Usher Morgan releases a new book for aspiring filmmakers!
The acclaimed film director Usher Morgan, known for films like “Prego”, “Windblown”, and “Pickings”, has released a new book called “Lessons from the Set: A DIY Guide to Your First Feature Film, from Script to Theaters”. This book details the filmmaking tips and tricks Usher accumulated throughout his career. Usher also shares practical insights into the writing process, directing, producing, and distributing commercial feature films on a low budget. By approaching the filmmaking process with an artistic soul and entrepreneurial mindset, the book has become an essential must-read for any aspiring storytellers and filmmakers.
We got a chance to speak with Usher Morgan about his new book, check it out below!
The Knockturnal: What made you want to create this book for aspiring filmmakers?
Usher Morgan: For years, I’ve been keeping a detailed “filmmaking journal.” It’s something I like to read before I embark on a new project. Every time I did something right and everything time I messed something up – I’d write it down in my filmmaking journal. So after releasing my debut feature film (Pickings) to theaters in 2018, people (filmmakers in particular) wanted to know how I did it. It was a question I got every time I interacted with an indie filmmaker. So I decided to compile my notes, edit them, and put them to print – to create a book that teaches hopeful filmmakers the step by step of writing, directing, producing, and releasing feature films to theaters The rest is history.
The Knockturnal: What is the most important tip from the book for filmmakers?
Usher Morgan: This book covers everything from screenwriting to distribution, but its primary goal is to prepare indie filmmakers for the possibility that they may have to distribute and market their own films. The book gives them the tools and teaches them how to go about it. If I had to pick the most important tip it would be to not only focus on the art of filmmaking, but spend a considerable amount of time understanding the business side of filmmaking – it’s the business of selling art, and it’s something every indie filmmaker needs to understand.
The Knockturnal: What are the best qualities a filmmaker can have to be successful?
Usher Morgan: Passion and vision. If you have both, you’ll never give up.
The Knockturnal: In your early days of filmmaking, did you turn to any guides or seek help from mentors?
Usher Morgan: Not necessarily “mentors”, but I have read every book and took every course I could find on the topic. One particular influence was the “Dov Simens 2 Day Film School”, and “Film Riot.”
The Knockturnal: If you could go back in time, are there any things you would change with how you made your previous movies?
Usher Morgan: Yeah, pretty much everything. I always have things I wish I could have done differently, but I guess that’s the value of education. You make mistakes, you learn from them, and you apply the lessons you learned to the next one.
The Knockturnal: What is coming next for you?
Usher Morgan: I’m currently working on my 2nd feature film, “The Thing with Feathers” with my creative partner, Katie Vincent. The film is scheduled to be shot in the fall of 2021 and will hopefully make its way to theaters in 2022. It’s a dark period comedy, our most ambitious film to date!
Check out Usher Morgan’s book “Lessons from the Set”, available on Amazon ($16.99) and was recently published on Audible ($19.99)! You can follow him on Instagram at @ushermorgan or check out his website at www.ushermorgan.com