Prego, an award-winning short comedy film by Usher Morgan tells the story of Emily (Katie Vincent), a young woman confronting a one-night stand (Taso Mikroulis) with the revelation that she's pregnant. Things go from bad to worse when Emily discovers that Mark is not an ideal father figure.
6 questions with Prego director, Usher Morgan at the half-way mark.
Saturday, May 6th, 2017
1Hi Usher! Thanks for being a part of our festival. First, what was the initial seed that inspired you to make Prego? I wanted to write a short film that was entirely dialogue-driven, that's always been something I wanted to achieve as a writer. As far as the theme is concerned 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 humor 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.
2This is a very dramatic situation that you've turned into a comedy. What is it about comedies that attracts you? Making people laugh is addictive, I think it's one of the best tools I have as a storyteller. I love making people laugh.
3You wrote this film as well. What was your writing process like and how long did it take you to complete? It took about 3 weeks to write, rewrite and polish the script. Once done, I sent it to a fella named Andy Cowan (one of the writers of "Seinfeld") for feedback. he gave me some pointers and ultimately the confidence to make the film, since he was the first "real" writer I've ever approached and the first person to say "hey, this is good stuff, you should film it".
4What was the biggest challenge making this film and how did you get through it? Filming in New York City is an interesting experience, but it came with challenges as well. To keep the cost down we had to film over the course of a single day, so we started at 5:00 am and wrapped at 11:30 pm. That was a hard day of filming. My DP got a parking ticket 30 minutes into the shoot, ambulances and police sirens speeding by stole a lot of production time and because the characters were sitting near a window we had to play around with the light to make it consistent. That's something you never think about when you watch the film but we put a lot of effort into.
After all, I'd say the biggest challenge in making this film wasn't technical at all,. it was a storytelling challenge. Creating a compelling film where two characters are sitting across from each other without being boring it not as easy as it looks. But I'm quite happy with the end result, I think we pulled it off.
5What's the film that made you want to become a filmmaker? "Reservoir Dogs" I'd say was the film that made me want to become a real filmmaker, but the movie that first triggered that spark was "The Matrix", I remember watching the "Behind the Scenes DVD" on a loop as a kid. I was fascinated with the magic that went behind the scenes on that film and to this day I think it's one of the most influential films I've ever seen. "Pulp Fiction" made it official, that's the movie that made me want to become a writer.
6What's next? My first feature film (Pickings) will be released to theaters in New York City on December 1st, 2017. It's a neo-noir revenge film with lots of action and some really cool visuals, Prego's actors Katie Vincent and Taso Mikroulis are in it. I can't wait for folks to see it, it's a heck of a ride. You can watch the trailer and follow the film online @ www.PickingsFilm.com and www.Facebook.com/PickingsFilm
I also just wrapped production on two short films, one is a comedy cartoon called "Fine Dining" and the other is a horror short film called "Trapped Inside," both will be released later this year. You can follow up on all my projects by visiting www.UsherMorgan.com
About the Interviewer: Ben Hicks
Ben Hicks is a writer/director and co-founder of Fandependent Films. Ben is currently working on making Fandependent Films awesome and is finishing up his first feature film entitled Kids Go Free to Fun Fun Time which was selected for the 2017 IFP Narrative Lab.
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