Channel 101 is a community driven non-profit film festival with the goal of providing an accessible space for creative filmmakers to experiment with style, story, and technique.
Our festival has only two rules:
1) Each pilot or subsequent episode of a show must be five minutes or less
That’s it! Every submission is watched by a panel consisting of the showrunners of the current primetime programs. They then discuss and vote on their top five favorites from that month’s submissions. These five new pilots will be presented alongside new episodes of the primetime shows at our live screening at the end of the month. The audience will vote and the top five shows with the highest tally become the new primetime.
Channel 101 is based out of Los Angeles, but we accept submissions from anywhere and everywhere. Our monthly screening is also live streamed so that our entire community can participate in the fun and voting.
Here is where you learn three things: How to fail, how to succeed, and finally, how there is no difference between the two. After all, the only thing as bad as being told your pilot failed is being told that your third episode was worse than your second. And the only thing as good as having the number one show is having a chance to come back with something new. In the meantime, you become harder, faster, and fearless. You surrender to the audience as life-giving God and acquire total creative freedom through that surrender.
- 1999 After creating Heat Vision and Jack for the FOX network, Dan Harmon and Rob Schrab are banished from legitimate television.
- 2000 Rob Schrab makes a series of home movies with the express purpose of creating content that would never be playable on network television. Not to be outdone, Dan Harmon joins in, creating his own set of not-safe-for-network content.
- 2001 An innocent lunchtime decision to rent a bad film leads to a creative challenge: Attendees of that night’s screening of Jaws 4 in Rob Schrab’s living room must bring their own “prediction” of Jaws 4’s storyline, in the medium of their choice including puppet shows, poetry and mix tapes.
- 2002 A “Fresh Horses” challenge is issued and a slightly larger circle of friends participates, outgrowing Schrab’s living room. For the “Creepshow” challenge, a larger living room is acquired but over 100 people show up. The “Batman” challenge takes place in the back room of a Los Angeles nightclub but the audience keeps growing and strangers begin asking for the “name of the festival” so that they can submit.
- 2003 Harmon and Schrab “name the festival” the Super Midnight Movie Show and make some decisions: For ease of coordination, the show will be monthly, and the videos will be limited to five minutes in length. Two Super Midnight Movie shows are done at Improv Olympic West: The “Music Video” challenge and “Saturday Morning Challenge.” After losing that venue Harmon and Schrab soon grow to miss the monthly event and they analyze the situation. The problem with the Super Midnight Movie show was that once it got too big, some creators would have to be rejected. Either that, or a large percentage of the show has to be crap, the problem with that being that the audience will stop coming if they lose faith in your judgment. Schrab, a genius at avoiding responsibility, comes up with the idea of making the audience responsible, and over the course of that afternoon, he and Harmon devise some very simple rules and give the show a new identity: Channel 101. No longer a show, in fact. A living, autonomous, untelevised TV network, powered not by promise of reward to the artist, but by the artist’s desire to reward the audience.