The mission of IN THE MOMENT is to provide filmmaking opportunities behind the camera as well as in front of the camera for women and to make films on socially significant topics, and to tell stories that are female-centric.
We are seeking funds to adapt Donna Marie Miller’s book Texas Secessionists Standoff; The 1997 Republic of Texas “War” into a limited dramatic series.
We envision this will be a four- to six-part story, with each episode running approximately 45-60 minutes. The cost for outlining, character refinement, adding (and in some cases deleting or combining scenes from the book,) writing first and second drafts of the screenplay, editing, and critique fees total approximately $3,000 for the pilot and $3,000 for each subsequent episode. This includes the cost to create a top-quality pitch deck, film festival submission fees, and expenses for the Catalyst Content Festival—one of the top events in which to showcase a project and receive important feedback.
Screenwriting for the project’s pilot script is anticipated to begin in earnest starting in December, 2023, and the writing of subsequent episodes will continue through the winter and spring. Episodes will be written as funding allows.
“Donna Marie Miller has done a fine job telling the story of the 1997 Republic of Texas standoff at Fort Davis. Not only did I enjoy reading this book, I learned much about the incident that I didn’t know. Which, considering that I was there as the chief spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety when many of the events in this book went down, says a lot about her skills as a researcher and writer.’”
~~Mike Cox, member of the Texas Institute of Letters and author of “Time of the Rangers” and Gunfights & Sites in Texas Ranger History
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An April 27th, 1997 Richard Lance McLaren and his followers in the so-called Republic of Texas (ROT) militia held Joe and Margaret Ann Rowe hostage inside their own home at the Davis Mountain Resort near Fort Davis, Texas, and demanded the release of jailed ROT members Joanne Turner and Robert Jonathan Sheidt. McLaren's demand initiated a seven-day standoff with local law enforcement and the Texas Rangers that came to be called the “Republic of Texas War.”
Opening with a forward by the FBI negotiator who served as an on-site consultant throughout the crisis, author Donna Marie Miller presents the first full length book treatment of the events leading up to McLaren's “declaration of war” and its aftermath. The result is an absorbing account of manipulation by a leader as charismatic as he was deluded; of misinformed individuals motivated by desperation who aligned themselves with an extremist; and of law enforcement officials caught in the tension between their duty to protect the public and their desire to avoid a repeat of disasters like those at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, and the Branch Davidian compound outside Waco, TX.
Central to the story is Jo Ann Turner, a frantic woman drowning in debt who was drawn into the false ideology espoused by McLaren, which eventually led to her personal undoing. Based on archival research and interviews with persons involved--including McLaren, who has been incarcerated since 1998--this riveting account provides a multifaceted perspective of the historical incident and a detailed chronicle of a modern American anti-government militia, its victims, and the events that led to its eventual downfall.
THE WRITING TEAM
Cynthia M. Uhrich is the owner and director of In The Moment Films. She is a screenwriter and playwright. She writes, produces and directs short films and has collaborated on several projects. Her work has been selected and won awards in both film and screenwriting categories in festivals across the U.S. and Canada.
Her most current pilot screenplay adaptation from Susan Thurston’s novel Sister of Grendel, is currently at the festival stage of its life, and has started to gather accolades.
Cynthia co-authored the novel My Life in the Purple Kingdom about Brown Mark’s life and time with Prince’s band The Revolution (University of Minnesota Press, Sept. 2020.) Her plays have been published by Smith & Kraus and Freshwater Press. She taught acting in Minnesota’s Twin Cities for 15 years, facilitated a Women’s Writing Retreat for 10 years and served as a casting director on numerous films. Prior to her time in Minnesota, she worked in Los Angeles as SAG & AFTRA talent. IN THE MOMENT has been making films, writing and producing screenplays since 2012.
Donna Marie Miller is the author of two nonfiction books, Texas Secessionists Standoff; the 1997 Republic of Texas "War,” published in January of 2023 and The Broken Spoke; Austin's Legendary Honky-Tonk, published in April of 2017, both by Texas A&M University Press. Her freelance articles have appeared in Alternate Root, Americana Rhythm, Austin Food, Austin Monthly, Creative Screenwriting, Elmore, Fiddler, No Depression(Music,) Texas Highways, and former Third Coast magazines. Early in her professional writing career she worked nine years as a newspaper reporter covering general assignment, entertainment and crime beats at three Texas daily newspapers including The El Paso Herald-Post, The El Paso Times, and The Amarillo Globe-News. Miller also taught secondary level journalism courses for 24 years in the Amarillo, Austin, El Paso, Eanes, and Manor school districts before retiring from teaching in 2013 and returning to her first love, writing.
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