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Depending on the power of the computer, the length of your video and the delivery requirements, compressing the final video file can take anywhere from 2 minutes to 24 hours.


Typically I create four versions of every video.

sharing via an internal network like SQL. They will define the bitrate, canvas size and file format that will play smoothly on your network.


The third file is a high-quality Master version of the video. I personally use uncompressed QuickTime or GoPro Cineform .mov files, but there are many other options. This is the final archive master version of the video for your library. It will be used as a source file if you need to create a distribution version with different specifications. For example, you may create a video that is destined for You Tube, compress it and publish it on your channel. . An executive loves the video and wants to embed it in a Power Point presentation. Now you will need a wmv version of the video to ensure smooth playback. Rather than recovering all the assets you used to edit the video to output a new file from the editing software you can use this uncompressed master as the source for encoding a new file. This is far more efficient, saving time and money.


The fourth video is also an uncompressed version of the video, but without music, graphics or on screen text. This is referred to as a Textless Master. In the future you may want to leverage an element of your video in a new story. A sound bite or sequence of shots. It is a waste of time and effort to try and dig through your archives looking for the files and re-editing the content from scratch. With a textless master you can use it as a source without the problem of background music or graphics.

The first is a small, highly compressed file for viewing and approval. Usually in a platform agnostic format like MP4 that will play on most computers and devices.


I create a distribution version that matches the specifications required for optimal playback in my distribution network. In other words, the biggest file that will not stress the channel. A YouTube file is usually a 16mbps VBR 1080p mp4 file. For a Microsoft-based framework I might create a Windows Media file, for mobile delivery I might create a small 720p mp4 file, and for Flash I would deliver, well, Flash. Working with the people responsible for defining my file deliverables, the people or team who will take my content and share it with others, ensures my audience can enjoy my efforts with a minimum of trouble. It is particularly important to establish solid lines of communication with your IT team if you are self-hosting your files or are




This production schedule example breaks down to an average of:

  • 5 days total required for production of a 2-3 minute case study
  • 1 day total time required for an SME or executive video
  • 2 days total for a studio shoot
  • 2 days for each segment of an informational series.


I recently completed a 10-part best practice series, with each video 2 minutes long. The budget was for 20 days of work to create the series. If I were releasing one video a week I would have 2-and-a-half months of content created in one month of work, freeing up six weeks to work on other projects, create more complicated stories or sit in meetings.


There are plenty more variables I could dig into but perhaps this will give you a better framework for managing your resources and peering over the horizon. If this prompts further questions please let me know. I am always happy to field questions or respond to comments.

© StoryGuide 2016