How Long Does It Take to Make a Video Program?


Producing a business video program can take anywhere from a few hours to a few months; it all depends on the nature of the program, the deadlines that need to be met, and the budget that’s available. But let’s stay away from the extremes and talk about typical scenarios.

If a script needs to be written for a business video program, give the pre production process several weeks. After the initial meeting a scriptwriter needs time to digest the material. It then takes several days to write a thoughtful script, even if it’s only five minutes long. Remember that the video is probably distilling a lot of information into a short presentation. If the scriptwriter is new to the subject matter, the writing process takes research and self-education. The script then goes to the client for feedback and revisions. A client typically needs to share the draft with others and not everyone has time to read it immediately. A back-and-forth draft process eats up several weeks easily. If you’re writing the script yourself about a subject you deal with daily, it may be much quicker, but give the scriptwriting process time, it’s the foundation of the entire video.

A production company can rarely shoot a hot-off-the-press script, there’s more pre-production that needs to be done before the shoot. If there are interviews involved, they need to be scheduled. If an actor is to be hired, auditions are in order. Locations must be chosen and booked. The production crew needs to be chosen and booked. The director needs to break down the script and make a plan for shooting it efficiently. The production company needs to coordinate your project with others in their pipeline. Give this process a week or two if you can.

Video shoots are generally measured in days. Video crews work on a daily basis and most business video programs are shot in a day or several days. A shoot schedule longer than a week would be considered substantial. The bigger question is: can these shoot days be consecutive or are there constraints that stretch the schedule into a day here and another day there? All this is determined by the nature of your shoot.

Post production is everything between the shoot and the final delivery. It is generally measured in days or weeks. A short, simple program can be edited in a few hours. Many 5-minute business videos take several days. A longer program can stretch into weeks. But just like scriptwriting, the editing process goes through several cycles of feedback and revisions. These take time on the client’s side as well as the production company’s side. A reasonable timespan for post-production on a typical corporate video program is a couple of weeks.

So putting it all together a comfortable schedule for a custom-produced business video that’s typically between two and ten minutes in running time would be two months: a month of pre-production, a week of shooting and three weeks of editing. Of course eImage has produced trade show programs in as little as a week start-to-finish, but that was because of absurdly tight deadlines. Talk to a professional video production company for a more precise case-by-case time estimate and do the right thing by planning ahead!