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Law Dog Productions “Justice for All” in the High Desert

Law Dog Productions “Justice for All” in the High Desert

Authenticity and an eye for detail make a great combination for shooting a historic short film.

The shooting of “Justice For All” took place last weekend. Filming began Saturday at Gold Mountain Studios in Pioneer Town, and Norm Erickson’s Rim Rock Ranch, in Rim Rock. From there the production moved to Whitehorse Ranch in Landers, and ended Sunday at the McKinney Ranch in Morongo Valley.

Director Tino Luciano of Law Dog Productions produced, directed, and co-wrote “Justice For All” with writer Sam Fidler. This is the story of Marshal Rufus Cannon, one of Oklahoma’s most important black lawmen during the territorial era. Cannon rode in a posse led by Marshal Heck Thomas that tracked down and killed outlaw Bill Doolin on August 24, 1896. Legend has it the fatal shot was fired by Cannon.

Luciano shot 18 episodes of the series “Tales of The Frontier” at some of the same locations over the last year. The space, the western sets, and the historical expertise makes this area a highly desirable location. Many of the authentic arms were supplied by Alden G. Wright Services and props were supplied by Peter Menyhart, owner of the White Horse Ranch.

Lincol-Molen,-JT-Tren,-Christopher-C-smLaw Dog Productions brought together a talented cast and crew. Lead performers: Christopher Clay Jones (Rufus Cannon), Lincoln Molen (Marshal Heck Thomas), Travis Eller (Bill Doolin) and, Peter Sherayko (Actor and Producer) joined Australian Cinematographer (JT) Jamie Trent, and talented wranglers, armorer, stuntmen, and a stuntwoman from San Bernardino County and Los Angeles.

Molen, who has worked with Luciano in the Tales of the Frontier series, said he was excited to work with him again, excited about this particular story, and the character of Thomas. “This is [based on] a true story,” Molen said. “When Heck Thomas was 12, he was a courier for the Confederate army. I find that really interesting, because now he is teamed up with an African-American [Marshall].” Molen, who currently lives in Colorado, drove in for the filming. “You cannot beat this location,” he added. Also, involved in off-road racing, the high desert is to Molen, “… almost coming home.”

Luciano said the cast and crew (some new to the director, but many who had worked on Tales of the Frontier) came together “like a well-oiled machine. And this is a very involved [film] with a lot of stunts and action-packed,” Luciano said.

Christopher C. JonesThere were shoot-outs and expert horse riding choreographed by Luciano and performed by a talented group of stuntmen and a stuntwoman. Alden G. Wright Services provided the armory and the authenticity. One of the locations, historic McKinney Ranch, owned by Robert and Janet Moore, is160 acres of pristine land in the Morongo Basin, with lakes, forests, and Big Horn Sheep. This is the first time that a Western has been shot there, but more filming is planned for the future.

This film is not only about Rufus Cannon, it’s about a time in history, and Law Dog Productions is intent on maintaining the authenticity of the period. “Tino Luciano has the passion for authenticity,” says Jones, who is also one of the executive producers. Authenticity is the key in the style of horse riding, the style of saddle, tack, guns and costumes. “We are using some of the best equipment in the industry,” said Jones. “We are shooting with 2 Red Epic Cameras [A camera provided by the cinematographer Jamie Trent], which is going to give the film this really nice, dreamy feel.”

The plot is action-packed, and it is Law Dogs’ intention to bring family values back into cinema. “You can tell a story and have a younger audience enjoy it,” said Jones. “The cowboy had morals, and he was willing to risk his life for that. “That is the story of Rufus Cannon. From an African-American point of view, Cannon was a respected lawman,” said Jones.

“Justice For All” is going to be entered in Sundance, Toronto, Palm Springs and all large film festivals throughout the U.S. and Canada. “We are called to stand out and not blend in.” said Luciano. “We want to get Law Dog Productions on the map. With Black history month coming up I wanted to do something that shines a light on the truth, the way things were back then. I want to keep the spirit of the old west alive.”

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