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Deacon Jim Miller a.k.a. “Killin’ Jim” Miller

Although the script for GRAVE INJUSTICE is entirely fiction, I wanted to introduce an actual historical figure in the film. I chose the assassin and psychopath Jim Miller. Miller is a fascinating character. He wore a black frock coat at all times. (It was later revealed that he wore a steel plate underneath to protect himself from bullets.) He never cussed or drank. He attended church regularly. Sometimes as an alibi for a convenient murder. (As was the case in the killing of his Brother-In-Law, John Coop.) He was a prolific killer. When he was eventually lynched he confessed to killing fifty-one men. Some even believe he gunned down the infamous lawman, Sheriff Pat Garrett. The man who brought down Billy the Kid. His usual modus operandi was blasting the unsuspecting victim with a double barrel shotgun.

My intension was to create a character that had a few pivotal, but scene-stealing scenes in GRAVE INJUSTICE in the hopes of attracting a name actor in the role. It’s the chance to play a multifaceted and flawed persona. A dark antagonist with cool weapons, garb, and quirks. (With only a handful of shooting days. A short commitment.)

Additional information:
HISTORYNET
Wikipedia
Shotgun for Hire: The Story of “Deacon” Jim Miller, Killer of Pat Garrett

The Bible for Western Film Production

As I begin pre-production for the feature, “Grave Injustice”, I am devouring the wisdom of Peter Sherayko in his book, THE FRINGE OF HOLLYWOOD: THE ART OF MAKING A WESTERN. Peter owns Caravan West Productions and is famous for playing Texas Jack Vermillion in TOMBSTONE (1993). I had the pleasure of meeting Peter and touring his ranch. He is the genuine article and a hell of a great guy.

The Art of Making a Western

The Art of Making a Western

Sneak Peek at the Script

WILDERNESS — RED DAWN

Spring 1891

A windswept tree clenches the rock with bone white knuckles.

A broken Man hangs from its gnarled limbs. He will be known as THE GUNSLINGER.

A long tattered coat, like ruined wings, holds him aloft, snagged by skeletal branches.

A splinter of ash pokes from his blood-incrusted side.

His hair tangled and matted with dried blood.

Despite being unconscious, quite possibly dead, the Gunslinger still has a Schofield .45 pistol lodged in his fist. The hammer is locked back in the firing position.

Eyelids flutter.

FLASH:

CLIFF — LATE DAY

A blood red sky. Two Figures in silhouette. Pistols come to bear —

FLASH:

The Gunslinger stiffens as if electrocuted. His trigger finger tightens in reflex.

BOOM!

The Schofield erupts. A geyser of dirt and rock fragments.

Eyes snap open in terror.

The sudden movement wrenches him free. He falls —

Flesh tears from the wound. A CRY of pain!

His coat flares open, he CRASHES to the earth like an angel expelled from heaven.

He GRUNTS as he crumbles into a heap.

WILDERNESS — LATER

A fit of violent COUGHING tears the Gunslinger from oblivion.

He slowly becomes lucid and struggles to his feet.

He staggers and sways like a drunkard. He scans the area with the pistol.

Seeing no immediate threat, the Gunslinger takes stock of his situation. He touches the wound with a grimace. He pulls his hand away. It’s stained with blood.

The Gunslinger then checks his weapon. He breaks open the action. All the bullets has been fired. He ejects the spent shells. They CLATTER on the rock. He wears no gun belt. He searches his clothes and retrieves only a single bullet. He slides it into the cylinder and snaps the pistol closed.

The Gunslinger clenched the bridge of his nose and shakes his head in confusion.

He shoves the Schofield into his trousers and pats himself down. He has a BOWIE KNIFE strapped to his side. He withdraws a FLINT and a SILVER POCKET WATCH from his jacket.

The Gunslinger examines the watch. An inscription on the back reads, “To Nolan Creed in recognition of his courageous conduct. Wells Fargo Bank“. He opens the clasp. Inside; a tintype with the image of a beautiful Woman.

He stares hard at the image.

The Gunslinger SIGHS and stumbles away.

[Note: Not standard screenplay format or in Courier New 12 font.]

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Grave Injustice

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