Training Taylor by April J. Miller | Script Revolution

Training Taylor

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Page Count: 
122pp

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Logline: 
A boy, orphaned by a tragic accident, is sent to his uncle’s ranch where they learn how to understand each other and God’s plan by training a Border Collie puppy named Taylor.
Synopsis/Details: 

Bereaved of his parents, CONNOR GORDEN is sent away from everything he has ever known to live with his uncle. Worse, he has to live in “cowboy land”. JONATHAN GORDON has never had children and has no idea how to relate to one. Faced with the task of raising an active boy, he constantly questions his ability and God’s reasoning.

Connor quickly learns how difficult ranch life can be. How was he to know that some horses love to break free and run out the barn door? Or that playing matador with a live bull can be so dangerous? However, the last straw comes when they visit their neighbor’s ranch for dinner after church. Riding ATVs with HUNTER AND TY, Ty takes Connor to a pasture with some good hills to jump - against his father’s rules. Dodging a calf, Connor ends up in the pond. Grounded for the rest of the summer, Connor is sullen and angry.

Jonathan feels as though he’s in over his head. Talking with his wife, SHIELA, he reveals his fears and frustrations. Together, they devise a plan.

The next day, they give Connor a Border Collie puppy. He’s never had a dog before. After a series of puppy pranks – all of which Connor is held responsible - he is ready to give him away. When he’s blamed for Taylor’s close call with a rattlesnake, he yells his hatred at the pup. He’s never coming out of his pen again. He’s grounded until Connor knows that he can trust him – and then Connor stops, realizing what he is saying. Connor makes a phone call to his old babysitter, MRS. SHELBY. Explaining what happened, he now realizes he was doing the same thing to Taylor that his uncle did when he got into trouble. Mrs. Shelby explains that he was learning that there are consequences to his actions and his uncle was reacting to what he did. Connor was growing up. Jonathan also realizes he was wrong and, after apologizing to Connor, decides it is time to start Taylor’s training.

The next spring, Jonathan purchases a herd of special sheep. Taylor jumps into the pen, terrifying them before he is driven away by the older dogs. Jonathan finds a trembling Taylor hiding in the barn. He sits down and Taylor crawls into his lap. Talking to sooth him, he tells him, “Your job is to be a puppy. My job is to make sure you become the dog I need you to be.” He stops, realizing what he just said. He prays, asking God if that is what He was trying to tell him. He is to do the best he can, and it is God’s responsibility to make sure he becomes the man God wants him to be. Jonathan surrenders himself and Connor into God’s hands.

Jonathan takes the sheep to their new pasture. After he leaves, Sheila and Connor are watching the weather report. A rare spring snow storm is coming. Sheila calls Jonathan who orders her to drive the truck and stock trailer and bring the ewes with babies back. He would gather up what newborn calves he could find. Shortly after Sheila and Connor leave, Taylor gets out and follows them. After loading, they are just about to leave when Taylor runs away into the storm. Connor follows. The snow is falling so hard, Connor can’t see. He’s guided by Taylor’s barking. He discovers Taylor has found a newborn lamb and ewe. Picking up the lamb he tries to make his way back. It’s Taylor that leads him. Together they get the rest of the flock down to the ranch.

All Accolades & Coverage: 

I am working towards an MA in Film & TV (Producing).
I'm currently enrolled in a Business of Film course in which I have to present (pitch) a film proposal.
I came across your wonderful screenplay and as the father of three young boys (8, 2, and 5 months old) it is something I would enjoy watching with my sons. Also, as a Christian, I appreciate you addressing God's plan for their lives.
With your permission, I am requesting to use your script for educational purposes.
(Email received from individual who saw it on Simply Scripts)

Submitted: July 15, 2018
Last Updated: July 15, 2018
Times Downloaded: 5
Last Downloaded: January 4, 2020

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The Writer: April J. Miller

I have been writing since elementary school; it’s not what I do, it’s who I am. I started writing seriously in my early thirties. Taking a course with the Institute of Children’s Literature, I’ve had several stories and articles published in magazines. One book, Padrone: War Horse of Heaven was picked up by Tate Publishing. In 2013, I was asked by a friend to write a secondary script to accompany her Christian sit—com, and found my passion. Since that time, I have written six movie scripts, learning more with each one. Living in rural Georgia on a limited income has proven to be a challenge, but one I am determined to overcome. Waiting on my school bus for the children to be dismissed, I... Go to bio

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