How Long Does It Take To Edit A Video?

Video editing is a time-consuming process that requires specific skills.

It’s probably the most time-consuming stage of video production.

That’s why many businesses, YouTubers, and influencers decide to outsource video editing and use that time to create more content and grow their brand.

I’m sure all YouTubers know video editing is probably way more time-consuming than filming the actual video or coming up with ideas for new videos.

That’s why a lot of creators hire a YouTube video editor to help them out.

How long does it take to edit a 1-minute video?

As video editing professionals we found that on average, it takes 45 to 60 minutes to edit 1 minute of a finished video.

That’s the duration for your average video edited by an experienced editor.

This time includes all aspects of video editing:

  • downloading the files
  • curating the raw footage and/or other media assets
  • reading the script or the requirements
  • cutting the footage
  • adding text, lower thirds, or graphics
  • audio editing, sound design
  • adding background music
  • color grading
  • exporting and uploading the files

Once all those steps have been completed you have what’s called the first cut.

Usually, after the client reviews the first cut and provides feedback to the editor, there are 1-2 revisions before the final cut is completed.

So, depending on how particular someone is about video editing, the whole process can take more or less.

Factors that affect how long it takes to edit a video

The time it takes to edit a video will depend a lot on many, many factors.

The duration of the raw footage

Sitting and browsing through 10 hours of raw footage will take more than curating 1 hour of footage. That’s a no-brainer.

The duration of the edited video

Longer videos usually will take longer to edit, but that’s not always the case.

There are situations in which a 3-minute video will take much more time to edit than a 30-minute video.

Take interviews or podcasts versus a wedding highlight or movie trailer.

A 30-minute multicamera interview can be edited in about 2 hours if everything is well planned both in the studio and in post-production.

However, you can spend a couple of days editing a 3-minute wedding highlight.

I believe wedding videographers know what I’m talking about :).

That’s why they use our wedding video editing service.

The type of video

We already kind of touched a bit on this one.

Some types of videos are easier to edit and will take less time to edit than others.

Reels, trailers, and highlight videos usually take more time to edit because you need to pack lots of raw footage into something that’s very condensed and high-energy.

Longer form content such as podcasts, interviews, presentations, or even vlogs can take less time to edit, if you do a “time to edit” / “duration of the video” ratio.

The production value

Last but not least a higher production level will take much more time to edit than some things that are not as polished.

So if you are working on a video that needs to be 100% on point in terms of cuts, transitions, graphics, audio mixing and sound effects, and color grading, it can take forever. Especially if you are very picky or particular about everything in the video.

It’s the little details and small touches that make the difference, but those can double or triple the time spent editing a video.

How long does it take to edit a YouTube video?

On average, it takes 45 – 60 minutes to edit a 1-minute YouTube video.

We would consider YouTube videos to be somewhere in the middle in terms of editing complexity. They are not as demanding as other types of videos, but there’s still plenty that’s going on.

So editing YouTube videos can keep someone busy.

How long does it take to edit a music video?

On average, it takes 40 – 50 hours to edit a 3-4 minute music video.

Music videos are probably one of the most time-consuming edits.

There will be multiple cameras, multiple actors, different sets probably, visual effects, maybe masking, and green screens. It’s a lot of post-production work.

How long does it take to edit a wedding video?

On average, it takes 15 – 20 hours to edit a 3-5 minute wedding highlight video.

Sometimes, wedding packages also include a video of the ceremony, reception, or a featured video.

So depending on what’s included in your wedding video package it can take up to 25 – 30 hours to edit a complete package that includes everything.

How long do revisions take?

A revision of the first cut usually takes 10-25% of the time spent editing the first cut.

Revisions are something that you need to factor in when you estimate the total turnaround time.

There are times when the editor can get everything right from the first cut, but most of the time there will be at least 1 or 2 revisions before you reach the final cut.

Last but not least, if you’re an editor that wants to increase productivity make sure to check out our article on how to edit videos faster.

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Cristian Stanciu is a freelance video editor, owner, and post-production coordinator of Veedyou Media – a company offering video editing services to videographers, marketing agencies, video production studios, or brands all over the globe.