How to Calculate the Length of Your Video Shoot

How much time should you dedicate to your video shoot? The answer always depends on many factors, but typically… a lot longer than you would expect. Most of our recent three-minute videos took an entire day to shoot.

#ProTip: A 3-minute video requires a 30-minute interview (at least).

Producers use a rule-of-thumb called a “shooting ratio” to make sure we gather enough footage. Typically, my shooting ratio is between 10:1 and 20:1, meaning that for every ten to twenty minutes of raw footage I shoot, I will get about one minute of finished video. Some documentaries use as high as a 100:1 ratio. Add to that the time required to set up each individual shot (sometimes it can take an hour to get a few minutes of raw footage!). And that’s how your three-minute finished product becomes a very full day of filming.

Katie Rutter is the executive producer of Thing in a Pot Productions. She has received multiple awards for her videos and the overall quality of her work, including being honored as Video Producer of the Year in 2018 by the Catholic Press Association. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive our video Pro Tips in your inbox every month!

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