WHAT IS THE STORYTELLER'S MISSION?
To equip, train, and inspire writers to become true masters of their craft, that they might change the world for the better through story.
ZENA DELL LOWE
Zena has worked professionally in the entertainment industry for over 20 years as a writer, producer, director, actress, and story consultant. Zena also teaches advanced classes on writing at conferences all over the country, and as an adjunct professor at Covenant College in Georgia, Regent University in Virginia Beach, and at the acclaimed Act One: Writing for Hollywood program, where she recently came on board as the new Curriculum Director for the summer intensive writing program.
Zena’s independent film production company, Mission Ranch Films, is currently in development on three feature thrillers, which will all take place in the same story universe located in Montana. Through the help of a small, select creative team, including Hollywood Super Story guru, Houston Howard, Zena and her team have developed a story world mythology that is at once entertaining, poignant, and profound. To find out more about these projects, visit the Mission Ranch Films website.
As a writer herself, Zena has written award-winning screenplays, plays, and a number of articles on writing, religion, and trauma recovery. She’s also written comic books, most recently, Strawberry Shortcake, by IDW Publishing, and is currently writing her very first novel. Zena has won numerous awards for her work, including "Best International Short Film Director" for Rag Doll at the 2015 Louisiana International Film Festival, two "Grand Prize" wins for her full-length feature script, "Trial by Fire," at both the 2016 New York Screenplay Competition, and ISA's highly acclaimed 2016 Emerging Screenwriter's competition, as well as many others.
In addition to her work as a filmmaker, Zena is also passionate about supporting other artists and storytellers on their journeys towards success. In March of 2020, Zena launched her podcast, The Storyteller’s Mission with Zena Dell Lowe, which is designed to serve the whole artist, not just address “how-to” questions. This in turn lead to the launch of The Storyteller’s Mission online platform, where she offers advanced classes on writing as well as a variety of other services to storytellers. Zena’s passion is to equip and support all artists so that they will have everything they need to truly change the world for the better through story.
"Storytellers are dangerous. They have more power to influence culture than any other force in the universe."
~Zena Dell Lowe
The Storyteller's Mission Podcast
In 2006, Zena needed to find a talented artist to collaborate with her on a commercial project she was directing. This search lead her to Gustav Froyd, a young man who had already mastered multiple trades, including the culinary arts. After working his way up the food chain from line cook to sous chef to Executive Chef at a prestigious restaurant in the Seattle area, Gustav transitioned to Hawaii, where he worked as the Executive Chef at a number of notable restaurants, primarily on Maui and the big island.
In 2015, Gustav decided to branch out on his own, becoming an independent consultant to new and established restaurants, where he used his vast organizational and management skills to help maximize food quality, efficiency, and profitability.
In 2019, Gustav decided to return to the mainland to be closer to his son, and reached out to Zena a few months later to say, "Hey." When Zena heard he was back from the islands, she promptly recruited him to use these same skills to help establish the infrastructure of The Storyteller's Mission. Today, he is affectionately known at Studio Z as "The Man in the Chair."
Gavin met Zena in 2001 when he hired her to be an assistant at her very first entertainment industry job at an independent film production company in LA. Since then they have collaborated on multiple film projects, provided mutual support, shared many laughs, and generally become the closest of friends.
For the last five years Gavin has worked in entertainment production management for Universal Studios Hollywood, where he's played an integral role in launching some of Universal's most spectacular live entertainment offerings, including, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Jurassic World and the highly anticipated Super Nintendo World.
Gavin worked his way up in the entertainment industry from a film producer's assistant to a production and development executive. He's helped develop countless scripts and worked on a multitude of film sets over the years. Now, he graciously serves as a producer for The Storyteller's Mission. He also helps behind the scenes by creating web content and automations, and generally making things run smoothly. He's excited to bring his passion to The Storyteller’s Mission, but not as excited as Zena is to have him here!
Duncan is Zena's oldest/longest friend in LA. They met back in 1994 when he cast her as the lead in a music video he was directing. They've been creating and collaborating ever since.
Duncan’s career is notable for its length, breadth and depth. After earning a BA at Duke University and an MFA at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, Duncan began working as a chief lighting technician, camera operator and cinematographer. Later, he worked as a writer, director, editor and producer on various projects, with budgets ranging from zero to millions of dollars. To see Duncan’s extensive list of credits, check out his IMDB page or find him on LinkedIn.
Although he turns out work of the highest caliber in every job he performs, Duncan shines brightest as an editor. His ability to cut stories together is truly astounding. There’s no one whose work Zena trusts more, which is why she's so thrilled to have him on board as the editor for all of The Storyteller's Mission online classes. Duncan's work ensures the highest possible production values in spite of the converted garage studio, where all of the classes are filmed. Duncan makes the entire team look good. In short, he's the bomb.
MARY CAIT THOMAS
Mary Cait was a student of Zena's in a screenwriting class at Covenant College. Her enthusiasm and aptitude for all things story was downright contagious, so when it came time for The Storyteller's Mission to hire a social media content creator, Zena could think of no better candidate than Mary Cait.
Mary Cait's interests in storytelling began at a young age with the writing of short stories. This developed into novel-writing, which became one of her most enjoyable hobbies. She's also a big movie buff, but it wasn’t until an intro to French Cinema class during her freshman year of college that she began to seriously consider a career in the film industry.
This thought was sidelined until she took Zena's screenwriting class as a junior. It was here that her film interests were reinvigorated, especially as she learned the craft of screenwriting. Her interests include many genres, but she has an appreciation for a good thriller. As a soon-to-be graduate and alumni of the Act One: Writing for Hollywood program, she's currently working on a number of projects, and one day, she hopes to write for the big screen. In the meantime, she's excited to one of the groundbreaking members of The Storyteller's Mission team.
AND NOW... MEET THE REAL STAR OF OUR SHOW!
If you've ever listened to The Storyteller's Mission podcast, then you've probably heard my little dog Lulu! She is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and is the sweetest pup you could ever hope to meet, but she does like to snore! She's with me when I record the podcast and the classes, so if you haven't seen or heard from her yet, you will!