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National News / Entertainment

Sunday, 3 April, 2011 9:20 PM

Cinema 175 launches iPhone app for the new movie 'eCupid'

New motion picture is on the film festival circuit after premiering in Detroit

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

eCupid Co-producer Nicholas Downs and Director/Writer J.C. Calciano show off the all-new iPhone app.

by Jason Rzucidlo
americajr@americajr.com

 

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LOS ANGELES -- Hollywood filmmaker J.C. Calciano and his production company, Cinema 175, have released a new iPhone and iPad application to go along with the new film, eCupid. The movie is about a guy who downloads the app to find his true love. Then, the eCupid app takes control of his life by deleting his text messages, ignoring phone calls and erasing e-mails on his computer. The movie made its world premiere at the Detroit Independent Film Festival last month and is now on the film festival circuit.

The new app comes with a "love test" feature where two people can put their thumbs up against their iPhone/iPad/iPod to get it scanned. Seconds later, Morgan Fairchild will announce the results out loud. It also includes a copy of the movie trailer, a list of upcoming screenings and a link to eCupid's official website. The app was designed by Idea Monkey and Rod Maxwell. Eric Neergaard was the art director for the project.

"Well, I usually try to draw stories from things that I think appeal to everybody and occur to me in the past," said J.C. Calciano, director and writer of the film. "Is It Just Me? was a story about if I was dating and eCupid is a story about if I was in relationship. I've been in a 13-year relationship and I think everybody who's been in a long-term relationship had wonders about whether they're in the right relationship. This is a story about a guy who wonders after about seven years if he's doing the right thing."

Actor Nicholas Downs has been seen on The Guardian, Boston Public, Cold Case, The Holiday, 16 to Life and most recently, Make It or Break It. He tried his hand at co-producing on the new film, eCupid.

"We were on a 12-day shoot, the same as Is It Just Me?" Downs explained. "A little bit more locations. Is It Just Me? was a much more contained film with a few locations. eCupid was a little bit bigger. We actually shot a lot in West Hollywood again. There was two different bars that we shot at, EAST|WEST Lounge, GO BAR. We also shot at the old Marco's Restaurant. Across the street is the new Marco's Restaurant and they were getting ready to tear it down. Walgreen's was nice enough to let us come in and re-do the entire Marco's Restaurant and make it the café where Gabe works. A nice pool scene was a friend of ours. They let us come in for the evening and shoot in their pool, which was nice."

Calciano added: "Basically homes. A couple of friends and crew members were kind enough to let us use their homes. Other than that, I think that was it."

Actor Mike C. Manning is widely known for starring on MTV's The Real World. He also had roles in One Dark Night, Velco Love Triangle, and Gingerdead Man 3-D: Saturday Night Cleaver. Manning played the character of Myles in eCupid.

"I was so excited, very excited," Manning explained. "I read the script and the character was just a lot of fun. I got good vibes from everybody. So pure excitement. My character, Myles, was kind of the fun, skater kid. He hits on Marshall, the lead. It's all fun and games. He tries to mack on him a little bit. You see my character throughout the film as the carefree comic relief."

eCupid made its world premiere at the Detroit Independent Film Festival on March 11 at the Burton Theatre. It was Calciano's second film at the festival in two years.

"I'm really, really a huge supporter of the festival and the Burton Theatre," the director/writer said. "I think it's a great venue. I love Detroit so when they invited me back, I was just thrilled to be part of it again. It was a great screening and got a great response from the audience. It was just terrific to be part of it."

Last year, he held two screenings of Is It Just Me? in Detroit.

"Both of them went really well," Downs said. "The second one, the way it was timed, was on Oscar night. But still, we had a really good turnout still. What I really like about it was it was a really diverse audience of all different types of people. We had a grandmother show up with her grandson. It was really neat to see a cross section of people. We had a wonderful Q&A afterwards and a wonderful reception."

How was the Hollywood premiere of Is It Just Me? over at the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) on March 19?

"As an independent film and a successful independent film that featured SAG actors, they invited us," Calciano explained. "It was great because we had a really good Q&A. Nicholas was there to talk about the film. We had all of these actors asking how to produce their own films and how to get involved in the SAG indie contracts. It was a great night. It was a great theater. We really had a great time."

Getting back to eCupid, what's next for the film?

"eCupid is about to launch into its full year of festival runs," the director/writer said. "We are going to be the main attraction over at Boston next month. We are also going to be the main attraction in Honolulu. We're going to open with those two festivals and then roll out. We had over 40 festivals for Is It Just Me?. I'm expecting about 40-50 for eCupid this year. It's hard to look into the future as far as who the distributor is and what we're going to do. But I'm thinking that it's fair to say that a holiday release, pre-release in November."

Downs added: "eCupid will probably have a limited theatrical like Is It Just Me? did. Is It Just Me? opened in London and New York. So I imagine that eCupid will have just as much, if not even more."

What's next for you, Nicholas?

"I actually just got done producing a children's pilot that I was also in," he explained. "I worked on a music video recently, doing lots of auditions, writing and taking what J.C. said about the actors we met at the SAG--them wanting to produce their own work. I've been trying to do that so I can create work for myself and not have to wait around for auditions, but actively pursue jobs."

J.C. Calciano is working hard on the distribution plans as well as starting to write his next film.

"My plate is pretty full with getting the film to distribution and festivals," the director/writer said. "Nicholas and I co-produce and write Steam Room Stories. We do that weekly and I'm currently writing the next film. I've got a pretty good first draft of the next script. In my spare time, I'm polishing that up to shoot maybe this summer. [crosses fingers] If I could get it together in time."

What's next for you, Mike?

"The Brothers Sinclair is another film in the works," he explained. "It's a featurette right now. That's about two brothers that open up a gym and they think it's a gay gym, but it's a straight gym. It's another comedy, much like eCupid."

Would you guys be interested in shooting a movie in Michigan with our state's 42 percent tax incentive? Are you still interested if our governor is successful in capping the incentives or lowering them to 30 or 35 percent?

"I would and in fact I have some friends who are filmmakers in Michigan," Calciano responded. "I'm always looking at that opportunity to get to Michigan and to make a film. Absolutely. As a filmmaker, you try to do the best film for the least amount of money. If those incentives worked out that way, Michigan has great locations that I think are really spectacular on film. That would also be a great factor. Yeah, absolutely, I'd love to come there. There's no such thing as a little amount of money. You can make a wonderful film for $50,000 and upwards of $50 million and plus. My job is to pursue smart money as a producer."

Manning said: "Absolutely, I'll do a movie. If the script is right, the characters are right and the cast is right, I'll do a movie on the moon if I have to. If they start casting for a movie on moon, I'm all about it. So Michigan's no different."

"Yeah, there seems to be a wonderful pool of talent there in Detroit," Downs answered. "From our experience at the film festival, people behind the crew and actors. I think you already have a really nice pool to pull from. Like J.C. said the locations and the backdrop and of course with the tax incentives, you can't really beat that."

For more information about eCupid, go to www.ecupidthemovie.com or facebook.com/ecupidthemovie.

"eCupid" Directed by J.C. Calciano, 90 mins. USA

Synopsis: Marshall (Houston Rhines) is a cocky young ad man working at a dead-end job for a boss (John Callahan) who overlooks his talents. On top of that, he's turning 30! He is desperate for a new life. He goes looking for it online, where he comes upon a mysterious app called “eCupid” that guarantees to find true love. From the moment he downloads it, “eCupid” scans every inch of Marshall’s online world and instantly turns his life upside down. Marshall suddenly gets everything he thinks he wanted.

Click here to download The eCupid iPhone app from the iTunes Music Store for only 99 cents. It is compatible with the iPhone, iPod touch and the iPad. Requires iOS 4.2 or later.

Related Story: 'eCupid' to make its world premiere at Detroit's Burton Theatre

 

PHOTO BY J.C. CALCIANO

AmericaJR.com's Jason Rzucidlo meets eCupid Actor Mike C. Manning

 

Photo credit: Cinema 175

Noah Schuffman stars as Gabe Horton and Andy Anderson stars as Chris No. 1 in eCupid.

 

Photo credit: Cinema 175

Noah Schuffman with Houston Rhines as Marshall Thomas in eCupid.

 

Photo credit: Cinema 175

Morgan Fairchild stars as Venus in Cinema 175's eCupid.

 

Movie poster credit: Cinema 175

eCupid movie poster

 

 

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