FOXBORO — The making of a movie requires lots of elements, including a script, actors, soundtrack and talented filmmakers and technicians.
In a small-budget independent film, movie makers are obliged to draw as much of that talent as possible from within a tight cadre of gifted individuals.
In the newly released “Pickings,” a stylized tale of a bar-owning Southern mom defending her family from an organized crime gang, much of that was pulled off by filmmaker and original script writer Usher Morgan and Mansfield actress Katie Vincent in her first feature-length movie role. Vincent also co-produced the film, helped refine the script and composed and performed much of the soundtrack.
Vincent and Morgan were on hand for the local premiere of the film last Friday night at the Marilyn Rodman Performing Arts Center (The Orpheum) and talked about what went into making their film, which is garnering positive internet reviews.
Rated R for its violence, the film’s gritty, no-compromise villains and flawed heroes and heroines speak to such film giants like Sergio Leone and Quentin Tarantino. And strategic use of lighting effects and images of characters who periodically dissolve into comic book figures give the film an avant garde, graphic novel feel.
Vincent, who met Morgan as a result of being cast by the director in a comedy short, plays the bar owner’s vulnerable daughter, who is kidnapped by the gangsters.
She felt a bit like a fish out of water composing country songs for the movie, but they nevertheless comes across as authentic.
“Half the songs came after the (filming),” she said. “It was my first foray into writing country music. But in terms of inspiration, what I loved was the old stuff, a lot of Johnny Cash. I wanted a rustic, salt of the earth feel to it for this kind of this world.
“My boyfriend got me into Chris Stapleton. So I thought, what would a female version of Chris Stapleton be like?”
“I’m inspired by a lot of the old westerns,” Morgan said. “You probably noticed a lot of Sergio Leone. My purpose was to mesh all sorts of genres together. But Clint (Eastwood) was a huge inspiration.
“The film itself plays like a comic book. I was thinking about doing the entire thing as a comic book after we were done with it.”
Vincent, a Mansfield High School graduate, is no stranger to area stages, having appeared at The Orpheum and other local venues since childhood. She now lives in New York City, where “Pickings” was filmed.
Getting “Pickings” from script to screen wasn’t easy. Shooting actually began in 2016 and was completed over a one-year period. The film trailer wasn’t released until last December. A trailer of the movie and more information about the cast and filmmaker can be found at pickingsfilm.com.