When making an introduction for a television show, think about creating an introduction that not only captures the spirit of your pilot, but also is catchy. Many of the most successful television shows such as "Seinfield," "Friends," and "The Brady Bunch" all have memorable intros. There are a number of creative ways that will allow you to create a free TV introduction.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Video-editing software
- Film footage
Shoot your pilot on a digital camera. By doing this, you won't have to invest in film or in equipment to log the film into. Import the digital files onto your computer and edit them on video-editing software. Final Cut Studio is increasingly becoming the standard video editing software by professionals. If you do not have Final Cut Studio, call your local library to see if it has the software on any of its computers. Most university libraries should have some computers with Final Cut. Another option is to download Windows Movie Maker for free. If you are using a Mac, your computer should already have the iMovie editing software on it.
Download stock footage. Many television shows such as "Dallas" and "Chico and the Man" use images of the community where the series takes place. If you're unable to film exterior shots, consider using stock footage. Many websites like, freestockfootage.com, allow you to download footage and use it in your productions. Once you have selected your clips, use an editing software to arrange the clips in an appropriate order.
Cut clips from your pilot. Shows like "Friends" and "Golden Girls" use various clips from their series to make the intro. This method allows viewers to get a sense of the tone of the show and characters, and also allows you to showcase some of your memorable scenes. Most shows use clips from several episodes, but you can still use this method if you have only taped one episode. In this case, make sure that your intro is concise so the viewer does not feel as if the scenes are repetitive once they see your work. If you don't want to use clips from your pilot, consider shooting new clips
If you don't have access to clips, create an intro by importing still digital photographs into your editing software. "Growing Pains" used pictures of the characters from various points in their life. Other shows like "Lost" and "Frasier" have kept intros simple by playing music over the series logo.
Add music to supplement your clips. Since most popular music is owned by artists or record companies, you cannot use popular songs without written consent and paying fees or royalties. There are alternative ways to get free music. If you know any musicians, see if they would be willing to let you sample their tracks on your pilot. This could be mutually beneficial. If that does not work, contact university music departments and speak with some composers. Many small-budget student productions use student composers to create music. The benefit for these composers is exposure for their music and a film credit to their resume.
Tips and warnings
- Study classic television intros before you get started to help you determine how you want to approach this project.
- Always have composers sign contracts that prove you have permission to use their songs.
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