About this project
There was no warning before the bombs fell. What began as a normal day ended with cities destroyed, populations shattered, and forests blown away to barren deserts.
Within a week, the radiation that blanketed the earth created horrible mutants while decaying government labs spewed out a terrible new virus that caused the dead to walk again.
Some people reported UFOs sucking people up into the sky, while others claimed that giant monsters had been released into the sea when the ice caps melted.
It was a real mess.
Now the the ragged remains of humanity struggle to survive. They spend their days scrounging for food, searching for shelter... and producing informative and entertaining television programming!
SO AT LEAST THERE’S SOMETHING TO WATCH!
CHANNEL ZERO is a half-hour sitcom/sketch hybrid about a post-apocalyptic colony that broadcasts a pirate television station in the wastelands near what used to be Glendale. What was once just a beacon of hope has grown into a way for these survivors to rebuild their lives. After all, they grew up in the post-Youtube world with cameras on every phone and street corner. A little thing like the destruction of all human civilization isn’t going to stop people from wanting to be reality stars!
It’s the behind-the-scenes TV fun of “Larry Sanders”, “SCTV” and “30 Rock” mixed with the end-of-the-world flair of “Fallout”, “Mad Max”, and that preacher guy who thought the Rapture was coming a few years ago.
We're making the pilot episode of this series and we need your help to do it!
The Staged Reading:
On June 9th, 2014, 13 days into the Kickstarter campaign, we performed a staged reading of Channel Zero at The Clubhouse, the epicenter of Los Angeles's thriving indie improv scene:
The common link of nearly everyone involved with CHANNEL ZERO is the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre - Los Angeles. Some of us took classes together years ago, some were on sketch teams together, and some of us just met because we were sitting next to each other at a show and chatted each other up.
Beyond that, we are all friends and entertainment professionals who work in and around comedy and this is a bit of a passion project.
Don't care about us? Find silly self-written bios boring? Sure, we understand. Feel free to scroll on down to the next section: Why Kickstarter? We promise not to take it personally. But we do want you to know: we're pretty darn good at this stuff and yes, we can pull this off.
Kevin Pedersen (Writer, Executive Producer) is a writer and comedian based in Los Angeles. He performs regularly at UCB where he also teaches sketch comedy. His credits include writer and executive producer of Popzilla, a show he co-created for MTV. Other writing credits include Malibu Country, Hubworld, Word Girl, Bob and Doug, The Onion, The Showbiz Show with David Spade, and 10 Dates from Hell for TBS online.
Alex Fernie (Director) has been performing comedy since moving to Los Angeles after graduating from Vassar College in 2004. He frequently performs at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater with Sentimental Lady and Convoy (which has been named "Best Improv Show" several times by LA Weekly.)
He has worked as a director and/or writer for Adult Swim's NTSF:SD:SUV & Newsreaders, Hulu's Hotwives of Orlando and for Funny or Die, as well as created several television pilots for Comedy Central, Amazon Studios and FX. In front of the camera, he has appeared on FX's Terriers, TBS's Conan, Comedy Central's Reno 911!, Key & Peele and a bunch of other stuff. No one believes that he grew up on a horse farm, but he did.
Tom Vaughan (Executive Producer) is a Texas screenwriter hiding out in Los Angeles. He recently completed writing the feature film of the infamous Winchester Mystery House for the legendary horror outfit Hammer Films. His feature film debut was Unstoppable, starring Wesley Snipes. In 2011, he completed his directorial debut, Playing House, based on a script written with Kristy Dobkin.
Past productions include Blackout with Jane Seymour for CBS, and Critical Assembly with Katherine Heigl for NBC. He served as writer as well as Co-Producer on Atomic Twister and Dead in a Heartbeat, both for TBS. It took him nearly 20 years, but he is a proud graduate of The University of Houston. Go Coogs!
Becca Scott (Producer) hails from Kansas City, MO, and has been working in production in Los Angeles since 2011. As co-owner of Aren't We Clever Productions she's produced, production managed, and assistant directed on over 30 productions, while juggling a lucrative career as a zoologist and interpreter for many foreign dignitaries. And she's a ninja.
Zac Eubank (Cinematographer, Producer) is a filmmaker and co-founder of Aren't We Clever Productions, a company that has produced a variety of comedic web-series, short films, and pilots. Though he is a self-taught camera geek, Zac's educational background is in the fine arts, with a MFA in Painting from UMKC. His film work began as a way to expand the visual medium to a more diverse audience. Starting with music videos in 2008, he quickly moved on to more narrative work, and the rest is history.
Good question! I mean, come on! This is not how it's normally done! Absolutely true. And that's the point!
First, we love this project. We want people to see it. We really do. That's the most important thing to us. It was tied up for awhile and it broke our hearts a little. Now that we're moving it forward again we didn’t want to keep asking permission to go make it. The only permission we want is from you, the audience. And now because of Kickstarter, it's the only permission we need! How cool is that?
Second, another amazing thing about Kickstarter is that it allows you to prove there's a demand for a product. We would love to take this show to series and this campaign is the first step in demonstrating there’s an audience for it. For every person who backs the project there are hundreds who would do the same if they knew about it (Help spread the word!) Even a single dollar represents thousands who would gladly watch the show if it were on the air!
You're not just backers, you're advocates. And you're the proof that people out there would watch this deranged show! Let's face it, you're pretty awesome.
Production is pretty expensive when you add everything up. There’s the equipment, the crew, locations, set design, costumes, food, all kinds of stuff. And that’s before we get to post-production! Then we have editing, sound, and visual effects!
We’ll stretch every dollar and call in every favor, but the goal is for Channel Zero to look like we spent twenty times as much as we actually did. It’s ambitious, sure, but we've got the right team in place to do it.
We didn't! But since you asked, let's talk about it! We have only cast a few parts so far but you can see them in Channel Zero's own crowdsourcing video HERE. They are some of the funniest comedians out there and we couldn't be happier to be working with them. People like:
Mike Still (Happy Endings, Kroll Show, College Humor, and the current Artistic Director of UCBTLA)
Eugene Cordero (House of Lies, The Kings of Summer, Afternoon Delight)
Betsy Sodaro (Animal Practice, The Millers, Comedy Bang! Bang!)
Dave Theune (Monsters University, NTSF:SD:SUV, Brooklyn Nine-Nine)
Toni Charline (The Birthday Boys, UCB's Bangarang)
Ronnie Adrian (Key and Peele, UCB's Belmonte)
In addition to these amazing talents there will be even more surprises to come! (Seriously, we know a lot of funny people.)
We know! These things seem to take forever, right? We’ll move pretty fast though. We’ll go into pre-production a few weeks after the campaign and shoot the show over five days late summer or early fall. Post-production will take a few months and we expect to have a finished product in early winter of 2014.
We'll send out links and DVDs soon after that so our beloved backers will see the show long before anyone else. We actually don’t intend to release the pilot online for quite some time, so the only way to see Channel Zero in the near future is be a backer or to know one! How is that for motivation?
We’re offering so many rewards to your right that it might get a little confusing. We know this because we kind of got a little confused ourselves. Instead of simplifying though, we decided that "so much" was just a good problem to have. It was important to us from the beginning that the rewards made the Backers a part of this adventure and communicated to them how much we valued their contribution. Simplifying them seemed to run counter to that.
So instead we made a chart! You can see it below or even download it HERE.
We can not thank you enough for making Channel Zero happen, but we hope these perks are a good start.
Risks and challenges
You're a vial-with-the-pandemic-virus half-full kind of person, huh? Fair enough! Well, all film production carries risk. There are just so many moving parts. Much of this can be mitigated by hiring good people and with production insurance. We’re professionals so we have dealt with a lot of unexpected events over the years and we improvised and adapted as needed. Still, it’s impossible to predict everything.
The biggest challenge will probably be availability of so many talented people. Sometimes projects come up before our lock in date (after that date everyone is committed) that are impossible to pass up. This may be a network series or a studio motion picture. That sort of thing can pay an actor’s rent for a year (or more) and we would never begrudge them for taking that kind of opportunity. They have families and responsibilities, too.
In the case of the actors we would recast. If it was someone vital from the production team we would push production a month or so. We’ll move quickly after the campaign, and this is our highest priority, so we don’t expect this to happen, but come on, you did ask. We had to say something!
We are 100% committed to getting this done and will overcome just about any obstacle to deliver Channel Zero to you.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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