Submit A Pilot

Everyone in the world is invited to submit a Channel 101 pilot.

Make the first episode of any kind of show you want, no longer than 5 minutes. Do not strive to fill 5 minutes. It can be five seconds long. 5 minutes is the absolute maximum.

Here are some things that DON'T tend to work. No rule against them, but just so you know, these things never get into the show:

  1. Five minutes of your recently taped live improv show, shot from the back of a black box theatre, entitled "[name of troupe] TV" or "The [name of troupe] Show."
  2. A five minute trailer...for your TV show? I don't get it. "In a world...?" Come on, man. Think about it.
  3. Thirteen five minute excerpts from your cable access show. With your big long enclosed letter about which episode we're supposed to show the second month, after you get picked up.
  4. The five minute cut of your old-ass, HACK-ass, LONG-ass SHORT FILM, entitled "[name of short film] episode 1" or "The [name of director/lead character] files: episode 1: [name of short film]." If you do not know the difference between a short DV film and a five minute DV pilot, here is the most crucial one: If they were holding remotes, would the audience be likely to flip around during your submission? If yes, you have submitted a short film.

Your show has to have some kind of title that will be seen on screen. You don't necessarily have to create an elaborate title sequence, but your show has to have a name, and the people watching it have to know what that name is, because they'll have a ballot sheet in front of them.

Recently, Channel 101 became an HD event. But just because the screening is in HD, does not mean you have to submit an HD show. You have a few options. You can still submit a Mini DV tape. If you are going to submit on DVD, please submit TWO different DVDs - a playable DVD for the panel meeting to watch, and a data DVD with your uncompressed file. Whatever the tech specs of your show, if it gets in, it will be converted for the screening. Channel 101 will be using Apple ProRes HQ Quicktime for the final output (1080P timeline, 16:9 native, 29.97). The screening is in native 16:9, so if you want to preserve a 4:3 for your show, it will be nested it into a 16:9 timeline with black bars on the sides.

Label your DVD or tape - not just the case, the actual DVD or tape, with the following information:

  • Your name
  • The title of your show
  • Your email address

Mail to this address by the deadline:

Channel 101
P.O. Box 29400
Los Angeles, CA 90029-0400

Do not give us the only existing copy of your work. Do not expect your DVD or tape back.

We will email you to let you know if your work will be shown at the next screening. If it is, the audience will vote on whether or not you should make a second episode. If you get enough votes, your video will be in the Prime Time section of this site the morning after the screening. If you don't get enough votes, it will be in the Failed Pilots section. Prime Timers get a few extra days on their deadline for the next month, but will be subjected to the same scrutiny as all the new pilots. Sooner or later, your show will be cancelled by the audience, at which point it will go into Cancelled Shows.

All legal rights to your material remain with you. If we decide to screen your show, we are simply showing it to a small audience of fellow artists and curious onlookers, then posting it on this web site, with full credit given to you. Nobody is paying or taking money to see your work.

We reserve the right to reject any submission for whatever reason we see fit. The best way to increase your shot at some screen time is by making something that's going to make the screenings enjoyable. Make it move, make something happen, keep it short.

And the most important guideline of all: Do this for yourself. Entertain yourself. If you try to figure out how to please other people, you'll usually fail to do just that. Good luck and have fun.