Peachtree City man helps create new kind of television program

Sergio Acevedo with his daughter Gennesareth, 5. Photo/Special.

Have you ever thought that you had a good idea for a television show? Current TV’s new program, “Bar Karma” is counting on it and Peachtree City resident Sergio Acevedo is just one of many people who have contributed to the show.

“Bar Karma,” the first series to give viewers control of the show content before it hits air, was created by game creator Will Wright (The Sims/Sim City) and Worldwide Biggies CEO Albie Hecht. Set at a mystical watering hole at the edge of the universe, “Bar Karma” stars William Sanderson (“True Blood,” “Lost,” “Deadwood”) as James, the 20,000 year-old bartender, Matthew Humphreys (“Obsessed,” “Big Love,” “The Forgotten”) as bar owner Doug Jones, and Cassie Howarth (“Deranged High,” “Deathclock”) as the lone waitress, Dayna. The series answers the age-old question: “What would happen if you could change your fate?” Set in a time traveling bar owned and operated by members of the mysterious organization Karma, Inc., each weekly episode follows a new bar patron as they enter at happy hour and must make a life-changing…and possibly world-saving …decision.

“My mother was watching a program on Current TV, heard about this new show coming that was looking for story ideas and told me about it,” Acevedo said. “I got familiar with the show and its mythology, and went to the web site and learned how to pitch a story.”

The community of fans uses StoryMaker, a program created by Wright, that empowers people to collaboratively tell stories. StoryMaker is on the web at http://current.com/studios/storymaker/ and there are also apps on the Android, iPhone and iPad.

Acevedo, who went by the screen name Caleones, used StoryMaker to outline a story about a U.S. Senator in 2058, a time when the country is struggling with a dictator-like leader and a massive population crisis. She is hiding a sensitive secret and must make a decision that will effect multiple lives.

The producers liked Acevedo’s idea, which was also worked on by two other users, and wrote the script. They had to tweak some elements of Acevedo’s idea because the Giffords shooting occurred around the same time the episode was due to enter production. Acevedo enjoyed the process and the communication with the producers and other members of the “Bar Karma” community. He continues to follow the ideas being submitted for upcoming episodes and is also helping those new to the community get familiar with StoryMaker and submitting their own pitches.

“People can pitch something as small as a piece of dialogue for a character to say in an episode to a larger arc or plot point,” Acevedo said. “The producers are really good about reading everything.”

Acevedo, 29, is studying communication and media studies at Clayton State University. He is married, has a five year old daughter, and hopes to pursue a career in writing for television or film. He is currently revising some screenplays he wrote and is a science fiction fan. He stated that “Heores” was one of his favorite shows. “Bar Karma” is a little different because each episode is a stand alone story.

“It doesn’t need to be seen in chronological order,” Acevedo promised, adding that it isn’t too late for others to join in the fun and submit their own ideas for the final two episodes of the season.

The episode Acevedo contributed to, “Term Limits,” airs tonight on Current TV at 7:30 p.m. For more information on the show or the schedule, visit current.com

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