How Long Does it Take to Complete a Video from Start to Finish

Video production set with two cameras focused on filming a close-up on scene

June 14, 2022

The million-dollar question: how long does it take to complete a video from start to finish? We get asked this question all the time. The quick answer is this: for a one-day shoot, typically between two to three days for editing a one to two-minute video (i.e. interviews, b-roll, etc).

However, there are countless variables that go into video production so our more complicated answer is that there is no specific rule of thumb when it comes to video completion timelines.

Ask yourself this important question as you begin: when do you need the video to be ready to use?

Have an open and upfront conversation with any company you are considering working with about the date at which you need to be able to actually use the video. With this information, a quality video production company will be able to back into the timeline and consider their processes in order to provide an accurate production timeline.

If you are curious about a typical video production process working with JB Media, check out our general process here.

Professional Video Production Timelines

Professional video production timelines vary based on a number of factors which we’ll cover here, as promised. You can ultimately determine the timeline for video production by considering the three main steps: pre-production, production (filming) and post-production (editing).

How Long Does it Take to Prepare for a Video?

For a one-day shoot agreement, there is not a large amount of preplanning. This will vary based on the number of shoot days in your agreement. For a one-day shoot, the pre-production process will typically take 1-2 weeks, during which team your team will do the following:

  • Planning time: every video project starts with the creative process, which entails creating a plan or framework for the video before it is completed. Your video production team will work with you to understand your goals and needs in order to create the right message for your video.
  • Location scouting: based on the goal and needs of your video, your video production team will scout location options and ultimately decide on the best fit location for the video.
  • Storyboarding: once the plan and location of the video are determined, your team will help you create concepts, storyboards and scripts before starting actual production.
  • Connecting with the client: before ultimately beginning filming, your video production team will consult with you (the client) on the overall plan and execution strategy.

How Long Does it Take to Film a Video?

After you’re done planning, then comes the fun part: filming! With a well-crafted plan, filming is typically a one to two-day process.

You can determine the number of shoot days by the items outlined in the pre-production process and creative development. Narration and interview-based videos may only take one day to shoot, while others can take up to five.

With a quality team of professional videographers, you’ll have the best crew to achieve the best outcome for your video. A prepared professional video production team will be able to scale their crew and equipment to fit your production needs without sacrificing quality, or your goal timeline.

How Long Does it Take to Edit a Video?

It likely won’t surprise you to hear that the more you shoot, the more footage you have, then the more time it will take to edit. Sounds about on par, right? Typically, the post-production editing process takes about one week, but it can take more based on the volume of content. For example, a one-day shoot should take around two days, or 16 hours, of editing (however, note that 2D or 3D graphics and lots of customizations can take a lot longer).

As it goes with video production, the spectrum for the editing process is wide. With proper pre-planning, you will have established a realistic timeline so that everyone on your video production team understands the end goal.

What Could Hold Up Video Production

Planning is great and clear goals are even better, but everyone has been a part of a project that experiences delays. Video production is no different. Here are the main reasons we often see a video production timeline delayed (note that many are avoidable with proper planning!).

  1. Scheduling conflicts. Scheduling conflicts can arise from your video production team, you (the client), the chosen location, third-party vendors, and more.
  2. Delays or cancellations. As with any large project, video production relies on a number of different factors to complete the process. Delays and cancellations, either avoidable or unavoidable, can be caused by weather, third-party vendors, actors, location, etc.
  3. Misaligned expectations. A key part of the pre-production process is creating and setting a plan with realistic and clearly understood expectations. If expectations become misaligned, this can delay the video production process. To avoid this issue and more in the hiring process, we cover the top 10 mistakes people make when hiring a video production company.
  4. Lack of proper planning. Video production can take longer at every stage of the process if there is no script, no storyboarding, no planning, no scouting or if interviews are poorly planned.
  5. Heavy use of graphics and motion elements. Specifically in the editing process, using a lot of graphics and motion elements that have to be specially designed can delay the final step in the production process. If the desire for these elements is communicated in the planning process, the editing team can advise on the effects to the timeline at the start.
  6. Last-minute changes or additions. With every plan comes the need for adjustments along the way. A seasoned video production team will plan for small changes and additions, but large ones may delay the final timeline. As the client, if you ask for last-minute changes or additions, understand that this may affect the end completion date.
  7. Client internal team review process. In some cases, the client will want to have the completed video undergo an internal review process with their team to make sure the final product aligns with their company mission and brand voice. While this can be an important step in the production process, it can delay the final timeline if not communicated in the pre-planning stage.

Get a Professional Video… Fast

You need fresh marketing content to gain a competitive advantage and that content needs to be quickly and easily produced. That’s why JB Media works as fast as possible to produce quality content because we know what to plan for in the process.

To get an estimate for your next professional video, request a quote from our team.