My Story And This Movie
Hi, my name is Scott and I am a born again Christian. I wanted to share a few notes with you about this blog and the point of this movie.
The blog contains the complete script of the movie “Rugged Witness.” I’ve been a fan of the Christian metal band “Mortification” since the mid 1990’s. Ever since I first heard their song “J.G.S.H.” (Jesus Grind Satan’s Head) I got a really vivid mental image of what that would look like. I won’t spoil the ending of the movie for you, but the last scene in this movie contains that image.
Sometime during my college years at the University of Wyoming, I got the desire to make a movie about good versus evil that would include the scene I’d been thinking about for years. So I dragged three of my college friends into the brainstorming and writing process for the movie. They were Aaron, Jessica, and Korie, and since we all lived in Cheyenne during the summer, I had them over to my parents’ house a few times to work on the concepts of the movie.
Unfortunately, the movie never did get written, though we did come up with the framework for many of the scenes and some of the special effects.
Fast forward about five years. Now I have a degree, have worked in the real world for a few years, and have gone through cancer and cancer medicine. At this point I went back to school to become a nurse. I took an English class for fun, and one of the writing assignments fit nicely with writing the J.G.S.H. movie script out. By the end of that class, I did have a script written, though it was only about 20 pages long.
A little while later, I ended up giving my printed copy of the script to a teenage boy who went to my church. The plan was for him to read the script and then give it back to me. What actually happened was he lost it somewhere in his parents’ house and then they moved away. The script was lost forever. I was a little saddened by that, but I put it out of my mind.
A few years after that, a whole lot of sinful living on my part later, a breakup with my girlfriend and a move from cold Wyoming to sunny Florida, I was in a bad place mentally, physically, and in my relationship with God. The great thing about God is that He won’t let us go. Sure, when we sin repeatedly, we build up a wall that makes it harder for us to hear His voice, but God still has us. Sometimes God uses the painful, trying circumstances in our lives to snap our attention back onto Him. Very recently God has been doing that for me.
He is using the bad things in my life to remind me that the only things of any real importance are the things we do for God and other people while we are alive. So, in getting me to do a 180, turning from the sinful things I have been doing for years, God is molding me into a man who wants to do His will. One of the big things that God wants Christians to do is tell the WORLD about Him and His goodness, His love for people, and how He desires to save the lost.
In the past, I had not been good about telling lost people about God and how to trust in Jesus for salvation. Sure, I had done it a few times, but I was not particularly gifted at it. Now I think that is about to change. God is making it a priority in my life and, as a Christian, I have the Holy Spirit living in me. He will help me know the right things to say.
Coming from this new desire God is giving me came the desire to rewrite that old movie that had been tossed around in my brain for over a decade. So with prayer, a lot of Bible reading, a couple of text messages and conversations with my new church friends Nicci and Patrick, and a couple of weeks sitting at the computer, I banged out a new script. It is pretty similar to the 20 page version, though this one actually comes out to about 90 pages.
I have no plan to lose this one. I want to get as many people to read it as possible. I haven’t timed it, but I’d guess the average person could read through the whole script in about two hours. And I chose to break up all the scenes into separate blog posts for ease of reading.
The movie is violent–there is something like 10 fight scenes in it. The movie is shocking–there are scenes that show a pastor sinning, and scenes of Jesus being beaten. My intent with that is to show that no matter how Godly our lives become while we are still alive, we will still mess up, and that Jesus endured a lot to save us. Like the saying goes, “Christians aren’t perfect–just forgiven.”
The movie dives into some big, deep spiritual questions and uses many passages from the Bible for explanation. While I’m on that topic, I should say that all the Bible verses written into the movie are either from the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) or the New International Version (NIV). And I pulled all the text off Bible Gateway.
When you take all the cool kung fu fight scenes out of the movie and all the spiritual battles and the parallel story lines of a college student in Florida and a pastor in Alaska, you have the heart of the movie, which is how to trust Jesus as your savior.
If you are reading this post, or the actual movie, and you aren’t a Christian, I’d like to invite you to consider it. If you need somebody to talk to, you can email me at:
Or, if you happen to know a Christian in your town, talk to him or her! Most of us don’t back down from talking about our faith. Or find a Christian church and ask the Pastor if you can ask him some questions. Then, get a Bible and go to work on it. That is the very Word of God to us!
My hope with this movie is not that it would offend anybody, but that it might lead some people to Christ. I have no intent to make any money off this script. I would love it if somebody with a big budget and skilled fighters and actors could actually make the movie, but you need to know this…
I have tried to contact Mortification a few times over the years about using their name and one of their songs so prominently in a movie I was planning to write, but I have never actually heard from them. They are an Australian band and have fans worldwide, so I would not be at all surprised if the emails I sent to them just got lost in the flood somewhere.
The scene I wrote where Steve Rowe–Mortification’s lead singer–gives a testimony and an altar call–are completely from my imagination. I know that Steve HAS had leukemia, so I would imagine that he would mention that at an altar call at his concerts, but I am not certain.
If Mortification happens to see this blog and this script and they do not approve of it and they get in touch with me, I would have to take the movie down and rewrite it to take all mention of the band and the song out. I could do that… though that would take the “cool factor” of this movie down quite a bit.
If you read this script and would like to make the movie, you might want to first attempt to get in touch with Mortification to ask them if they like the idea and would be okay with you using the band name and song. And you might want to get in touch with me to tell me you are going to try to film the movie. I would love to know that!
Finally, if you happen to be Steve Rowe or anybody involved with Mortification and you read this post or the movie, and you like the idea and you want to get your band influence behind filming the movie, please contact me. I would LOVE to be involved with that! Since this paragraph right here is to Mortification, I would like to tell you that in 1996, when I was 16, you did a concert in Cheyenne, Wyoming that I REALLY wanted to go to. But my mom thought that it would be too dangerous of an environment for me to be in, so she refused to let me go. Interestingly, she DID say I could go on ONE condition… at the time I was in taekwondo, and there was a 21-year-old black belt named Jason who used to just tear me up in sparing. He was tall, skinny, dangerous, in the Air Force, and not a Christian. And he and I were friends–when he wasn’t bloodying my nose or kicking the wind out of me. Mom said if I could get Jason to take me to the concert, I could go. But I was too timid to ask him. Who knows, he might have accepted the Lord at that concert if I had only asked. Now I don’t want to miss any opportunities like that again.
Enjoy the movie. And no matter what happens, praise God!