How Long Does It Take to Edit a Video: The ABCs of Video Editing

How long does it take to edit a video? Editing is fun, but it’s probably one of the most time-consuming tasks in video production. Video editors spend a lot of time trimming, color-correcting, and adding effects just to make good content for their audience.

Want to know more about video editing? Follow along as we answer important questions about video editing: how long it takes, what factors affect video editing time, and what the video editing process looks like.

male video editor with red  headphones in front of computer screen

How Long Does It Take to Edit A Video?

The short answer is that it varies. Video editing time can range anywhere from hours to days to be finished. Depending on several factors, it could even take months. That’s the case for other video types like films and music videos.

Video editing can be tedious, but with the right tools and resources, you’ll have fun doing it in no time. For a deeper dive into this question, let’s talk about the video editing time per minute and the variables that determine this number.

Hours of Editing Per Minute of Video

So, how many hours of editing per minute of video does a video editor take? Generally, 30 minutes to an hour of editing time is needed for every minute of the final video.

Let’s pare it down. Instead of viewing video editing on an enormous scale, we can simplify the task by looking at how long it would take to edit a five-minute video.

For simple output, which usually involves trimming and syncing audio, it takes an editor between one and two hours to clean up and edit a five-minute video. However, a five-minute video with more complex needs can average between three and five days. Of course, complicated video editing demands more work aside from trimming and cutting.

close up shot of video time and process on computer screen

Factors Affecting Video Editing Time

According to NarraSoft’s video editors, the time it takes to edit a video varies and greatly depends on the tasks an editor must do. Additionally, there are factors to consider when knowing how long video editing takes.

Here are the major factors that affect video editing:

Video Type

The type of video is a common thing that affects how long it takes to edit. A video can be a vlog, corporate, family, wedding, film, and more. Most vlogs are easier to edit than other kinds of videos. You just need to use the best video transitions to create a good storyline. But in reality, it still depends on the story the creators want to tell.

Raw Footage Length

The length of raw footage also comes into play as a factor. Say you want to produce a five-minute video, but you captured 10 hours of footage. It will take a long time for video editors to look through the clips, trim and patch them, add visual effects, and render the video altogether. 

Another case is when there’s not enough footage. The editors will take hours out of their video editing time to add additional content. If you’re a creator, this should be avoided as much as possible so that editing will go smoothly.

Raw Footage Quality

Aside from length, the quality of the raw footage also matters. Everyone wants to make high-quality content, but what if the footage is terrible?

Video editors will do whatever it takes to make good content out of low-quality footage, but it will take them a long time to finish. While they will take longer to repair, they won’t appear as polished as professional-looking videos.

There’s also the case of working with large files. Large file sizes sometimes slow down even the most advanced editing software. Transferring large files from the memory card to the computer and software will take more time, adding to the time it takes to edit the video.

Mouse pointer clicking on a export button in video editing software

Editing Tools

The length of time you need to edit a video also depends on the software you use. There is a lot of video editing software for beginners that can make your editing tasks more manageable. However, some editing tools also require specific editing abilities before you can use them. For the best output, consider studying the editing tools first, so you won’t spend too much time editing your video.

If we have to piece together an entire video from scratch, there are some concept-heavy tasks we need to accomplish first. These include determining the direction of the piece, integrating the brand’s voice into it, and making sure we convey the message our clients want to take home to their audience.

Apart from this, NarraSoft’s video editors say the work required for complex videos may involve:

  • Finding the right assets, such as sound effects, visual effects, and additional images
  • Using a suite of other programs, such as Adobe Premiere, After Effects, and Photoshop
  • Targeting client-specific requests

Editing Skill and Experience

One critical factor affecting how long it takes to edit a video is the editor’s expertise and experience. A novice editor will take hours or even days to finish a brief video. However, editing time could be shortened if the editor has prior experience. Hiring professional editors is the best way to go if you want to produce professional-looking videos.

backview of video editor working at night

Where to Find Professional Video Editors

You have two options to add professional editors to your team. Either you hire them in-house, or you work with outsourced video editing services.

As with anything, each approach will have its pros and cons. Hiring in-house tends to be more costly and time-consuming, but you get to work directly with the talent. On the other hand, outsourcing is way more cost-effective, and you instantly have a video editing team when you find the right partner. But many companies don’t like this setup because they sometimes lose control over the talent and the length of time it takes to edit a video. This can be true for several outsourcers. However, there are companies you can work with on a partnership basis instead of a seemingly disconnected third-party provider.

At NarraSoft, you can reap the benefits of outsourcing video editing because we treat our clients’ businesses like ours. This means we emphasize collaboration, giving our value-adding insights and output instead of passively doing our job.

The same goes for our video editors, who have at least four years of experience under their belt. Throughout their career, they’ve developed systems to support the demands of their work and sustain a steady workflow. With that, our video editors guarantee they won’t need to spend longer video editing time than necessary.

Because we collaborate with our clients on a partnership basis, what we’re doing for them is augmenting their teams. Our team believes in being hands-on with our client’s goals, which has won us the trust of previous clients from all ranges.

Female and male video editors working in front of two computer screens

What The Video Editing Process Looks Like According to Narrasoft Editors

Like any creative work process, video editing tends to differ from editor to editor. But there are common threads and patterns among creatives. So we asked our video editors what they do before and during editing a video to find out what they are.

Before Editing Videos

To ensure our editors won’t take too long to edit videos, they do the following:

  • They ensure they’re mentally and logistically prepared for the work.
  • They take note of the technical requirements and review the client’s requests before starting any projects.
  • One editor tends to be particular about the additional programs needed and will go through the specific video settings as they begin to lessen video editing time.
  • Another takes walks before hunkering down to prepare for their work. In a team setting, they have trackers to stay updated with the workload or to check whether the client has new action items.

During Video Editing

Our editors use the following techniques to ensure their tempo of video editing produces quality work:

  • Our editors download the correct and updated files provided by the clients. Then, depending on the clips needed, our editors either directly upload them to the video editing program or adjust the footage in different editing applications.
  • One of our editors usually starts their video editing time by cleaning the audio, cutting out dead air, and removing unnecessary noises in the background.
  • Another stresses the importance of regularly checking the tracker. This will prevent possible miscommunication and avoidable revisions from arising.
  • Lastly, one of our editors said not to rush things, even if the project is on a tight deadline. Refraining from hurriedly editing a video allows professionals to carefully convey a cleaner and more thoughtful output in the long run. Isn’t this the primary goal of content creators?

Like all skills, video editing requires practice. It depends on the editor to know how long it takes for them to edit a video. What’s important is that they get the job done and deliver quality content.

a man video recording himself using a dslr camera on tri-pod

Don’t Have Time for Video Editing? Narrasoft Has Your Back!

Have you decided you want to hire a good video editing team? NarraSoft’s experience in rendering video editing services spans nearly a decade. Not only are we capable of editing videos with raw footage from your company, but we can also create your videos from scratch.

We have amazing digital artists, animators, and video editors who can reduce your video editing times and provide you with anything your company needs to get that high-converting, engaging content you’ve been looking for.

Message us on our chat box or social media channels, or you can fill out the contact form on this page! You can also reach us through email at sales@narrasoft.com for inquiries or a free consultation.