When Can I See The First Draft Of My Video?

Posted by Robert Headrick on February 7, 2013

“When can I see the first draft?” It’s an age-old question and one of the most frequently asked by those turning to professionals for a video project. It should be a simple answer, but many factors determine the amount of time it will take a video editor to produce an initial draft. In short, it really depends on the specifications of a project.

Factors that can influence the time frame include the amount of raw footage taken by the film crew, the intended length of the final product, the need for creating original graphics, the complexity of the concept and the amount of other projects an editor may also have on his or her plate.

A rough draft could be viewable by the next day for a simple 30-second video, but if the video is a complex concept, it will take longer. For instance, a video might be put together using half an hour of raw footage and containing five separate interviews. When you add in the time it will take for a custom graphic treatment, it could be a minimum of several days before a first draft is finished.

In a perfect scenario, an editor would be free to concentrate most of his or her time on only one particular project, but that’s usually not the case. A good rule of thumb is to assume that there will be at least a week of editing before the review process begins.

There are no hard-and-fast rules that dictate how long an edit will take. A video can be produced very quickly, but that speed will almost always result in an inferior product. It’s better to be patient and allow ample editing time. As with any endeavor, the length of time required increases exponentially with the desired quality of the finished product.

Have you experienced delays in seeing drafts of your videos, and was it worth it in the end? Let us know in the comments below, or tweet your responses using the hashtag #mcgblog.