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A video is a powerful tool for solving problems, however, every video takes a different amount of time to create. No two videos are the same. A budget, deadline, and a clear understanding of what you want from your video will help you determine how long it takes to produce one.

A common question we get is “How long does it take to make a 2-minute video?” The answer is, it depends. It’s important to sit down with a video production team and discuss your idea or business goal what you hope to achieve from a video.

Let’s explore the various phases of video production, to help you gain a better insight into how long each stage may take. Rough time estimates of each phase have been included based on a common 2-minute mini-documentary style video.

Exploration Phase

Two People sitting having an exploration session

This is the start of your video journey. This Phase looks at your goals, ideas, and issues you are trying to solve. It is important to take time at this stage in order to get a grip on what exactly you want from your video.

For example, you may want more brand recognition, to show your customers how your product or service works, or to help train staff in an easy and effective way. Whatever the problem, there is a way to solve it with video. You want to make sure you give your video production company as much information as possible so they can accurately estimate the costs, and present a proposal.

-The exploration phase can take 1- 3 days*

Creative Phase

Three people sitting doing pre production work

Once the proposal is accepted the creative phase begins. The ideas discussed in the exploration phase are fleshed out to see how they will all come together creatively. This is where the most time can be spent on creating a video. There may already be a certain way to present this video that best suits your brand or perhaps there is a quirky or clever way to present your product. This is the time to experiment and discuss different ideas.

It is important to work with your video production company to ensure you are getting the most out of this vital phase, building a strong foundation for your video’s success.

-The creative phase can take 1-7 days*

Pre-Production Phase

Hand pointing to video storyboard and script which is sitting on table

This is the phase where you really start to see how your video ideas are going to come together and be used in your final product. Production teams will confirm their understanding of what is required, solve script problems and begin building a shooting schedule and location plan for when production starts.

The Pre-Production Phase allows your video crew to understand how this project fits into the bigger picture. It also gives you time to make any necessary changes before the Production Phase begins. This includes reviewing casting choices, locations, storyboards, etc…

Great films and videos require planning. Without structured plans, most videos will fall flat. This is why this phase is critical, and winging it is always a risky option.

-The pre-production phase can take 2 – 14 days.*

Production Phase

sony fs7 camera with video production gear attached

Now, this is where the magic happens! Production Phase takes all of your ideas, storyboards, and pre-production planning and turns them into something real. Your production team will take their professional equipment and expertise and start shooting your video. This may include setting up interviews, filming locations, or anything else discussed before production started.

A good video production team will work with you to make sure they get exactly what it is that you want in a way that works best for your business. Most of the time, this involves shooting multiple takes of each scene until everyone is happy with the outcome. The length of the production phase can vary depending on how many locations or interviews are required, and the complexity of the shoot.

-The production phase can take 1 – 5 days.*

Post Production Phase

Two Video Editors sitting in front of computer while colour grading

After your production team has filmed your video it’s time for post-production to happen. This phase is where all of the footage is edited and pieced together into a film that tells your story in the way you want it to be told.

The editing process involves taking all of the raw footage and deciding which parts will work best with one another, then re-ordering those clips into an enjoyable video experience for your audience. Editing is the heart of any video or film, and is crucial to the success of your story as a whole.

After editing is completed the finishing touches are made, this includes colour grading, motion graphics, audio mixing, and other elements that can include visual effects. This polishing is vital to help your video stand out from the crowd.

-The post-production phase can take 1 – 2 weeks.*

Revision & Delivery Phase

A man and a woman shaking hands after a successful video partnership

This phase revolves around making sure the final video is something you are proud to share with your audience. You will be sent a director’s cut for you to review and will be given the opportunity to make suggestions of things that may need to be changed. It’s important that you consolidate any notes or feedback on the edit and provide your video production company a list of changes. This avoids constantly going back and forth with changes leading to a prolonged editing time which may lead to missed deadlines or budget blowouts.

Once you are happy with the final cut, your project will be delivered and ready for distribution to your desired platforms.

-The time required for this phase varies depending on client responsiveness.*

Conclusion

Depending on the complexity of your video, each phase can take a different amount of time. Video production is never an easy process, but the more you prepare in advance and think about what it is that you want to achieve with your video will make things easier for everyone. Your final product will be one that’s worth watching!

*Time frames have been estimated based on a 2-minute mini-documentary style video.

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