Typical Timelines for a TV Commercial Production Schedule

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Typical Timelines for a TV Commercial Production Schedule

Professional greatness is not something that just happens, it takes time to perfect a video such as a TV commercial. But how long? The short answer: it depends. Many factors influence typical timelines for a TV commercial production schedule including many things that you probably already think about, and some you don’t. The complexity of the production, cast and crew scheduling, and individual project needs is just the beginning. Considerations must also be made for the timing of the production, weather (if shooting outdoors), and various other interruptions.

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Understanding the typical timelines for a TV commercial production schedule will require a bit of understanding as to the general process flow for a television production. There are three phases, pre-production planning, shooting (production), and post-production editing. Each phase will require various scheduling coordination and timelines to align in order for success to be achieved.

Pre-Production Timelines for TV Commercials


In pre-production, much of the project consists of planning. On average, a simple television commercial can move through the entire pre-production process in a day or two. A complex commercial may require several weeks in pre-production as location scouts work to find the perfect area to shoot and the Producer works to cast talent for the video.

It’s not uncommon for pre-production timelines for TV commercials to span several weeks as the planning for the project comes together. In fact, this generally makes up the meat of your timeline accounting for much of the total working hours involved.



Production for a TV commercial can generally take place in a day or two. However, external weather conditions can come into play here if you’re shooting outside as can other complications such as coordinating cast and crew. So, while the actual shoot may only take 1-2 days in many cases, especially for a simple television commercial, the coordination that leads up to the shoot could require careful planning and may take some time to align everyone’s schedules in a way that allows for the 1 or 2-day shoot to take place.

Advanced commercials could require up to a week or more for production. This largely depends on whether there are stunts, special effects, or other intricate shooting needs taking place. 



The typical timelines for a TV commercial production schedule in post-production will generally range between 1 and 7 days. Commercials are short, often 30 seconds to 1 minute, which means there’s not a whole lot of footage to work within post-production editing.

Animations and visual effects can extend the total editing time for your television commercial. Keep this in mind as you plan your project. Complex animations may add up to 1 week or more to the total post-production timeline schedule.

Overall, you can expect your commercial to come together with the typical timelines for a TV commercial production schedule ranging somewhere between about a week and up to 3 weeks in total. That’s assuming 1 week for pre-production, 1 week for shooting, and 1 week for post-production editing.

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