John McClamrock 1973

In 2009, Preston Hollow resident and Texas Monthly‘s editor-at-large Skip Hollandsworth penned an award-winning piece about Preston Hollow’s John McClamrock, who in 1973 became paralyzed following a violent high school football hit while playing for Hillcrest. (The idea that this story might go untold is now unthinkable to me.) For the next 35 years McClamrock and his mom Ann McClamrock lived in a modest home on Northport Drive as Preston Hollow blossomed around it.

What unfolded in that house after the substantial attention to the tragedy subsided, was worthy not only of Hollandsworth’s long-form tear-triggering article, but also a movie based on the article and directed by another neighborhood native, Samantha Buck (along with Marie Schlingman), who tells Deadline she grew up blocks from the McClamrocks.

According to Deadline’s box office editor Anthony D’Alessandro, the directors, who also helped write the screenplay, “come to the project with a deep understanding and passion for the family’s story.”

McClamrock, according to Hollandsworth’s narrative, was an achingly good looking kid who bagged groceries at Tom Thumb and cruised Forest Lane on weekends. He quit football for a bit so he could work extra hours and pay off his El Camino. When he returned to the sport, coaches made him play junior varsity until he could earn his way back to the varsity team. He was determined and hit the ground running and hitting — but in a game versus Spruce, one devastating  collision changed everything. John’s injury and paralysis garnered an enormous amount of media attention. Even President Nixon sent a letter to him at Presbyterian Hospital. This went on for months and years.

Early on, a medical professional told Ann, “We’ve found that ninety-five percent of the families that try to take care of someone in this condition cannot handle it. The families break up.” Handing Ann a  sheet of paper, the staffer added, “These are the names of institutions and nursing homes that will take good care of him.”

But Ann took her son home and dedicated the rest of her life to caring for him.

George Robinson, an actor you might have seen in the show Sex Education,  is a tetraplegic who injured his spinal cord during a rugby match in 2015. He is set to portray John in Still Life.

Still Life‘s producer Jim Whitaker is wrapping up production of Peter Pan and Wendy, which is directed by East Dallas’ David Lowery.

Deadline reports that several Texas Monthly articles are being made into shows and movies.

A while back, Business Insider reported that the Austin-based monthly magazine has sold more than 20 deals to Hollywood in a matter of a few years.


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