What’s the Ideal Finished Personal Video Length?
If you’re asking yourself, “How long should my video be?” congratulations, you’re already on the right track. If you haven’t asked yourself this question yet, sorry to be the bearer of bad news: your videos are too long.
Your friends and family don’t want to tell you the brutal truth because they love you. But we can all learn from the mass of available metrics in the commercial video realm: shorter video length is better.
For years, it’s been reported that most viewers have an attention span of somewhere between 1-3 minutes for online videos. Here at ProEditors, we aim for finished, edited videos of 2-3 minutes from 30 minutes of raw footage.
Like any fine film director, you may be shocked to feel like 90-95% of your footage is (metaphorically) on the cutting room floor. But hear us out.
Audience. Family might be more tolerant of slogging through an overly long movie of your life; friends will be less so. Think of how you tell a story at a party. You capture attention quickly, then you aim for one heck of a compelling story. Our expert editors can help you do both.
Video Length Common Denominator. Everyone – regardless of the relation to you – wants to be entertained. Even when a definitive story arc doesn’t exist in raw footage, as is more likely to occur in a personal, experiential video, skilled editors have the capacity to reveal the entertainment through pacing, establishing a sense of place, and a building an emotional connection based on fun, laughter, intrigue, adventure, and sometimes even wistfulness.
But it’s about MY memories, not just entertainment. True. And you will always have the complete raw footage to draw from for new, edited videos or a start-to-finish watch-a-thon of every moment. For curated, edited and shareable videos, we encourage you to select specific memories from your footage to ensure they are represented in the final product. Just like in life, the most special recorded moments happen in between spans of lower action or less relevance. When you select the moments that best define your experience, we’ll make sure they are front and center in your video memories.
We’ve found that this small, added communication of identifying favorite moments has had such a profoundly positive impact on the final video edits, we even offer a 50% (!!) discount for pointing us in the right direction. Selecting 10 or more favorite moments from your raw footage will save you money and assure that your video will capture the perfect memories of your life.
Do the same length “rules” apply to commercial and marketing videos? Not necessarily, but sort of. Commercial, marketing, content, and educational videos have different goals than personal videos. We’ll cover these in future blog posts. We can say that knowing your audience and focusing on entertainment are universal. While there are exceptions to the mantra “shorter is better,” it rarely will steer you wrong as a default strategy.