The Spark of a Story (Free On Set with The Delivery Men Content)

By now, you may have heard about our epic new Academy of Storytellers course, On Set with Joe Simon and The Delivery Men. Oh, what’s that? You haven’t? And you’re curious about what’s inside this course?

Well, we can tell you (in fact, we do in this blog post outlining the course). But we can also show you...so here’s the first part of a tutorial, The Spark of a Story...free!

Spoiler alert: we reveal some plot twists of Low Tide in this lesson, so if you haven't already watched the film, you should! Check it out here:

Intrigued? You can watch the first 8 minutes of the The Spark of a Story, a tutorial from our On Set with Joe Simon and The Delivery Men course, below. 

In this lesson, we dive into all things story. First, we learn how The Delivery Men started shaping the narrative arc of Low Tide’s script. The team had travelled to Seaside, Oregon looking for inspiration to write a film. In choosing to shape a film around a place, it was key to really get a feel for the town and determine how they could use locations to express their story...especially since they would be hammering out the rest of the film back home in Austin, Texas.

The script of Low Tide

The script of Low Tide

Then, they had to outline the plot and actually put pen to paper—or fingers to keys. Leaving with the essence of Seaside in mind, the crew started brainstorming story ideas. They landed on a starting off point: a Russian roulette scene played out between two characters at midnight in a motel, with flashbacks triggered by each empty chamber that went off.

From there, they made an outline of the narrative, then dove into script-writing. Character development and subtle, intriguing dialogue to aid visuals were key to crafting a great script. After 4 or 5 revisions, they settled on a final version.

But how can you share that story with future crew members, sponsors, and potential collaborators to get everyone on board and excited? When it came time to share the vision for the film, the team turned to mood-boarding to express the look and feel they wanted. They also crafted extremely detailed shot lists, including which lenses they would use and what shot angles, to help translate the script into the final film.

When making those shot lists, they kept their ending in mind from the beginning. It was important to The Delivery Men to create a feeling of suspense with the film’s final scene. With that goal front and center, they chose shots and an ending to leave viewers wanting to re-watch the film to figure out the intriguing conflicts that the story presents.


Want even more of the inside scoop behind The Delivery Men’s filmmaking process? Good news—you can go behind the scenes to watch how they made Low Tide in our course, On Set with Joe Simon and The Delivery Men for just $120. Sign up here for access to this 13 part course with a live director’s commentary and Q&A, plus over 200 tutorials in the Academy of Storytellers library.

Did this tutorial spark any questions you have about signing up for the Academy, or storytelling in general? Ask us on Twitter @storyandheart!