How to start your own TV show with minimal money

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TV show production is not out of reach for the average producer.
TV show production is not out of reach for the average producer. (Image: flashfilm/Lifesize/Getty Images)

With the move to digital broadcasting, digital video cameras and the Internet, it has never been easier to create your own television show. While it isn't a simple feat to write a script, find actors, shoot the show and then edit and showcase, it's not out of reach for any potential producer to see the product on the airwaves or computer screens.

Things You'll Need

  • Digital video camera
  • computer
  • editing software
  • actors
  • sets or locations

Purchase a high-end digital camera containing at least 720p, but preferably 1080i/p for high-resolution images. The camera should have a fixed lens with a 10X or greater zoom or an interchangeable lens system. These cameras start at around $1,000 according to CNET, so budget accordingly.

Purchase a higher resolution digital camera.
Purchase a higher resolution digital camera. (Image: Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images)

Find actors and crew by searching online databases geared toward film and television production. You also can place ads in local newspapers, post flyers at colleges where students study acting and production, as well as local high schools if you need younger actors.

Find cast and crew by searching online databases.
Find cast and crew by searching online databases. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Scout out locations to film your TV show. You can check out coffee shops, movie theaters and even some malls make allowances for TV shoots. You will need to gain permission to film at any location you choose from its management, and obtain any relevant permits from the city.

Some coffee shops might allow for a location shoot.
Some coffee shops might allow for a location shoot. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Edit your newly shot footage using an advanced editing program such as Corel VideoStudio Pro X4. As of 2011, this program allows for High Definition image editing with both DVD and Blu-Ray burning. You need to decide what you require of your editing software and what falls within your budget range.

Upload your TV show to an online source such as YouTube or COVERITLIVE. Create an account with the site you choose, and upload your video according to instructions and guidelines of the website. If you decide to go with public access TV, contact your local provider and and submit a proposal for your show.

Upload your video to an online site such as YouTube.
Upload your video to an online site such as YouTube. (Image: Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Tips & Warnings

  • Hire a screenwriter if you don't feel confident about writing an engaging script yourself.
  • Find cast and crew that have a passion for your project to ensure the best possible results.
  • Don't spend more than you have to on editing software or equipment.
  • Do not film in locations where you don't have permission to shoot.
  • Do not persist in gaining permission if you have already received word from management that you are not allowed to film in any given location.
  • Be careful with copyright infringement when adding titles, music or songs to your TV show.

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