Video production timelines

Apr 12, 2017

Good afternoon all

In eLearning we have our typical eLearning development times per level of complexity of the course.  However I was wondering if anyone ever came across similar numbers, or matrix for video development specific to learning?


Thank you


5 Replies
Richard Watson

Good question. Much like e-Learning, I'm sure you'll get the response, "It depends..."

You'll need to use a work breakdown structure to break the project down into individual tasks. Which one's will you do versus subcontract out. 

You've got pre-production, the actual video shoot itself, and post-production tasks.  Depending upon the level of quality you are looking for, the number of people that would need to be involved and the equipment requirements, it can really impact the budget.

Many times I've created a set of videos for company projects. We always subcontracted out a local video company who would come in with all the necessary equipment. We provided the storyboard/scripts/shot list. They recorded, edited and sent back the final videos. From there, we loaded them into the LMS.  Cost? Well, it was based on the number of days on site, the number of retakes needed to capture the required content, and the level of editing they had to do. 

Perhaps this might help a little?  It's a bit dated (2010) but provides some insights that might help you come up with numbers.

A Video Production Cost Calculator:





Kevin Thorn

Hi Nadine,

Gives me pause to consider my own workflows. Each video project I do is specifically dictated by the project (time, budget, scope, etc.). There are many factors to consider from design to  production:


  • Sub contracting the videographer or will it be internally sourced direction?
  • How many actors? 
  • Hiring actors or using current employees of organization?
  • Script writing - sub contracted or provided? If provided, does this person have experience in writing scripts for video? If not, how much time needs to be considered for "coaching"?
  • Scenes. Onsite existing environments? Or, staged with planned props?
  • Lighting: Indoor, Outdoor, or combination?


  • How will the video be filmed? With a smartphone or professional video equipment?
  • Will there be a need for B-roll footage? Can those clips be sourced from existing libraries? Or need to be planned and filmed on location?
  • Videographer and Director or same person? Impacts time and cost.
  • Video and Audio recorded at same time? (equipment/software)
  • Video and Audio recorded independently and synced in post-production? (equipment/software)
  • Post-production: Initial needs analysis would identify learner environment, delivery mechanisms, access devices, etc. Post-production time and choice of tools may be impacted depending on these criteria. 

Quick list I can think of off the top of my head.

Once ALL that is determined the cost and production time is usually dictated by length of script. Not sure how others calculate, but I'll consider DESIGN and DEVELOP as two independent workflows. Designing for video is not much different in terms of tasks and time so it's easier to figure either an hourly rate or flat project cost. 

Developing (filming) and post-production is where most of the time and cost may be consumed. Typically (in my studio) this process is calculated by a "finished minute". Example: If the video is to be 3 minutes long, then the cost would be $$ per finished minute - ready for deployment.

Everything above is just winging it from my experience designing and developing video projects with zero data or analytics to compare. Ha!

Hope this helps nonetheless.

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