solve his problems. When he downloads the app, he starts to get everything that he thought he had ever wanted, only to realize that maybe what he thought he wanted isn’t really what he wanted at all.
Cool. Now how about the characters in the movie? What characters do you favor and which characters do you identify with the most?
I would have to say there’s a little piece of me each character. If I had to pick one character that I’m like, I’d say “Marshall.” Like me, Marshall is his own worst enemy and needs to be taught the biggest lesson. Marshall’s boyfriend, Gabe, is modeled off my real life partner, Matt. He’s the kind, sweet, smart, loving, understanding one. I’m more of the goofball in the relationship.
Gotcha, gotcha. So why don’t we go back to Morgan Fairchild. How in the world did you get her to even be in the film?
When I went to cast that role, I knew I needed a real iconic Hollywood star. I wanted someone who understood, supported, and was a champion of GLBT community as well as someone who lights up the screen, an actress who is classy and beautiful. When my casting director, Mark Sikes, suggested Morgan Fairchild I jumped at the chance. I said, “Really? Morgan Fairchild?!”
So will Baltimore’s audience like the film?
I believe so. I love this movie and am very proud of it. It’s a sweet, fun, 80’s type feel good movie with a campy sensibility to it. The film is a commentary on today’s society where people are getting immersed with their own technology/ electronics. I believe it will resonate with couples who sit at home in front of their TV, eating, and both having different pads/tablets/laptops each in their own laps.
Where do you see the LGBT community in the next 20 to 20 years? Like, what’s different, and, what’s the same?
In 20 years, we will look back and cringe at how much money was wasted by those ignorant bigots who fought “gay marriage.” Marriage is going to be re-defined as a union between two people who love each other. Period. I pray that society understands that people are different and diverse and not only welcomes diversity of all kinds of people but also celebrates it. Sexual orientation, gender orientation, and whatever else there is hopefully won’t matter. We are all people who deserve respect and love and the same rights. I also hope that the GLBTQ community will stay a community. As much as we may be welcomed into the mainstream in the future, I hope we continue to hold on to our culture, our humor, and our history.
One last question: What is your sign? And do you believe in the whole astrological discourse?
I’m an Aquarius. Do I believe in it or not? I can’t say… I don’t know. What I can say, I would admit that the main character in eCupid is also an Aquarius. Marshall definitely believes in the astrological business…well, at least more than me.
Kewl. Thanks again for having time to talk to us here at Gay Life. Good luck with your film and enjoy the spotlight and enjoy Baltimore. I think it’s safe to say that all of us here at GL are looking very forward to meeting you in person and seeing eCupid.
Thanks, and please let the fans know that small GLBT films like mine don’t really have any money for advertising or marketing like studio movies do. So if you enjoy the film, please tell your friends, Facebook, Tweet, do whatever you can to get the word out there to support these films. Without the support of fans, we can’t make these films, so as a community, we really need to help each other out.
JC Calciano, 2011, US, 95 min
Saturday, January 21 • 9pm
Creative Alliance at The Patterson • 3134 Eastern Ave.
CreativeAlliance.org • www.eCupidthemovie.com • facebook/eCupidthemovie