Quick to the draw: Western feature film 'Dead Man's Hand' films in Santa Fe, Magdalena

Aug. 31—Brian Skiba is never one to rest.

The writer and director is on a break filming another project in Montana.

Though his latest film, "Dead Man's Hand," is out in theaters, on demand, and on Aug. 22, was released on DVD.

"Dead Man's Hand" tells the story of gunslinger Reno, played by Jack Kilmer, who is headed west for a quiet life with his new bride.

But when their stagecoach is ambushed, he kills an outlaw in self-defense.

In a nearby town, Reno learns that the man he slayed is the brother of the corrupt mayor, Bishop, played by Stephen Dorff, who vows revenge.

After their card game turns into a bloody shootout, who will be left standing?

Cole Hauser appears as a U.S. Marshal who becomes Reno's ally in the Western film.

Skiba not only directed the film, but he was co-writer with Corin Nemec.

The production was filmed in Santa Fe and Magdalena.

"We had this great script that I wanted to give an authentic feeling to," Skiba says. "It's a thrilling Western, so I know that we needed to film in New Mexico. It had all of the elements we needed to get the film completed."

Production took place over the course of less than a month.

Skiba says getting a stellar cast made it possible to bring the film to fruition.

"Stephen was one of the first signed onto the film," he says. "When we were looking for Reno, we didn't know who we were going to get. Jack auditioned for Reno and really brought him to life."

Hauser also signed onto the production, which rounded out the cast.

"I'm actually working on a production right now with Cole," Skiba says. "He's one of those actors that brings his all each time."

Filming in New Mexico not only provided the authenticity needed for "Dead Man's Hand," but some experienced crew.

"The film industry is strong, and we were able to get the amazing film completed," Skiba says. "I'll be back with some more productions."

SEND ME YOUR TIPS: If you know of a movie filming in the state, or are curious about one, email film@ABQjournal.com. Follow me on Twitter @agomezART.