One of the most common questions we get is: “How long will it take to make a video?” Because we create custom app videos from scratch, tailored to our client’s need and wants, there isn’t really one single answer to this question.
Technically, creating a video can take a few days. But designing the right video for each client is a process that includes incorporating their feedback and making revisions at each step, so getting the best quality video will usually take longer than that. We typically say that creating a video takes about a month from start to finish. That's for what we call "Demo" or Tutorial videos, which are the most common type of video we make. App Previews take a bit less time, and live action or animated videos can take longer.
A month may seem like a long time, but we want to allow the client a couple of days to provide feedback at each stage of the process. Some clients need longer than that (because multiple levels of approval are required, for example) which can extend the timeline, but if the client responds to drafts in a timely manner, that can speed up the delivery.
Although the exact timelines can vary significantly, the process is the same. These are the steps we go through for every video project:
1. Determine the most important features of the app
Most videos we create are in the 70-100 second range, which is usually the right length to cover three to five main features. We won’t be going over everything your app can do, so it’s time to prioritize and figure out how to best show off your app. Sometimes the client will provide a list of features, and other times we’ll come up with them together on a kick-off call. In either case, we’ll take the time to explore your app and confirm that we are on target.
Timeframe: Usually 1 day, but if we need to work out getting access to an unreleased app, it can take longer.
2. Create a video outline
In this stage we take the list of features we came up with and start figuring out the story we’ll be telling in the video. We usually come up with the intro to the video, organize the features in the order we’ll present them, and add some additional detail to show the scope of what will be covered in the video. We send this to the client to review, and then make revisions based on the feedback we get. This stage also allows us time to get familiar with your app, set up accounts, and play around to really learn how it works.
Timeframe: 3-5 days, including waiting for feedback and incorporating revisions.
3. Write a full script and visual plan
Once the client approves the outline, we turn it into a full script. The script will be the entire foundation for the video, so it’s really important to get it right. We allow for two full rounds of feedback and revisions. In the first or second draft of the script, we’ll incorporate a side-by-side description of what will be shown in the video at each point in the script.
Timeframe: 7-10 days, allowing the client time to review up to 3 drafts and for us to incorporate feedback into revisions.
4. Select music & voice over artist
While we are working on the script, we’ll send you music and voice over options to choose from so that once the script is finalized we are ready to jump into production mode.
Timeframe: Happens concurrently with script-writing.
5. Video Production and Revisions
As soon as the script and visual plan are approved, we can record the video and voice over. Then we edit the voice over and combine it with the recorded footage and music to create the video. We send the client a draft and then incorporate any feedback into revisions.
Timeframe: About 10 days, including waiting for feedback and making revisions.
As you can, see, there is quite a bit of back and forth involved. We usually can’t move on to the next stage until the client approves the previous one, and each stage could require one to three rounds of feedback.
Because every video is developed with the client, no two timelines are ever the same. If you’re rushed for time, we’re able to create a video in as little as 2-3 days, but due to the amount of work involved, this kind of “drop everything” turnaround comes with a significant rush fee. More commonly, a rush project would be created in two to three weeks, while a “standard” project would be done over four to five weeks.
We’ve developed this process through working with hundreds of satisfied clients and take pride in being able to develop a video plan efficiently and smoothly. If you’re looking for a video that you can be proud of, we’d love to work with you to create it! Get in touch to learn more.