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How long does it take to produce a video

Two of the most common questions asked about video production is "how much" and "how long?" Many variables impact both cost and time, and in this blog, we'll be answering "how long."

A typical request is for an interview-style video, approximately two-minutes long, with b-roll, and motion graphics for the intro, outro, and lower-thirds. There is a lot of video production lingo there, and we will break down what these terms mean throughout this blog.

You have to consider all the variables, such as complexity, requirements, and hard deadlines. On average, we recommend planning for a four to eight-week process. Regardless of the timeline, the steps for developing a video follows the same five stages: strategy, creative development, pre-production, production, and post-production.

Week 1 - strategy

The strategy phase involves determining what your targeted business outcomes are, your creative vision in relation to your production budget, and identifying milestones and deadlines. We have already established a budget and have a signed statement of work, and an initial deposit is collected. The first phase typically takes a week.

Week 2 - creative development

The creative development phase is where Badon Hill Group starts to bring your vision to life. We create a storyboard, a list of required shots and graphics, and review your positioning and messaging. A draft script is prepared and continually refined through all the remaining phases. Creative development for our example of a two-minute interview-style video takes around a week.

Example of a creative development concept video done for a client

Week 3-4 - pre-production

Pre-production is the next phase. Badon Hill Group will scout out locations, and additionally secure property and talent releases, hire staff, schedule a studio, secure permits, and audition and hire actors and voice-over talent. We'll create a rough cut of your intro, typically a motion graphic that includes your logo, tagline, and video title and your outro, which includes your logo, tagline, and a call to action. We'll finalize the list of required shots, including b-reel. The pre-production phase usually takes two-weeks.


What is B-reel?

B-reel is one of the most important, and often overlooked part of video production. Secondary content or b-reel brings a video to life. In an interview video, it might include scenes like people in a meeting, a person working on a computer, the outside of buildings, or other action-oriented shots that keep the audience's attention. These clips are layered in during post-production to create higher production value, build interest, and sometimes to hide edits and cuts.


Week 5 - production

The next phase is production. Badon Hill Group collects a milestone payment before production day. Production is the most visible part of a video project, and it's the day when the talent, resources, and plan come together and shoot your video. For an interview-style video production is typically completed in a single day but could stretch out longer depending upon your requirements. You should plan for one week for production.

Example of a simple interview-style video

Week 6-7 - post-production

The last phase is post-production. Post-production is where the magic happens - all of the assets we created with you are put together into the final deliverable. We finalize your motion graphics, license background music, sound effects, stock video, and record voice-over. Badon Hill Group will edit your video, create transitions, build out your closed-captioning files, perform audio enhancement, color correction, and other refinements.

Example of a live-event video done in 48-hours after production with motion graphics, b-reel, licensed stock video, lower-thirds, and music


What is a lower-third?

A lower third is a graphic that typically appears on the lower third of the screen for several seconds. Lower thirds in an interview-style video usually show the name, job title, and company of a person speaking when they first appear. There is no boundary to how you can use a lower third, nor is there an unbendable rule that says they must reside on the lower third of the screen. Other everyday use cases for lower thirds include a website or social link, reinforcing a key talking point, or providing a call-to-action.

There are typically three rounds of edits with a client, a rough cut, a series of significant edits, and the last round of small edits where color correction and audio enhancement occurs. We recommend planning two-weeks for post-production. Once we mutually agree on the final video or videos, we release the content after the final payment.

Badon Hill Group will guide you before the strategy phase to understand your goals, budget, and vision. A crucial part of developing a statement of work is establishing a timeline for production. For example, a video you want to show on the same day it is produced, such as for a live event, would go through production and post-production in hours instead of weeks. In contrast, a sophisticated video meant for broadcast TV, filmed in multiple locations, in and out of the studio, with screen captures, actors, voice-over, and technical resources such as sound engineers, musicians, and colorists, could take ten to twenty weeks to complete. The wide range of options for video production makes providing a simple price quote a challenge. In our next blog, we'll answer the question, "how much?"

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