Randall M. Miller
Randall Miller was an American independent film director whose works included "Class Act" (1992), "Bottle Shock" (2008), and "CBGB" (2013). Miller's work as a director initially started in television, working on single episodes of such shows as "Parker Lewis Can't Lose" (Fox, 1990-93) and the Golden Globe-winning drama "thirtysomething" (ABC 1987-1991). Miller's feature film directorial debut was "Class Act," a teen comedy starring hip-hop duo Kid 'n Play. Later in his directorial career, Miller focused on independent films, which he released in ways that were unconventional for the industry. In 2008, Randall Miller made headlines within the independent film world with his film "Bottle Shock." Based on the famed 1976 wine competition often called the "Judgment of Paris," in which an American wine beat several tony French vintages, "Bottle Shock" premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and self-distributed the film in 12 cities. His next feature, "CBGB," a historical drama about the famed New York City punk venue starring Alan Rickman as owner Hilly Kristal, premiered on DirecTV's VOD before being released in theaters. In May 2013, it was announced that Miller would direct an adaptation of American rock and blues singer-songwriter Gregg Allman's autobiography, <i>My Cross to Bear</i>, titled "Midnight Rider." However, Miller and the producers of the film became mired in serious legal troubles during production. While shooting a scene on a trestle bridge in Wayne County, Georgia, several of the crew members were injured by a passing train; second camera assistant Sarah Jones was struck and killed. Production of "Midnight Rider" was stopped and Miller, producers Jody Savin and Jay Sedrish were charged with involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespass, having not obtained either filming permits or permission from the owner of the railway to film on an active train line. On March 9, 2015, Miller pleaded guilty to charges of criminal trespass and involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to two years in prison and 10 years probation, during which time he agreed not to work as a director, assistant director, or supervisor in charge of safety. Sedrish was given probation and charges against Savin were dismissed.