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How Long Does Video Editing Take?

Are you wondering how long it will take to edit your video? Many ask, “How long does video editing take?” and without boring you with too many details, the short answer is- video editing takes longer than shooting. We’re showing you what goes into video editing and what factors influence the amount of time that it will take to edit content and render it ready for the screen.

Factors Influencing Video Editing

Several factors influence the process of editing video. The most common include:


  • The complexity of the script.
  • The style of footage.
  • How much footage there is.
  • How long the video is intended to be.


Most of the time, editing is a 2:1 process. The ratio is a set of numbers that defines the editing requirements of a film. The first number is defined as the number of hours to edit and the second number is the total number of minutes for the finished film. So a 2:1 video is 2 hours to edit for each minute. Therefore, a 3 minute video would take 6 hours to edit.

Certain factors can add to the ratio. In fact, videos that are shot in several locations can have a 10:1 ratio which would mean it takes 10 hours for every minute of finished video to be edited. Most fall somewhere in between the 2 and 10 marker.

Why Does Film Editing Take So Long?

Film editing takes significantly longer than production due to the various tasks that must be completed in order to cut the final footage into the perfect finished project. The editor will go through several steps in order to provide you with final proofs that meet or exceed your expectations.

The editing process generally looks like this:

  • Footage is logged and all clips are placed in order. This can take a lot of time for shots that take place in multiple locations. The idea here is to set the footage in a way that allows it to tell a coherent story.
  • Footage is assembled so that the visuals and sound are synced together. The editor determines the order in which to work with the footage and sound and assembles the two together.
  • A rough cut is created. This involves editing to take various footage and determine the best clips for each scene. The final versions are double checked and then lined up with the original. The amount of time spent on rough cut can vary based on the editor.
  • A first cut is created. Once the rough cut is complete a first cut is rendered. The first cut involves the use of larger sections of the footage to focus on the movie as a whole.
  • The Fine cut is produced. Finally a fine cut is produced as each scene is analyzed and the big picture is determined. The editor can spend many hours on the fine cut.
  • The final cut is produced. The last stage of editing is the final cut. At this point the team has agreed on the fine cut and this is used for the final cut.


Editing can add months to a major production. However, failure to edit leaves you with a bunch of footage with little purpose. For help editing, call Beverly Boy Productions today!

BVC Co. uploaded a really informative video of his typical day as a video editor: