These are busy times for Sara Morgan.
On Thursday, the film “Different Flowers” premiered at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. The movie, directed by Morgan Dameron — who grew up in Kansas City and is assistant to filmmaker J.J. Abrams — features two of Morgan’s songs plus a cover of “Moon River” that was commissioned by Dameron.
“She found my music on the internet and then went to my website and liked what she heard,” said Morgan, a country singer/songwriter from Arkansas who moved to Kansas City when she was 10 and graduated from Olathe North High School.
“So she emailed me and asked if she could use some of it in her movie.”
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Dameron shot “Different Flowers,” her first feature film, in August in various locales around Kansas City and in Weston. The film is expected to premiere in Kansas City sometime this year.
“I really wanted to make a movie about an experience similar to mine growing up — places I loved and have deep memories associated with,” Dameron told The Star in June. “There’s nothing quite like the Midwest in August, when it’s incredibly hot and humid.”
She asked Morgan to record a cover of “Moon River” to accompany the closing scene. Morgan received an initial edit of the film, but watched only the final scene to give her ideas for her arrangement.
“I didn’t want to watch the movie until it was completely finished,” Morgan said. “I fast-forwarded to the scene where the cover was going to be and watched that to give me ideas for the arrangement. But I only watched that. I don’t like people to hear my stuff until it’s done, so I thought I’d give her the same courtesy.”
Morgan recorded a demo version of “Moon River” at her home, then sent it to Dameron.
“I told her if she liked that arrangement, I’d go into a studio and cut it,” she said. “It was guitar and vocal only. But she said, ‘No, we like this,’ so they’re using that version.
“It’s not totally similar to the original. It’s not country or anything like that. It’s just kind of a folky singer/songwriter arrangement.”
Two of Morgan’s original songs will also appear in the film: One is “Already Wrecked,” which will be on the full-length album Morgan is working on.
The album will also include the single “Never Been to Nashville,” which will be released on Friday on Spotify and her website SaraMorganMusic.com. It’s a “more honky-tonk version” than the version she posted on YouTube and her website in October 2013.
“We’ll be doing a full release (iTunes, Google Play) on March 1,” Morgan said. “Between now and then, the song will be sent to radio and I’ll visit a few stations for promotion.”
“Nashville” has already generated some interest in Morgan’s album inside the music industry in Nashville. Morgan said she can’t say who is or may be involved “until we have a more solid foundation to move forward on.”