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A show about the remains of humanity struggling to survive after the apocalypse... and to produce quality television entertainment!
A show about the remains of humanity struggling to survive after the apocalypse... and to produce quality television entertainment!
570 backers pledged $31,684 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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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.

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    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    IRRADIATED NEILSEN FAMILY — You are now part of the team! Thank you! You’re announcing to the world that you want to see this show! You’ll get EXCLUSIVE UPDATES AND VIDEOS just for our backers and a whole lot of GREAT KARMA! And let’s face it, that kind of karma could really come in handy if the apocalypse comes. And it will.

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    WASTELAND WANDERER — In from the desert! Tired of the heat, the giant scorpions, and that constant hum from the mountains that you just knew was bad news, you’ve decided to rejoin civilization. Or at least something resembling it. This level gets you a LOVING SHOUT OUT in our social media and a PDF MAP OF THE KNOWN WORLD outside the walls of the colony. Keep in mind, the colony cartographers are not actually trained in cartography, nor do they ever go outside the walls. Still, it’s better than those old maps with all those cities that don’t exist anymore.

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    COLONY CITIZEN — You’ve decided to stay! You’re now one of us! Don’t worry, you won’t stay in the tent near the latrine for long. Someone will die and you’ll get their tent! Hooray for radiation sickness! In celebration of your big life decision you'll get an HD DOWNLOAD OF CHANNEL ZERO long before anyone else sees it. You'll get the LOVING SHOUT OUT and the PDF MAP OF THE KNOWN WORLD.

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    STATION PRODUCTION ASSISTANT — Moving up the corporate ladder! Good for you! A little more interested in how the sausage is made then? We’ve got just the perk for you. The HD DOWNLOAD OF CHANNEL ZERO WITH COMMENTARIES. There'll be commentaries from the director, the writer, the production team and the characters. That’s right, the characters! These hilarious improvisors will be doing what they do best in their own commentary. We LOVE commentaries and we want to deliver big time on these both for entertainment and educational value. We'll also include a PDF OF THE SCRIPT! You’ll still get the SHOUT OUT in our social media and a PDF MAP OF THE KNOWN WORLD, too.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    STATION CAMERAMAN — Opportunities abound after the end of the world! We get it: you're working the equipment now and you want something more solid in your hands. At this level you will get a DVD OF THE SHOW with all the commentaries and extra videos. You’ll also get a SPECIAL THANKS IN THE END CREDITS and on IMDB! And yes, you'll get everything else listed above as well!

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    ON-AIR PERSONALITY — The camera loves you, whether you're behind it or in front! This reward includes everything listed above plus the BLU-RAY and a special PDF OF THE SCRIPT WITH DIRECTOR'S NOTES IN IT. Most importantly, you will get 2 TICKETS TO THE CHANNEL ZERO COMEDY PARTY including appearances by some of our favorite improv teams! An orgy of world-class talent! And the only guarantee to get a seat is to be at least this level of backer! Time and place TBA but if you can get yourself to Los Angeles, we'll get you in the show. While, you'll get the special thanks in the credits and IMDB, we want to make sure the display of our gratitude isn’t just digital. We’ll send you a ONE-OF-A-KIND POLAROID from the set with a personalized thank you for making Channel Zero happen! Additionally, YOUR NAME WILL BE PUT ON "MEMORIAL WALL OF NAMES" that will be seen in the pilot! You're talent now man! You get this kind of swag!

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    SEGMENT STAFF WRITER — Hope you know a lot of political jokes because anything about the Brain in the Jar and his policies absolutely kills! This level is for sketch writers or someone who knows and actually likes a sketch writer. In addition to everything from $100 level on down, you'll get your SKETCH PACKET READ AND CRITIQUED by Channel Zero writer and UCB sketch teacher KEVIN PEDERSEN. This perk is transferable so it makes a great gift to the sketch writer in your life.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    HOSTING THE CHANNEL ZERO TELETHON — Good for you! This is exactly how relationships with audiences are built. This, and by reporting horrible disasters on the air. This level involves a friend of Channel Zero, renowned impressionist Ross Marquand (http://youtu.be/pKI5tZQeovw). Ross offered to help us out because he is a genuinely good guy and he loves the project. Ross will deliver a 30 second mp3 as any male celebrity in his repertoire (Harrison Ford is our favorite.) It can be an out going phone message, a ring tone, whatever weird thing you want to use it for as long as Ross feels comfortable doing it. The rewards from $100 on down are also included!

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    GUEST HOSTING — Molly got bit by that strange rock outside the wall and we need a guest host! This is what they've been grooming you for! This level includes a TWO-HOUR COACHING SESSION FOR YOU AND YOUR IMPROV TEAM by the director of Channel Zero, ALEX FERNIE. Fernie rarely coaches these days because of his schedule but here is your chance to grab him! This can be done in Los Angeles or through SKYPE. Like all rewards, it's transferable! It also includes the rewards from $100 level on down.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    M.O.W. SCREENWRITER — You write movies, huh? Perfect! Keith wants to produce TV movies for Channel Zero but he needs a script! Script needs work? That’s okay! Our Executive Producer Tom Vaughan is a sought after screenwriting teacher! With this level he’ll read your screenplay, WRITE EXTENSIVE DEVELOPMENT NOTES AND DISCUSS THEM WITH YOU over Skype! This is not coverage but comprehensive development from a professional screenwriter. Not the writer yourself? No problem, it’s transferable! Give it as a gift! This level also includes the rewards from the $100 level on down!

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    SHOW DIRECTOR — Well, hello, Mr. DeMille! Well, actually this is TV, not film, so you’re not totally in charge. But you do get to boss a lot of people around! At this level you get to BE AN EXTRA IN CHANNEL ZERO. Get yourself to Los Angeles and we’ll get you on set! In addition, the amazing improvisors in the cast will RECORD A SONG all about the glory of you based on the info you give us and we’ll SEND YOU THE MP3! Of course we’ll send you everything from the $100 level on down as well.

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

    YOUR OWN SHOW! — You did it! The apocalypse wasn’t all bad! Without it you’d never have your very own show! At this level you get an ASSOCIATE PRODUCER CREDIT in the end credits and on IMDB. You can push your weight around a little and CREATE YOUR OWN SHOW TITLE that will go on the scheduling board in the pilot. But wait! We're not done! Want to be AN EXTRA DURING THE SHOOT? We want you there, too! You’ll get the SONG ABOUT YOU, the invite to THE CAST AND CREW SCREENING IN LOS ANGELES as well as DINNER WITH THE FILMMAKERS. We'll also include all the rewards from the $100 level and below. Can’t do any of these yourself? Give these benefits to anyone you want! You're a network star!

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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    STATION MANAGER —This one is for the actor or perhaps someone who has an actor in their life. You’re in charge of everything in the building now! Even the equipment! That’s going to come in handy when Channel Zero production company Aren’t We Clever SHOOTS AND EDITS A DEMO REEL for you or your favorite aspiring actor! It will look phenomenal because that’s what they do! You’ll also get an ASSOCIATE PRODUCER credit, be an EXTRA ON SET, the SONG ABOUT YOU, the invite to the CAST AND CREW SCREENING IN LOS ANGELES as well as DINNER WITH THE FILMMAKERS and all the perks for the $100 level and below! You’re management now, baby!

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    STATION OWNER — Ownership doesn’t exactly exist in the legal sense since the Late Unpleasantness, but if you say it’s yours and no one kills you, then it’s yours! Hooray! With this level you’ve earned a CO-PRODUCER CREDIT in the end titles and on IMDB. You also get a FEATURED EXTRA ROLE for yourself or the person of your choosing. This means the camera will lovingly linger on you and let the world see your beautiful/handsome face. You’ll get THE SONG ABOUT YOU, the invite to THE CAST AND CREW SCREENING IN LOS ANGELES, DINNER WITH THE FILMMAKERS and all the rewards from the $100 level and below!

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

    CEO PARENT COMPANY — You are big time now! Some people use a gun, you use a fountain pen! You don’t even have to be in the dilapidated studio anymore to yell at people. You can do it from the comfort of your own tastefully decorated bomb shelter. This level gives you a well-earned PRODUCER CREDIT in the opening titles of the pilot (if we choose to have opening titles. Otherwise, we’re all in the back!) as well as A WALK-ON ROLE for yourself or the person of your choosing. This includes at least one line of dialogue and we’ll make sure it’s a good laugh line, too! You’ll even get to NAME A CHARACTER! If we can get legal clearance on it, and it’s something that doesn’t hurt the vibe of the show, that power is in your hands! You will also be invited to THE CAST AND CREW SCREENING IN LOS ANGELES, DINNER WITH THE FILMMAKERS and all the rewards from the $100 level on down!

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    THE BRAIN IN THE JAR — Wow. You move fast. Seriously, this is a BIG DEAL. You now secretly control much of the wasteland from inside your jar at an undisclosed location. Sure, all physical desire is gone since you are literally just a brain in a jar, but you’ve transcended that bottom dweller stuff long ago. The only thing worth living for now is being superior to the talking monkeys and manipulating their lives. What’s more spiritually uplifting than power? This perk gives you CO-EXECUTIVE PRODUCER credit in the opening titles (if we choose to have opening titles. Otherwise, we’re all in the back!) But this isn’t a ceremonial position. You will see a rough cut of the pilot and GIVE NOTES on what you think is working and what isn’t. If you’re really good at this you will absolutely have creative influence on the show. You’ll get a WALK-ON ROLE for yourself or a person of your choosing and be invited to VISIT THE SET any time you want during the shoot. You’ll receive THE IMPROVISED SONG ABOUT YOU based on the information you give us and YOU’LL NAME A CHARACTER (with the same restrictions mentioned above). Geez, this is a lot of stuff! In addition, you'll be invited to the CAST AND CREW SCREENING, DINNER WITH THE FILMMAKERS, and you’ll get to PICK ANY ONE OF THE LIMITED REWARDS mentioned above PLUS all the cool perks at the $100 level and below! Of course, you get what you want! You’re the Brain in the Jar! You run this place!

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Funding period

- (31 days)