An Interview with Eric Casaccio – By Brian Morton

A couple of years ago, I had the chance to see a short film called ‘Freak’, about a cross-dressing man who, despite being up for a part in a movie, based on being a cross dresser, found himself being devalued and bullied by a neighbor who he first thought to be a friend. Well, the short was amazing and I spoke at the time with the filmmaker, Eric Casaccio. Well, Eric is at it again with another short, ‘Narcissist’, about a relationship that’s not at all what it should be. Another tremendous outing from Mr. Casaccio, so I had to catch up with him to find out more about ‘Narcissist’ and what else is going on with this talented up-and-coming filmmaker.

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BM – While ‘Freak’ was about accepting yourself, ‘Narcissist’ is more about not judging yourself by someone else’s standards. Where did you get the idea for ‘Narcissist?

EC – Wow, this is going to be a long answer, so here it goes. Years ago, I had a brief involvement with someone who at first came on strong with an immense charm, told me everything one could ever want to hear, framed a photo of me within a week, and made me feel beyond special, like I was “the one”. I was a bit skeptical in the beginning, but over time let my guard down and allowed myself to believe everything that was presented. Out of nowhere, the horrible devalue phase began with a month of abusive and manipulative mind games, to a final so-called “honest” email. I couldn’t comprehend how any human being could be so “caring” one day, and simply trash all that the next. I thought everything was my fault, like I didn’t pay enough attention to this “connection” until a good friend suggested researching narcissistic personality disorder and sociopaths. The sounds of these terminologies seemed a bit harsh until I nearly fell out of a chair googling them. Needless to say, a giant discovery was made; a whole community of people with the same common thread story in different scenarios beyond similar to my own personal experience. Some of these stories were short lived; some went on for years of marriage with children, yet all were the same streamline of narcissistic abuse. After forgiving myself for allowing a situation to happen, I spent months researching narcissistic personality disorder and realized there was an important story here to create; and the rest is history. A special thanks to Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Expert Melanie Tonia Evans for her love and support. What people like her do in this world is beyond amazing and important!

BM – Both ‘Freak’ and ‘Narcissist’ are about bullying, although very different types of bullying, will you continue that theme in future movies?

EC – Yes, I will definitely continue this theme in future projects. Telling stories with a likeable underdog character stuck in a situation of undeserved misfortune is my proud purpose in life. I recently completed the final draft of an intense feature screenplay called “Twin Flames”. It’s about what it’s like being different in a snobby suburb, and it all takes place in high school. Even though bullying is a prevalent part of the story, it is more about an unlikely friendship that comes together only to be torn apart by minions. My biggest dream is to creatively produce this project alongside a filmmaker like Gregg Araki who directed “Mysterious Skin”; a favorite film of all time.

BM – Your movies are also about ‘outsiders’, is that a theme you plan to continue work on?

EC – Absolutely. In my opinion, there are two types of people out there, those who care about what everyone else thinks, and those who don’t. I’m not judging one or the other as I feel both types have what it takes to make things happen. However, I feel outsiders are more sensitive risk-takers forced to work harder and accomplish things with truth, love, honesty, and authenticity. There’s an old saying, “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger”.  After completing “Narcissist”, I finally understand what that means because as an outsider myself, I had nothing to lose and everything to gain from this entire experience!

BM – When we last spoke you talked about a TV pilot and a feature, any progress on either front you’d like to tell us about?

EC – Yes, when we last spoke, I was going to make another short film about bullying, and believe it or not, it wasn’t “Narcissist”. Ironically, that short script was turned into a feature length screenplay that happens to be “Twin Flames” — the high school project I mentioned earlier. I still have the television pilot and would like to either gain representation with it, or possibly turn it into a web-series. I also have a documentary idea rolling around in my head. The creative mind never stops!

BM – How is the Trevor Project going?

EC – The Trevor Project has grown tremendously over the years. I am very proud of that organization and what it stands for. I love how their website has a resources page with education and training information for both youth and adults. Make sure you check it out at http://www.thetrevorproject.org/section/resources. I hope to try and do some volunteer work there soon!

BM – And please keep us in the loop about ‘Twin Flames’ and anything else your creative mind thinks up! Thank you.

EC – Thank you, I will.

If you haven’t seen either ‘Freak’ or ‘Narcissist’, then head over to http://www.ericcasaccio.com and find out where they’ll be showing near you, they’re both well worth the time to check out…you won’t be disappointed, you might actually be enlightened a little! And, we here at Rogue Cinema will keep our eye on Eric for you, to make sure that whatever his creative mind turns to next, we’ll be there to check it out!