ESL - The most interactive scripted show ever! (Canceled) project video thumbnail
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$27,335 pledged of $100,000 goal
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By Jonathan Sacramone
$27,335 pledged of $100,000 goal
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About

 "After watching the pilot, I have to say I was thoroughly impressed, and my stomach definitely hurts from laughter." - Sam Rivman, The Huffington Post

 The internet and streaming have changed the way we watch TV, letting us watch what we want, when we want. Now we are using the internet to change the way we make TV, by giving you, our donors, different levels of voting power on the show directly effecting what get's made and who get's cast delivering the most interactive scripted TV experience ever!

Five Donors who donate at the Writer’s Room donation tier will be able to pitch ideas to be voted on!

Our creative team will provide a list of 15-20 short descriptions of potential episodes, and you, our donors will vote on which concepts that you want to see! Depending on the amount of money raised, the 6-8, (Maybe even 10!) most voted-on episodes will be the ones that we make for you.

 Obviously we would love for our entire cast to return, but for those we are unable to retain, we take it back to you, the Kickstarter community to recast the role by presenting the top two actors for the role you all to vote on!:

HOW VOTING WILL BE HANDLED: 

Based on your donation level, you will receive a "bank" of votes in your associated account on our site. You will receive the amount of votes on your donation level for each category to be voted on. If you have more than one vote, you will have the ability to vote multiple times for options you most want to see with our batch voting option. For example: If you have 150 votes and really want to see Jeevan and Nina kiss, when you vote for that logline you will be able to type how many votes in your bank you wish to allocate for that choice. 

ESL is a half-hour, single-camera comedy about a washed-up former child star who, against his will, must teach an English as a Second Language class to fulfill a community service sentence.

Want to know what it’s like to peak at age ten? John Diacano knows. At that ripe old age, he was given the opportunity of a lifetime: the lead role in the big-screen adaptation of the beloved sci-fi novel, The Jupiter Chronicles, Volume I. Unfortunately, he was terrible. Even for a kid actor. John’s performance made Jake Lloyd in Star Wars look like Haley Joel Osment in The Sixth Sense. The press was merciless, the die-hard fans even worse. A new thing called “the Internet” had its first universal punching bag.

Depressed and alone on his 30th birthday, John downed a handle of whiskey, popped a second bottle and then started wandering the streets. A couple of cops who just wanted to get him home safely were rewarded for their efforts with a drunken rant and physical assault. In order to avoid jail time, John reluctantly accepts a sentence of community service in the form of five days substitute-teaching an ESL class.

At the show’s opening, we meet the students: Nina (30’s Russian) the stoic wife of a wealthy diplomat, Lorenzo (40’s Italian) the eternally optimistic and boisterous unemployed filmmaker, Yuuki, (40’s, Japanese) the surly owner of a modest sushi restaurant, Jeevan (20’s Indian) the egotistical and overly sexual club promoter, the lovely and studious Lucia (20’s, Cuban), and the affable Adisa (20’s, Nigerian) who aspires to be the next big oil tycoon, but is technically still a student.

Much of the show takes place at the Woodman Language School, a single rented classroom with an accompanying half-assed “teacher’s lounge” in a non-descript office building in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Van Nuys. Additionally, we will also follow each of our characters’ lives outside of the classroom as each character navigates their respective attempts at achieving the fabled ‘American Dream.’ This isn’t the Los Angeles depicted in most movies and TV. It’s the real, less-burnished version – populated by people not living the dream, but aspiring to it.

  • We're looking to raise $100,000 to cover future and pre-existing costs associated with the production of the show. 
  • $100,000 allows us to do a shorter format 6 episode web-series version of ESL. However our stretch goal is to raise $550,000 will allow us to make 6-8 full length (22 min.) episodes. 
  • If we don't reach our stretch goal through crowdfunding, we will first write the full season of short form episodes while simultaneously seeking additional funds from investors and/or sponsorships to make up any gap between what we raise and what we need to do a full season of 22 minute episodes! Should we secure that financing, we would expand those episodes to full length. Should we not, we jump right into production on the full season of mini-sodes!

We understand that money can be tight, and if you don't have any spare cash to contribute, please help us get the word out!

  • Share on social media through Kickstarter share tools! 
  • Email your email list! 
  • Tell 5 friends! 
  • Tell your 5 friends to tell 5 friends to also tell 5 friends! 
  • Write your local congressman! 
  • Or get this in the hands of Mindy Kaling, Paul Feig, Tina Fey, Judd Apatow, Jenji Kohan, Bill Lawrence, Amy Pohler, Mike Judge, Edward James Olmos, Aziz Ansari, Seth MacFarland or Trey Parker and Matt Stone! 

Thank you so much for taking the time to look over our project and for all of your support!

    -The ESL Team 

Risks and challenges

Like any creative endeavor or new business venture, there are always risks and challenges involved.

With "ESL", we are re-creating how a series is made by making the process fan driven, and interactive. The newness of the fan voting and implementing the digital tools to allow this to happen could potentially lead to some bumps along the road with bandwidth, login, or voting issues. To account for this we have budgeted in IT support that can take care of these issues swiftly and efficiently.

Whether you're a low-budget indie or a blockbuster sized studio film or Television show, unforeseen obstacles in production are bound to arise. Oftentimes these obstacles can be blessings in disguise, prompting a more creative solution than what was originally planned. Other times they can set you back. But always, creativity and financing can cure most any production woe. Your donations along with our experience in independent filmmaking will help this production run as smoothly as possible and ensure that we can deliver an outstanding series.

The biggest risk of all comes in the form of this very campaign. Unlike other fundraising sites, Kickstarter has an all or none policy. If we don't make at the least the $100,000 that we're asking for, we get nothing and thus won't be able to bring ESL to life.

We're confident that we have a series that is smart, funny and bursting with up and coming talent. By investing in "ESL", you are not just investing in a project, but an innovative new way of making entertainment that brings the viewers along for the ride in the creative process. You're investing in diversity. You're investing in new, fresh voices in entertainment. We appreciate your time and interest and thank you so much for all your support.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    YOUR NAME IN THE CREDITS:

    Grazie! 多謝! Danke! どうもありがとう! Gracias! רב תודות! धन्यवाद! Спасибо! ﺷﻜﺮﺍﹰ! Dzięki! Obrigado! Asante! Merci! Ευχαριστώ! Mahalo! Falemenderit! Tack! Salamat po! Ngiyabonga! Tak! մերսի! Ďakujem! ਧਨਵਾਦ! Mulţumesc! Thank You!

    Your name will be included in the post-show credits, and we think you are an awesome person for donating within your means!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    ESL VOTING - NATIVE LANGUAGE:

    Backers at this level are granted voting privileges on casting decisions and episode selection. Note: Backers at this level receive 1 vote.

    ADDITIONALLY - Enjoy the complete first season of ESL streaming with no commercials on the ESL website and take ESL with you on your laptop, mobile device, or tablet with a digital download of the first season plus behind the scenes and extras!

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    ESL VOTING - BI-LINGUAL:

    Backers at this level are granted voting privileges on casting decisions and episode selection. Note: Backers at this level receive 3 votes.

    ADDITIONALLY - Backers at this tier get an exclusive ESL T-Shirt along with all perks from prior levels!

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    23 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    ESL VOTING - TRI-LINGUAL:

    Backers at this level are granted voting privileges on casting decisions and episode selection. Note: Backers at this level receive 10 votes.

    ADDITIONALLY - Donors get an exclusive autographed ESL Poster along with all perks from prior levels!

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    ESL VOTING - SUMMA CUM LAUDE:

    Backers at this level are granted voting privileges on casting decisions and episode selection. Note: Backers at this level receive 60 votes.

    ADDITIONALLY - Donors receive a marked-up copy of an episode's first draft — critiques, typos, and all along with all perks from prior levels! Welcome to the nitty-gritty of the revision process!

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    ESL VOTING - GOOGLE TRANSLATE:

    Backers at this level are granted voting privileges on casting decisions and episode selection. Note: Backers at this level receive 150 votes.

    ADDITIONALLY - Donors at this level get a 4 pack of private acting lessons from ESL star and acting coach Jonathan Sacramone as well as all perks from prior levels! (Note for Donors not based in Los Angeles, lessons will be done over Skype or Facetime or can be gifted)

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    ESL WRITERS' ROOM:

    Contributors of this level get GOOGLE TRANSLATE level voting privileges as well as the ability to submit 1 logline (one sentence Episode ideas) to be voted on by the ESL Donors community to potentially be made as shows, and we open up the writers' room one morning and allow you to sit in on the creative process as well as all perks from prior levels! Travel and accommodations not included.

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    Pledge $3,500 or more About $3,500

    GET ON SCREEN:

    Contributors of this level get GOOGLE TRANSLATE level voting privileges as well as the ability to submit 1 logline (one sentence Episode ideas) to be voted on by the ESL Donors community to potentially be made as shows,

    ADDITIONALLY - Donors have the opportunity to be a featured extra in an ESL episode along with all perks from prior levels! You’ll hang out behind the scenes, get a set tour, have lunch with us, and appear in a scene if you are not camera shy! Travel and accommodations not included.

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    YOUR BIG BREAK:

    Contributors of this level get GOOGLE TRANSLATE level voting privileges as well as the ability to submit 2 loglines (one sentence Episode ideas) to be voted on by the ESL Donors community to potentially be made as shows,

    ADDITIONALLY - Donors have the opportunity to have a speaking line in an ESL episode along with all perks from prior levels! You’ll hang out behind the scenes, get a set tour, have lunch with us, and appear in a scene with a speaking role if you are not camera shy! Travel and accommodations not included.

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    PRODUCER PIZZA PARTY:

    Contributors of this level get GOOGLE TRANSLATE level voting privileges as well as the ability to submit 5 loglines (one sentence Episode ideas) to be voted on by the ESL Donors community to potentially be made as shows,

    ADDITIONALLY - Donors are credited as an Associate Producer, receive all perks from prior levels and will be an honored guest at a cast and crew International Potluck party in Los Angeles where ESL Producer and star Jonathan Sacramone will make wood-fired pizzas from scratch for everyone! Travel and accommodations not included.

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Funding period

- (30 days)