I was approached by a friend with an opportunity to create the theme for a TV show called Town Trekkers he would be pitching to local TV channels and possibly larger networks in the future.
He had the show's name and logo already designed, had theme music composed and recorded and shot a pilot episode, but needed someone who could pull everything together for the show's theme—someone who could refine the audio composition as well as mix all the footage into a professional looking minute-long introduction for the show.
I was excited by the opportunity. The concept of Town Trekkers was interesting and unique. The theme song was catchy. The footage he had to work with was great, including high-definition and aerial video shot via drone. He's also been a great guy to work with in the past. So I was all in on the project.
Our goal was to create a theme for the show that would set the tone and mood for the program, introduce the concept and key design elements and showcase businesses and locations of pilot episode.
We started by storyboarding the theme. We wanted the video to follow along with the lyrics of the theme's music, so that guided most of our storyboarding. But much like finding the perfect stock photo can be a time-consuming process, so can finding the perfect scene from several hours of footage. Luckily, between the two of us we finish this task pretty quickly. He had a comprehensive knowledge of the footage, pitched in recommendations for scenes he liked, but also left the creative direction in my control. As far as clients go, he was great, and we were able to quickly iterate through versions of both the storyboard and drafts of the video.
The theme's music also required some editing. We had an instrumental version of the theme, along with the final composition including lyrics. But we also wanted to include a segment of audio from some footage recorded by the show's guide, which we thought would make a great introduction to the show's concept.
I was able to rip the guide's audio from the video using FFMpeg, and using Sony Sound Forge and Acid Pro mix the introductory narration audio, the final composition including lyrics and the instrumental of the theme into the 60-second piece that accompanies the video.
The audio was then brought into Premiere Pro, along with all the transition compositions created in After Effects, where the final video was assembled and rendered.
After Effects Transitions
Most of the cuts in the video are straight, but we did want to give it some flare with unique transitions. We found some great artwork created by Bifurk on Envato's Videohive, which we used to create the fly-through transitions. We felt the transitions really fit the show's themes of exploration and puzzle-solving. I also worked with Bifurk directly to have custom artwork created—artwork shaped like that of the county in which the pilot episode was shot. I think this added an extra touch of uniqueness to the show's opener. I envisioned it as an affordable way to customize each episode's intro should the creator and/or management team want to go that route with future episodes. The other great thing about Bifurk's work is that he also created a package of similarly designed compositions, like lower thirds, other overlays and transitions that pair nicely with what we were using in the theme's video in case we want to carry those design elements through the entire episode. Having a full package of easily customizable, yet familiar feeling compositions could really pull the entire pilot episode together.
In about a month we were able to go from initial brainstorm to final render, all the while keeping to a budget that wouldn't break the bank for a proof of concept. Having been pleased with the outcome of this project, he also enlisted my help creating a long-form teaser for the show. The client is in the process of shopping the idea around to national TV networks.