UK Film Review managed to catch up with filmmaker Usher Morgan, whose short film Prego has been featured on the site. During his interview with Chris Olson, Morgan reveals a little bit about his career, filming in New York City, and his influences as a director.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your film career thus far
My name is Usher Morgan, I'm a writer, producer, director. I started my career in the book publishing business and made my way into the world of film. I am currently working on my first feature film entitled, Pickings. Check out www.PickingsFilm.com for more info.
What can you tell us about your short film, Prego?
Prego is a cute little short that offers a humorous take on unplanned pregnancies, it follows the story of Emily (played by Katie Vincent), a young woman confronting a one-night stand (played by Taso Mikroulis) with the revelation that she's pregnant. Things go from bad to worse when she comes to grips with the realization that the man may not be a suitable father figure to her unborn child - it's got some sad moments and funny moments - and overall, plenty of heart. I wrote, produced and directed the film in early 2015, the film was finally released to the internet in December of 2015 after a 9 months festival run. The short won some awards which helped us "stir up" some buzz for its release. We had a lot of fun making it and hopefully people will have as much fun watching it!
Why did you want to make this film?
I have friends who were in a similar situation on both sides of that conversation and I thought that many people could relate and find the humour in it. You have two 'kids' who don't really know anything about each other, aside from a drunken one-night stand, and now they are forced to come to grips with a new, life-altering reality and be adults about it. Prego was my "introduction" to the world of film and the art of writing, directing and producing a film from thin air, it will always have a special place in my heart.
Did you face any limitations making this film?
We only had access to our location for a single day (15 hours) so we had to constantly fight against the clock. Our crew getting a parking ticket 20 minutes into the shoot didn't help, but hey - we were filming in New York City. As far as time goes I guess that's just the way of the indie, it's a pretty common problem.
Who are your filmmaking influences (if any)? And do you have any favourite films?
I adore both Quentin Tarantino and Wes Anderson, two very different filmmakers with very different styles but still, my absolute favourites. I've watched and read anything they ever made or wrote, I take the time to study their films when I can. You can see a lot of Wes Anderson in Prego and a lot of Quentin Tarantino in my upcoming feature film, Pickings. I am also a big fan of Sergio Leone, Howard Hawks, Alfred Hitchcock and the Coen Brothers. I love almost anything and everything they do. As far as favourite films are concerned I can compile a top 500 list if you'd like and send it to you, but I bet we'll add a few names to the list before this year is over.
What would you say is your main motivation for making films?
I LOVE movies, cinema, motion pictures - whatever you want to call it, the art of telling stories via images moving at 24 frames per second - there's magic in it! I love watching films almost as much as I enjoy making them and I hope and pray to have the opportunity to do this every day for the rest of my life. I just love it so much! That pretty much sums it up, doesn't it?
What would you say if you were a dolphin?
Oh wow! Look at all that sea weed...
Check out Morgan's short film, Prego, at the film's website - www.pregofilm.com